NEW CITY – Rockland County has withdrawn from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP).
County Executive Edwin Day and Commissioner of Human Rights Constance Frazier announced the withdrawal.
The officials said pulling out of the program will provide the time and opportunity necessary to restructure and strengthen Rockland County’s existing Fair Housing program.
“With this step forward we can now better focus on the needs of our diverse residents,” said Day. “Right now, the HUD FHAP restrictions and requirements are onerous to say the least and not the best fit for our County and many other municipalities.”
A total of 35 states and the District of Columbia have agencies that participate in the Fair Housing Assistance Program. Of these, 19 only have state-level agencies with no local municipalities taking part. In New York, besides the State Division of Human Rights, only Rockland and Westchester counties participated in FHAP.
Day said leaving the program will give the county an opportunity to tailor its fair housing program to better suit the residents of Rockland and allows the county to seek re-certification from HUD and rejoin the FHAP in the future.
The county is now eligible for reimbursement from HUD for up to $150,267 for fair housing activities conducted from 2016 through 2019 (through June 2019, the date of suspension).
The county still enforces its fair housing laws. Day said regardless of Rockland’s withdrawal from the HUD FHAP, residents who have been subject to discrimination in regard to housing can file complaints with our Commission on Human Rights by phone at 845-364-3885.