Tuesday, June 29, 2021

HHA Plans for New Development

The request for qualifications (RFQ) for the new development being planned by the Hudson Housing Authority is expected to be a topic of discussion at tomorrow's meeting to the Board of Commissioners subcommittee. Ahead of that, you can view the draft RFQ, which is available online here. 

Of interest is the list of HHA holdings presented in Section 1 of the document:
  1. . . . The [Hudson Housing] Authority's public housing portfolio consists of a 120-unit, 9-story high-rise apartment building known as Bliss Tower and 15-units of low-rise housing consisting of three buildings, all constructed in or about 1973. . . . Bliss Tower consists of 3 studio units, 61 one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedroom units, and 22 three-bedroom units. The Low-Rise units consist of 5 three-bedroom units, 8 four bedroom units, and 2 five-bedroom units. 
  2. The Authority also owns an adjacent parcel of land on the North side of State Street. . . . The vacant lot is approximately 1.412 Acres with a portion of the site being improved with a two-bay storage garage, small playground, off street parking lot and passive sitting area.
  3. The Authority administers and manages a 130 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. However, there are approximately 80 unused vouchers due to the lack of affordable housing with only 50 vouchers currently funded. The HCV SEMAP [Section 8 Management Assessment Program] performance score has historically shown an underutilization of HCV vouchers due to lack of affordable housing inventory in the City of Hudson; lack of interest from property owners; and extremely high rental rates as a result of the ongoing gentrification that has occurred for many years in the City of Hudson.
Although Revonda Smith, who chairs the HHA Board of Commissioners, has been working to get land owned by HCDPA (Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency) added to the parcels offered in the RFQ, the document currently identifies for potential development only the three sites that are owned by HHA:
  • Site #1: is approximately 1.00 Acre that includes a single nine-story high rise building. (Second Street Site)
  • Site #2: is approximately 1.412 Acres with a portion of the site being improved with a two-bay storage garage, small playground, off street parking lot, and passive sitting area. (State Street Site)
  • Site #3: is approximately 1.995 Acres with a portion of site #3 to the west being improved with three, two story, low rise, garden style buildings consisting of 15 units ranging from three to five bedrooms, and the remainder of site #3 of which is vacant. (Columbia Street Site)
How the redevelopment might proceed is also suggested in the RFQ:
The Authority anticipates the construction of the Project at the State Street Site and Columbia Street Site will happen first. Upon completion of the Project at the State and Columbia Street Sites, the Authority residents in the Low-Rise Units will be given the option to transition their housing to the State Street Site or Bliss Tower. Upon all units in the Low-Rise Units being vacated, the Authority anticipates the demolition of the Low-Rise Units, followed by the construction of the Project at the Second Street Site. 
The RFQ also provides this general information about Hudson:
Over the years, and until recently, the City of Hudson has experienced tremendous social and economic pressure from the effects of gentrification. The in migration of new residents and property owners from areas to the south of Columbia County, particularly New York City, has been dramatic. In early 2020 gentrification in Hudson accelerated mainly due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed families from large urban areas down state north to the Hudson Valley region. This has created a housing shortage geographically in Columbia County, but more specifically, a critical shortage of affordable housing for moderate and low-income, and minority populations in Hudson. Consequently, generations of families and long-time residents are being squeezed out of Hudson to less affluent areas of Columbia County heightening the fear of many now facing new challenges of securing decent safe, affordable housing, and housing discrimination barriers in rural areas. 
At the May meeting of the HHA Board, executive director Tim Mattice reported "an influx of applications from downstate"--downstate apparently meaning New York City. The board agreed to close the waiting list temporarily to applicants outside of Columbia County, while investigating the process required for changing its open application policy.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The concern here is that Hudson will end up building more infrastructure to accommodate economically disadvantaged people. That doesn't help anyone. Any new housing should be a replacement for old sub-standard housing, not new capacity.