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A history of housing discrimination, zoning restrictions and today’s prohibitive cost of construction have combined to create a residential supply shortage, particularly in Westchester but also in areas throughout the nation as well.

The nonprofit Westchester Residential Opportunities, which advocates for equal, affordable and accessible housing, held an affordable housing symposium in White Plains on Oct. 13 addressing the issues that have made providing adequate housing stock for all income levels a daunting challenge, particularly in the county and the region.

affordable housing symposium A 2019 housing needs assessment concluded that Westchester needs about 11,000 additional units of affordable housing to meet demand.

Keynote speaker Bryan Greene, vice president of public advocacy for the National Association of Realtors, said enforcement of the 1968 Fair Housing Act has been weak, which followed decades of exclusionary zoning, meant to segregate. The vestiges of those practices continue to impact the current housing supply, he said.

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