Tax Watch columnist David McKay Wilson will moderate a panel regarding efforts underway to stop demolition of the WestHELP housing complex, which will be held Mon. Jan. 14 at the monthly meeting of the Greenburgh-White Plains chapter of the NAACP.
The panel discussion, at 7:30 p.m., will be held at Mt. Hope AME Zion Church, on 65 Lake Street, on the eastern edge of downtown White Plains as you head toward Purchase.
Appearing on the panel will be Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers; County Legislators Alfreda Williams, D-Greenburgh; Mary Jane Shimsky,, D-Greenburgh, and Greenburgh civic leader Robert Bernstein, who last year recovered $1.1 million for Greenburgh from the Valhalla school district for illegal payments made by the town as a “social dividend” for allowing the complex to operate for another decade.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner will also appear later in the evening.
Jenkins on Tuesday called at County Executive Rob Astorino to terminate the WestHELP lease with Greenburgh because the town has failed to live up to the contract, which requires the town to rent the 108 apartments to low- and moderate-income residents. Astorino rejected the demand.
The proposal is now before the Cuomo administration in Albany. Gov. Andrew Cuomo led the effort to build the housing in the late 1980s for the HELP organization, which he founded. The local NAACP branch went to federal court to stop efforts by the Mayfair-Knollwood Civic Association to create a new village so it could enact zoning laws to stop the project.
The panel will explore the agreement signed by Andrew Cuomo, Andrew O’Rourke and Tony Veteran in 1990, and its promise of affordable apartments for low- and moderate-income Greenburgh seniors or municipal workers. We’ll look at the housing resource within the context of the US District Court’s ruling in the Westchester federal fair housing case.