In honor of Black History Month, Weschester Residential Opportunities will have a presentation at the Greenburgh Public Library to provide information to both tenants and landlords about discriminatory housing issues in Westchester County. Agency representatives will answer questions about housing rights and common complaints when it comes to housing discrimination.
"My goal is there will be some landlords in the discussion who will really listen, understand and adhere to the law," said Ariana Calderon, the agency's program manager for fair housing education and outreach.
Greenburgh has come a long way in terms of fair and affordable housing, Calderon said. While there currently is an affordable housing issue surrounding the future of WestHELP apartments, Greenburgh has done well in providing affordable housing to low- and moderate-income households, minorities, senior citizens and disabled citizens, Calderon said.
"Greenburgh has done a much better job than the other communities," said Calderon, adding surrounding villages like Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Tarrytown are on the list of 31 communities in the county that need improvement. "Greenburgh is already considered to be integrated. They are doing their fair share of building affordable housing."
The housing issue at WestHELP, which has led a Greenburgh NAACP chapter to publicly oppose the construction of Ferncliff Manor, a school for disabled children, instead of affordable housing, is the same property that was the subject of a 1989 discriminatory case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled it was unlawful for the nearby Mayfair-Knollwood neighborhood to block the affordable housing's construction and exclude racial minorities.
Weschester Residential Opportunities is not taking a position in regards to the WestHELP's current situation, where the Greenburgh Town Board still is pushing for the site to be purchased by Ferncliff instead of affordable housing.
"We want the best for everyone. We want the children of Ferncliff to have a home and we want more affordable housing," she said. "WRO is not taking a position right now."