Carole - This post is NOT about this item, but might be of interest to you and those who care about Hudson.This comment seems longer on indignation than information, but on the assumption that other Gossips readers might be curious about this building, I'll share what I know about it.
It looked to me this morning that the double building on the 300 block of State Street, righ tup the street from SUPERVISOR HUGHES' mother's house was being cleaned out.
The only interested party in that particular building has been Kevin O'Neill of Housing Resources.
Given the fact that the mayor admitted that HRCC still owes for VERY delinquent water and sewer bills, (Check it out Carole, we're talking half a dozen years.) at a time when EVERY OTHER RESPONSIBLE landlord is required to either pay their water and sewer bils on time or pay additional fees; while the mayor admitted (Notice how quiet Peter Markou, of HCDPA and HDC was on this subject.) that HRCC STILL owes (Again check it out Carole, it might be that same half half dozen years.)HDCPA and/or HDC loan repayment monies; that the mayor appartently never discussed with the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal the requirement that either O'Neill exit, right, or the agency be shut down; it would boggle the mind to think that the mayor and the counsel would let HRCC NEAR another piece of property that won't be properly maintained.
The mayor knows all of this, as does Supervisor Hughes, COuncilmen Goetz and Donahue.
THe question becomes, why do all of these guys let Kevin O'Neill continue to misappropriate taxpayer money?
The building, 325-327 State Street, is now owned by Housing Resources of Columbia County and has been for almost a year. Several years ago, it was seized by the City for nonpayment of taxes, and until last year, it was one of several properties owned by Good Samaritan Housing and Land Corporation that were the subject of protracted litigation. Back in 2006, the PARC Foundation wanted to acquire the building. It was an element in the PARC Foundation's 2 + 4 Project--a project that was shelved in 2008. In 2006, Kevin O'Neill, executive director of Housing Resources, also expressed interest in acquiring the building.
In 2009, 325-327 State Street was offered at a tax auction, but no one bid on it. Some said at the time that potential bidders didn't realize it was one of the properties being auctioned. Shortly after the auction, there were reports that Eleanor Ambos, owner of the Pocketbook Factory, the Allen Street School, and the former Elks Club at 601 Union Street, had offered to buy the house but for some reason had withdrawn her offer. At a special meeting on September 21, 2009, the Common Council authorized the sale of the property to Housing Resources for $33,603 and the payment of $4,370 in legal fees. Gossips has learned from someone on the Board of Housing Resources that the plan is to rehab the building and sell it to qualified home buyers, much as was done with the houses constructed on the 300 block of Columbia Street and on North Second Street by Housing Resources as part of the Hudson Homestead Program.
In 2009, it became known that Housing Resources had not paid its water and sewer bills for nine properties in Hudson since May 31, 2007. At that time, slightly more than $34,000 was owed the City. For most property owners, any amount due for water and sewer at the end of a calendar year is added to the next year's property tax bill, but since Housing Resources is a not-for-profit and its properties are not taxed, the City couldn't do this. So on July 21, 2009, the Common Council voted to levy a lien on all properties owned by Housing Resources to recover the $34,000.
A week or so ago, the Register-Star reported that Kevin O'Neill had been replaced as executive director of Housing Resources of Columbia County, a job he had held since 1994. According to the new executive director, Stephanie Lane, the organization intends to shift its focus from affordable housing development to housing counseling, asset management, affordable rental, home improvement, financial literacy, and home buyer education.