Carrots and Sticks of Fair Housing

You'll learn about:

  • Compare and contrast Westchester County’s HUD Fair Housing consent decree with New Jersey’s Fair Share approach, gleaning lessons to take back to other fast growing communities nationwide

  • Understand that the decision of low-income families to move to suburbs in search of better schools and safer streets is not cut and dry

  • Learn nuances of affordable housing development from perspectives of a planner, developer and architect


In light of a 2009 HUD consent decree, Westchester County (NY) is grappling with its fair housing mandate of building affordable housing in areas of opportunities while at the same time addressing NIMBYism at local levels – all this in the context of a home rule state. Emblematic of this struggle is a 28 unit affordable housing development in Chappaqua, NY. A similar debate is brewing across the Hudson in the Garden State, where the NJ Supreme Court recently stepped in to take over the charge of the Council on Affordable Housing – a state agency designed to allocate fair share of affordable housing in NJ’s 500+ municipalities. Across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, citizens are asking a familiar question – should we invest affordable housing in development starved inner cities or should we build them in the suburbs with safe streets and good schools? As New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania encounter state-wide shortages of affordable housing, there is no more critical time than now to find a democratic and equitable solution.


In this session, we will share perspectives from a balanced panel of affordable housing developers, planners and an architect. We will review case studies in the New York City and Philadelphia Metro areas spanning 3 states – New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In particular, we will review fair housing policies in Westchester County, New York and in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The intent is to provide participants unique insights into affordable housing development in the tri-state area and to equip planners with the proper tools to advocate for policies that affirmatively further fair housing.