Monday, December 17, 2018

HHA: The Beginning

The recent revelation that the Hudson Housing Authority is planning to double the amount of narrowly defined low-income housing it currently provides rather than create, as originally believed, more diverse mixed income housing has inspired Gossips to try to investigate the beginning of the Hudson Housing Authority. So far, a simple search of old newspapers at uncovered these items from the Albany Times-Union, from fifty or so years ago.

The first, which appeared in the Times-Union on July 21, 1966, announces the creation of the Hudson Housing Authority.

HUDSON--A five member housing authority was created Tuesday by Mayor Samuel T. Wheeler, who said, "A milestone has been reached in the history of Hudson."
Members and their terms are: Charles Witham, five years; Edward V. Casserly, four years; Mrs. Susie P. Cunningham, three years, Samuel Liepshutz, two years; and Miss Mary Gorman, one year.
The authority will be headed by Mr. Witham who is an electrical contractor. Mr. Casserly is a vice-president of the State Bank of Albany; Mrs. Cunningham is a teacher at the New York State Training School for Girls; Mr. Liepshutz is a downtown businessman and Miss Gorman is a school psychologist with the city school system.
In addition to appointing the authority, Mayor Wheeler cited the work done in recent years by the Planning Commission. He said, "I wish to thank Arthur Koweek, chairman of the Planning Commission, and the members of the commission for the significant role they played in making this authority possible. Mr. Koweek and the commission members have spent much time and effort in studying the housing problems here and have labored long and diligently in their search for a just and equitable solution to those problems."
More Slums Than Most
The mayor continued:
"Hudson is an old city, with more than its share of old and dilapidated buildings. It also has more than its share of dwellings which are almost unfit in which to live, or which are below the standards of other communities in New York State. The need for better housing, especially for the lower income and retired people in the city has never been fully explored.
With the City of Hudson Housing Authority now a reality, I am confident that concrete and constructive proposals will be made to improve housing conditions, which will, at the same time, eliminate those structures which now represent a threat to the very health and well-being of many of our citizens.
Here I must caution that the new authority will not effect an immediate solution to this long-standing problem. Laws and ordinances will have to be amended and improved. Money will have to be appropriated.
Point with Pride
Mayor Wheeler concluded, "but, with all this, with all the personal inconveniences and disruptions that necessarily must follow in the wake of modern-day changes and progress, the people of Hudson will once again point with pride to their city, the city in which they have chosen to live and to work for the rest of their lives."
The authority will have the power to make applications for the establishment of public housing in the city, make studies, issue bonds for financing, hire employees, etc.
The appointing of the five member authority came on the heels of Governor Rockefeller's signing of the proposal.
The next month, on August 26, 1966, the Times-Union reported that the plan to build "140 housing units for the low income people of Hudson" had been approved by the federal government.


Three years later, at the beginning of 1969, the Hudson Housing Authority began advertising for an executive director.

By late spring 1970, the Housing Authority was soliciting bids for the construction of "135 dwelling units, 15 in low rise frame and brick veneer structure and 120 units in a high rise concrete structure."

And so it began.


  1. eastern european block apartments in downtown hudson --- a socialistic dreamland.

    the new America -- where no one has a job but is segregated in inferior locations out of the mainstream. is this the new "wonderful town" ?

  2. Great sleuthing, Carole. Thank you. When I first got to Hudson, in the mid '80s I was shocked by conditions and locations of its low-income housing. Having been in such housing in cities from L.A. to Newark, Chicago to Houston, I thought it most remarkable that Hudson's poor were able to live in such wonderful places compared to the poor in so many of our urban slums. The question for Hudson now, however, is whether the current gentrification is going to push our poor out of these places. From what I can tell, the answer is mostly Yes.

    1. whether you like it or not, the old gentry of Hudson built the beautiful town and its noble buildings. could anyone but the gentry come up with the courthouse, or any of the other fine architecture ? or the opera house ??

      while you seem to hate the gentry, you like living in the gentrys living museum of Hudson.