Westchester County entered into a landmark desegregation agreement on Monday that would compel it to create hundreds of houses and apartments for moderate-income people in overwhelmingly white communities and aggressively market them to nonwhites in Westchester and New York City.
The agreement, if ratified by the county’s Board of Legislators, would settle a lawsuit filed by an antidiscrimination group and could become a template for increased scrutiny of local governments’ housing policies by the Obama administration.“This is consistent with the president’s desire to see a fully integrated society,” said Ron Sims, the deputy secretary of housing and urban development, which helped broker the settlement along with the Justice Department. “Until now, we tended to lay dormant. This is historic, because we are going to hold people’s feet to the fire.”
The agreement calls for the county to spend more than $50 million of its own money, in addition to other funds, to build or acquire 750 homes or apartments, 630 of which must be provided in towns and villages where black residents constitute 3 percent or less of the population and Hispanic residents make up less than 7 percent. The 120 other spaces must meet different criteria for cost and ethnic concentration.
Here's my question: who gets discount housing?
Clearly, it's supposed to go very heavily to blacks and Hispanics, but to which blacks and Hispanics? Whose friends and relatives get the nod?