Sunday, January 24, 2021

More Planning for Housing

The $1 million anti-displacement grant awarded to the City of Hudson and the Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency (HCDPA) earlier this month ensures the funding needed to hire Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress to create the Affordable Housing Development Plan. It is anticipated that, once the work begins, it will take six months to develop the plan.  

Meanwhile, in the midst of what is characterized as a housing crisis in Hudson, the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) has twenty-five units that are vacant because they are in various states of disrepair. Six of the units are in Columbia Apartments (the low-rise), and those six units are considered to be 
"beyond renovation." The other nineteen are in Bliss Towers. At the last meeting of the HHA Board of Commissioners, on January 13, it was noted that seven of the nineteen apartments "could be online by the end of January," because money is available to make the repairs needed in those apartments. Additional funding, however, was needed to make the repairs in the other twelve units.

Last year, HHA completed its RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) conversion. Among other things, the new status enables HHA "to leverage debt and create a better revenue-to-debt ratio," to quote HHA executive director Tim Mattice. So, HHA is looking to borrow the money needed to repair the twelve apartments and get them back online. 

At its January 13 meeting, the board heard from two representatives of M&T Bank about two loan products: a $1.25 million line of credit to make the repairs to the apartments now offline and a $3.5 million loan--a 35-year amortized loan--to repay the line of credit and help finance a long-term project. The board decided it could not enter into any loan agreements until they had decided on a long-term plan for development, and so it was agreed that a committee would be created to formulate such a plan. That committee--the Affordable Housing and Development Committee--met for the first time on Wednesday, January 20, at 1:00 p.m., when most of us were still watching the inauguration. The committee will meet again this Wednesday, January 27, at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will take place Zoom. Click here to join the meeting.


  1. The term "Beyond Renovation" is interesting.

    1. I probably should have put quotes around those two words in the post. They are the words of one of the commissioners.

    2. how can anything be "beyond renovation?" was there a fire ?

    3. Maybe mold and foundation cracks which have been ignored and never treated and continues to get worse ? Just a guess.

  2. Much of Hudson was "beyond renovation" before the creative sweat equity people renovated their buildings. now they own their own stores.

    It seems like there is plenty of money flowing into Hudson, like the 10 million dollar DRI - the Downtown Revitalization Initiative - and now this additional 1million dollars for housing.

    However, the people in power seem to be spending money on new lighting while the poor have 25 units off line in the existing affordable housing in the City. the first thing Hudson should have done was fix up Bliss Towers.

    There is lots of howling about a crisis, lots of money coming into City coffers, and nothing being done to actually fixup the "off-line" apartments. Revitalizing the downtown should have been this first.

    I am sure there will piles of comments on why the money cannot be used where it is sorely needed, but the mismanagement of all these funds is clear and evident.

    You all talk a good game, but do nothing for the people who need it.

    Fix the apartments In Bliss Towers now and stop talking about it. Your credibility is terrible.

    the Funds are there to be borrowed if you actually care.

    All talk, endlessly, no action !

    1. Your indignation might find a more receptive ear if you were pointing it in the right direction: The City of Hudson does not own Bliss Towers. It's not the City's obligation to do anything there. It's a federal project managed by its ownership.

      That said, the middle portion of your argument hits home: there is much the City could do to alleviate the problems in the existing housing stock. There are successful NYS small-community examples of land banks and loan funds that the City could use its dollars for (with state legislative approval).

      But all this requires work. The work of a actual functioning City government where the executive and the legislative work together on items of mutual agreement. My sense is there are a great number of items the "Council" and the mayor agree on -- they both seem to be cut from the same Soviet-era dogma. The rub, of course, is the "work" part -- neither seems to be too interested in actual work. Indeed the Council members have abdicated their work loads to one person who actively sought the shift. If that doesn't say "we're not too busy," I don't know what does. Seems the primary skill set for an alderman these days is the ability to take payment for doing as close to nothing as feasible.

    2. Yes, indeed, the Hudson Housing Authority is a separate entity, but the City of Hudson created it to provide the housing in the first place. No one knew what a mess it would be.

      This is the problem with governmental management. It is a loopy form of management in which nothing is done and no one is responsible.

      And the apartments in the City never get fixed for those that need them. This is not only Hudson that experiences the problem. New York City has the largest housing authority in the world, but cannot supply heat to many of its tenants. !! When will they get heat --
      maybe in 4 years.

      You have good people heading up the HHA who get no help and are trapped in a swamp of no funds and no way out. In the meantime, 10 million dollars comes and goes into town to give us nicer street lighting, but leave the poor without 25 habitable apartments.

      Does this really make sense ??