Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) held a Town Hall forum and Pancake Breakfast for over 100 Somers residents on Saturday at the Amawalk Fire Station. While residents were offered the opportunity to ask Ball about any concerns, most residents wanted to hear about Westchester’s affordable housing settlement, which will target the township of Somers.
“We must continue to fight against the Affordable Housing settlement, which is an enormous unfunded mandate forced upon the residents of Somers,” Ball said. “With its access to sewer, water, and transportation, this town will be asked to pick up the burden of building many of the 750 required affordable housing units, which will then be marketed, at taxpayer expense, to recruit residents from outside Westchester County rather than offer those homes to the Seniors and first responders who contribute to the community.”
Last October concerned residents of Northern Westchester packed the Somers library to hear Assemblyman Ball discuss the proposed implementation and implications of the controversial $62.5 million settlement between the United States Department of Justice and Westchester County. Since that time, Assemblyman Ball has been actively working to build a community coalition that will be prepared during this mandate’s implementation stage.
Back then Assemblyman Ball said, “As seniors and working families are being forced out of their homes in neighborhoods in northern Westchester, it’s unconscionable to think that weak-kneed county insider and big-government embracing Federal representatives are going to appoint a Federal czar for the implementation of an unfair settlement. It is going to be financed on the backs of Westchester’s already beleaguered taxpayers, while unfairly straining the local infrastructure and economy.”
Ball said the fight on behalf of the Somers residents will be similar to the grassroots campaign he launched against the proposed tax on condominium owners. Ball successfully mobilized his constituents to contact the Senators sponsoring the bill, which led to the new tax being withdrawn.
The Affordable Housing Settlement was ratified by the Westchester County Board of Legislators in October 2009 as part of a lawsuit plea agreement. The controversial $62.5 million settlement between the United States Department of Justice and Westchester County obligates northern Westchester taxpayers to build 750 below-market-rate homes, which will be marketed by court order in low-income areas outside Westchester.