Thursday, May 13, 2021

For Want of a Nail . . .

We hear regularly about the housing crisis in Hudson. There are at least three projects being discussed to address that situation: the Galvan Foundation's Depot District, the adaptive reuse of John L. Edwards School, and Hudson Housing Authority's as yet undefined plans for development, not to mention the Affordable Housing Development Plan, work on which started a month or so ago. None of these efforts, however, will result in new housing units being available anytime soon. 

Meanwhile, the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) has twenty apartments that are offline: fourteen in Bliss Towers and another six in the low-rise buildings. Several of these apartments are the coveted three- and four-bedroom apartments sought by families.

At first, lack of funding was what was keeping the apartments unavailable. Now the funding is in place, but the work to rehabilitate the apartments has not begun. Last night, at the HHA Board of Commissioners meeting, executive director Tim Mattice explained why. He can't find people to do the work. 

The situation inspired the board to talk about developing their own trades program. Rebecca Wolff suggested there might be an on-the-job training program for the work needed on the offline apartments. The Construction Technology Program at Columbia-Greene Community College was mentioned as a possible source of assistance. Mattice said he had spoken with C-GCC and reported that C-GCC does not have a program currently in place to address HHA's needs, but they are willing to work with HHA to develop one. Getting local contractors to do training was also discussed, and it was decided the Rebecca Borrer would contact local contractors to propose the notion having them do training in the areas of general construction, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. A report on the success of this effort will be presented at the board's next meeting, which will take place on June 9.


  1. So are they going to wait years to staff a program at CGCC to get workers? Everyone knows all the contractors are super busy and backed up. For skilled construction managers, now is not the time to teach, it is the time to earn. Although it would be great if construction trades were financially encouraged to take on apprentices. The entire country needs qualified electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, carpenters, masons, welders, etc. Plus there are material shortages throughout the entire supply chain. Anyone looking for housing now knows there is very low inventory of all kinds of housing everywhere (except the big cities.) People are desperate for construction crews so they are getting higher fees.

  2. It's a bit late now,but it might not be worth to talk to QUEST STAR about hiring some apprentices .

  3. The labor shortage in our country clearly applies to Hudson as well.

  4. Sorry Carole, and the people of Hudson, but there are few people in Hudson who are seeking employment. Columbia County has historically had a very low unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the State. There are no jobs available.

    There are not very many workers. so talking about all this "workforce" housing for workers is a bit outside of what the facts are, and will be.

    Building workforce housing for people that do not exist is pointless.

    It sounds good, if you want grant money from the government, but this is the wrong place for it.

    There are no vocational schools here, and the school system has a terrible track record educating people.

    First, the people of Hudson should work on making the schools better, and more in tune with training students.

    The system here is not working very well, but it sure is expensive.

  5. There are few jobs here for those who require workforce housing. We are a city of entrepreneur smallholders. There are few if any jobs for the low skilled. Building workforce housing in Hudson is the crafting of a solution in search of a problem.

  6. My new neighbors, mostly from New York City, bought their overpriced houses and seemingly had no trouble finding and paying contractors to work on the houses and the properties to create comfortable and livable homes. Hudson, A Tale of Two Cities.

  7. It's my understanding that Hudson has both a high unemployment rate and a labor shortage. I know that restaurants are struggling more than ever to find staffing, I think that's also true in other retail. I know scheduling construction trades is really hard because everyone is booked up, for a few examples...There are opportunities, but we need to bridge the chasm between the workers available and skill sets needed by those hiring. That feels like a project worth tackling for the city.
    It's just my observation but it feels like this year there has been a lot of activity in shutting down things, or curtailing things, but not a lot of pro active work and programs to improve things.
    If Hudson doesn't want to be a tourist, or visitor driven economy, the answer is not to make visitation harder, the answer is to investigate possible industries that would work here, identify possible companies that might consider doing business here, invest in those ideas, and invest in training for the skills needed in those industries. That's how you expand and diversify the economy. Not by throwing up roadblocks to the main thing that's working. Take that thing, and BUILD on it, EXPAND....