Doesn't the Westchester Consent Decree require an Implementation Plan that insures pro-AFFH development?

Westchester Case

July 21, 2012 — The Consent Decree unmistakably contemplates that all housing developed under the Decree will be developed pursuant to an Implementation Plan (IP) that sets forth with specificity how the County plans to discharge its obligations.

Paragraph 20(d) of the Decree makes plain that the only acceptable IP is one that “accomplishes the objectives and terms” of the Decree. And paragraph 7(j) is one of several places in the Decree that states explicitly that the purpose of the Decree is “to AFFH” (that is, to affirmatively further fair housing”).

In short, only pro-AFFH housing is Decree-compliant, and the idea that proposed housing has to meet only municipal-level criteria is without foundation. 

So what has happened? Three years after the Consent Decree was entered, and two years after the Monitor found Westchester’s second IP to be non-compliant, there is no IP in place that remotely begins to assure AFFH (though Consent Decree, ¶ 20(d) required the Monitor to impose such an IP). All housing development has proceeded in an ad hoc fashion, and, despite the fact that the overwhelming number of units being developed do not AFFH, that development has been “counted.”

Some specific questions to think about:

Is there an IP that makes certain that development sites needing remediation won’t be selected? No.

Is there an IP that makes certain that development sites won’t isolate or stigmatize residents but rather will integrate residents into the community? No.

Is there an IP that makes certain that housing units (or at least a minimum percentage of them) will be placed within existing residential neighborhoods on populated census blocks that are currently least African-American and Latino? No.

Is there an IP that makes certain that any minimum percentage of housing developments are a mix of market-rate and subsidized units? No.

Is there an IP that delineates how Westchester will acquire interests in property with maximum desesgration potential? No.

Is there an IP that commits Westchester to proceeding with litigation against municipalities that retain barriers to fair housing choice? No.

Is there an IP that includes any of the features that ADC identified as characteristic of a genuine IP in our motion to enforce that was submitted more than a year ago? No. (Note: the consideration of ADC’s enforcement motion was successfully opposed by the Government and the Monitor.)