Latimer Highlights Success of CDBG Program

When County Executive George Latimer first took office in 2018, the Westchester Urban County Consortium was defunct. Westchester County’s municipalities were not eligible to apply for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) due to non-compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair and Affordable Housing Settlement of 2010.

One of Latimer’s top priorities was to reestablish the Urban County Consortium, and the ability for municipalities, primarily towns and villages, to apply for CDBG grants. The County had been missing out on millions of potential dollars in CDBG funding each year that could be used for infrastructure improvements, and community development projects. Since Latimer re-established the CDBG program in 2019, more than $41 million in CDBG funds has been awarded across Westchester County. 

To re-establish the Consortium, Latimer convened a meeting of the eligible municipalities with regional HUD representatives. The County, through the Planning Department, then worked directly with each municipality to advise them on the benefits, responsibilities, and application process for the program.

Latimer said: “Because of the previous administration’s non-compliance with a legal settlement, Westchester County’s communities were forced to miss out on millions of dollars in much-needed funding from this federal program. The year 2019 was the first year these grants had been received in Westchester since 2010, and I am proud to report that since that time, over $41 million in funding has been awarded to our participating municipalities for projects like sidewalk repairs, park improvements, handicapped accessible vans, senior center programs and more. I know our local communities truly see the value in this program, which has had the power to make a real difference across Westchester County.”

Since 2019, Westchester County has been eligible to apply for three grant programs:

·         Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which provides funds to local municipalities and nonprofits for physical facilities and public services;

·         HOME Program which provides funds to developers of affordable housing; and

·         Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) which provides funds to non-profits for homeless eviction programs.

The funding totals below are broken down by calendar year:

·         2019 – $4,425,256

·         2020 – $4,666,010 (annual allocation)

$10,845,298.33 (CDBG and ESG Covid-related funds)

·         2021 – $5,751,471 (annual allocation)

$4,005,057 (HOME Covid-related funds)

·         2022 – $5,729,928

·         2023 – $5,873,193

·         Total funding since 2019 – $41,296,413.33

Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Planning Blanca Lopez said: “As the administrator of CDBG funds for the Urban County Consortium, the Department of Planning joins in the celebration of highlighting the good work done by Consortium municipalities using Community Development Block Grant funds. This is a special year for the program as it marks its 50th Anniversary. The Program was enacted by Congress in 1974 and provides much-needed funding to eligible municipalities for their infrastructure, housing, and economic development projects and public services. Here’s to another fifty years, CDBG!”    

Since 2019, 31 municipalities have joined the Westchester Urban County Consortium. Local municipalities are Bronxville, Larchmont, Mamaroneck Town, Mamaroneck Village, Village of Pelham, Port Chester, Rye Brook, Rye Town, Scarsdale, and Tuckahoe.