Friday, May 11, 2018

Housing Task Force Goals

The Housing Task Force was formed last year by Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton to run "in tandem" with the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) and tasked with creating a Strategic Housing Action Plan. The task force is close to completing its mission. Yesterday, Joe Czajka, senior vice president of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, who has been chairing the task force, was at the HCDPA (Hudson Community Development & Planning Agency) meeting to deliver a draft of the Strategic Housing Action Plan (SHAP), the work product of the Housing Task Force. Although it's still a draft document, Gossips will share the overarching goals of the plan and its recommendations. 
Goal 1:  Preservation of Housing
Strategy: Promote the preservation and affordability of existing housing stock and neighborhoods by improving the housing and upgrading neighborhood infrastructure and streetscape.
Goal 2:  Create a Comprehensive and Complimentary Housing Policy and Zoning
Strategy: Create comprehensive and complimentary housing policy and zoning through the adoption of local ordinances, plans and policies to expand and promote balanced housing opportunities and support economic diversity and integrate development and expanded public transportation access.
Gossips Note:  Although the draft document uses the word complimentary, I think it probably should be complementary.
Goal 3:  Production of New Housing Opportunities
Strategy: Facilitate and support the development of mixed-income housing carried out by private and non-profit developers, community groups and individuals.
Goal 4:  Creating Housing and Community Development Programs and Partnerships
Strategies: Establish and enhance the delivery system and capacity to implement housing service programs to benefit existing homeowners and renters.
Create innovative partnerships between government and the private sectors.
The Strategic Housing Action Plan makes three specific recommendations: (1) that there be a housing coordinator responsible for "managing, tracking, and providing technical assistance and coordination of housing services . . . to ensure the implementation of the SHAP"; (2a) that the City adopt an affordable housing policy to ensure the availability of housing options for households at or below 80 percent of the median household income (AMI); (2b) that the City's Comprehensive Plan and the zoning code be updated to allow many of the action steps associated with new housing development to be accomplished.

At Thursday's meeting, the members of the board of HCDPA present--Rick Rector, mayor; Walter Chatham, chair of the Planning Board; Eileen Halloran, Common Council minority leader; and Alan Weaver, chair of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners--voted unanimously to support the adoption of the Strategic Housing Action Plan. (Tiffany Garriga, Common Council majority leader, was not present at the meeting.) 

The next steps for the SHAP are presentation to the Common Council Housing and Transportation Committee and the Economic Development Committee and ultimately to the full Council for adoption. The next meeting of the Economic Development Committee takes place on Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m., although it is uncertain of the SHAP will be presented since it has already been announced that the franchise agreement with Mid-Hudson Cable will be a major topic of discussion at that meeting. The next meeting of the Housing and Transportation Committee is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 6, at 6:45 p.m.



  2. Will this document be posted online for public review prior to its presentation to the committees? All constituents will be affected by updates to the City's Comprehensive Plan and zoning code, and it seems that in order to provide informed input at the upcoming meetings, they should have an opportunity to read what's being proposed prior thereto.

    1. When I asked if the document would be available online, Sheena Salvino said, "Soon," Joe Czajka said it was a draft document. I doubt that it will be finalized until after it is reviewed by the Common Council committees. Regarding revisions to the comprehensive plan and the zoning code, this document only recommends such things. Actually revising those documents is a whole separate process--separate for each.