Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's Happening at Fifth and Warren?

There is much talk about an SRO (single-room occupancy not standing room only) proposed for the vacant lot at the corner of Fifth and Warren streets. According to information received, the proposed building would have thirty-two "studio apartments"--60 percent of which would be low-income housing and 40 percent transitional housing--on a pivotal corner of Hudson's main street and commercial thoroughfare. The developer contemplating this project is the Lantern Organization (until recently known as the Lantern Group), which describes itself as "a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing and operating permanent affordable and special needs housing in New York City." The president of the Lantern Organization is T. Eric Galloway, whose bio on the organization's website includes this statement: "Mr. Galloway is also active in development and renovation of historic buildings in the City of Hudson, New York."

The Lantern Organization's website provides information about the projects the not-for-profit has done in New York City. Additional background information is provided by this investigative report by the CBS affiliate in New York City, which aired on June 24, 2008. If anyone knows how the situation described in the CBS report was resolved, I would be happy to report it here.


  1. This is so wrong on so many levels.
    If this insult to Hudsons Business District becomes reality Mr. Galloway will not be welcomed in my shop.

  2. Yeah, poor people should not be allowed to live on Warren St.! It is an affront to humanity!

  3. I am a new commenter on this thread, and also prefer to remain anonymous.

    Over the weekend, as a mixed-race, open-air domestic battle raged for 20 minutes on our Hudson street (apparently concerning an unwanted pregnancy), I was ready at any moment to call the police. I did not call the police however since the man, as I observed, was all restraint, and the woman was all hands. What I saw must have cost him a great deal of restraint, but the police might have assumed the reverse - probably would have. I couldn't be a party to that.

    I relate this story since it is one of about 60 - 70 endured in the last year alone in the vicinity of Hudson's section 8 housing district. This story at least may have a happy ending (although the pressures on minority communities must be intense in the US, with higher than 70% births into single-parent homes).

    But of the daily insults that all of my neighbors endure so near to this "community," only the HPD archives record the full tally.

    Unlike those who live in private homes in Hudson - of ALL races and income-levels - on a daily basis I witness in the section 8 "community" a world with no manners, and no adults. I see no checks on the most self-indulgent behaviors, no consideration for others about noise, or loose pit bulls, or apple-and-rock fights at the Promenade, or youths blocking streets to prevent cars passing and then grabbing into the open windows, and so on and on and on.

    (I have reported all of the above events and more to the HPD, but those statistics magically do not find their way into the Police Chief's reports to the Common Council Police Committee. But who cares, right?)

    At each of these occasions there certainly were no elders present, nor do elders ever seem to be a presence hereabouts. Perhaps they are cowering, for which I would not blame them. In a traditional sense, the behavioral model is upside-down in the Section 8 areas; teenagers make and enforce the laws. Police do drive-bys, but tend to stay in their cruisers.

    To the above commenter, whose snide and righteous irony is designed to play on the assumption that I feel even vaguely at fault for the uncivil world of his comrades, if I do not want to celebrate that same meanness and self-perpetuating ignorance then I would be branded a bigot.

    Who is the bigot though? This easy and tiresome line of cant which makes it an "inhumanity" to want something better than transitional housing for the corner of 5th and Warren may have more to do with the "soft bigotry of low expectations" and with the customary self-pity of the adolescent than with anything of value for the wider community.

    Get involved Hudsonians. Devise some standards for yourselves, and know what they mean and why you'd defend them. How many of you understand the history of the Hudson Terrace Apartments? How is it now being renovated with so much of NY State's Federal stimulus money, when we were just so close to recently reclaiming that property for another, better, tax-producing purpose for the City? Who is making these decisions? You all seem quite dull to me.

  4. When my parents lived in San Francisco (1990's), they lived across from the Delancey Street Foundation ( This is not only well designed, well thought out, but also successful. I've only experienced their SF location, but understand there are facilities in Brewster and Stockbridge. Something like this I believe would do very well in Columbia County, and would be a far better alternative to this 5th & Warren location proposal.

  5. Anon3-

    While it appears as though your well reasoned rant against housing the poor anywhere near your habitual movements is based on standards & moral decency, decorum & restraint, it is a thinly textured xenophobia attack on public housing. And the People that live there. I too own a home near the Terrace, but I really don't understand your logic, even though I suffer the same, "abuse"; as you might put it.

    This magical private home dweller who stands face against the torrent of indecency in that section 8 slum, is fallacious crutch for your screed.

    You put the same number of i-bankers, models, and insurance salesmen in the Terrace- yes they are displeasing architecturally- and you'll get same amount of bulls^*&.

    Have you not observed the many bengali families living there - right, the same ones we banned from playing soccer in the park. Have you not observed the many working families that live at the terrace. The children that play there. The vitality that keeps this part of town from becoming some staid postcard of failed bourgeois sensibility. This is the City of Hudson.

    Its doubtful you much notice the diversity of human conditions on display in Hudson, because your too busy getting your expectations met, with your hand on the redial.

    As a Hudsonian I stand up for the delicate social ecosystem that makes this such a special habitat, such a great City.