Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Plan Is Now Public

At the Common Council meeting last night, Michelle Tullo, Hudson's Housing Justice Coordinator, presented the Affordable Housing Development Plan, recently completed by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress. Tullo's summary of the plan noted that the greatest need in Hudson was for low- and moderate-income housing and reported that 1,000 households in Hudson are "housing cost burdened," that is, their housing costs represent more than 30 percent of their income. The strategies identified in the report include: developing new multi- and single-family affordable housing; rehabbing abandoned properties; redeveloping vacant parcels for new housing units.
The plan includes a "Short List for Development"--vacant properties where multifamily rental apartment buildings and houses for home ownership could be constructed. Not surprisingly, three of the ten sites are owned by the Galvan Foundation.
The sites suggested for multifamily apartment buildings include:
  • The vacant lot at Fourth and State streets. The Council is already working on an RFP/RFQ for a developer for this site. 

  • 604 Washington Street--the lot across from the Central Fire Station. This is the lot that Galvan tried to acquire in its proposed deal to give 400 State Street to the City for use as City Hall. It is also the lot being eyed as possible parking for the redeveloped Pocketbook Factory.
  • The vacant area on East Court Street, behind St. Mary's Catholic Church, where the City currently dumps snow in winter and cleans out the street sweeper throughout the year.

The Affordable Housing Development Plan also includes some potential sites identified for "Home Ownership," where presumably single-family homes might be built.
  • 620 State Street, the site of the original Hudson Orphan Asylum, which was demolished early in 2018. The site is owned by the Galvan Foundation. In one of his early presentations to the Planning Board of the buildings proposed for 75 North Seventh Street and 708 State Street, Walter Chatham included elevation drawings of the buildings in their context, to demonstrate that they were compatible in mass and scale. Included in the drawings was the demolished Hudson Orphan Asylum. Chatham told Gossips at the time that the plan was to build a new structure on the site that replicated the original building.
  • 451 Warren Street, the vacant lot at Warren and Fifth streets that is owned by Galvan. This seems an unlikely spot for single-family houses, right on Hudson's main commercial thoroughfare, but years ago, before there even was a Galvan Foundation, one of Eric Galloway's several LLCs or not-for-profits proposed a commercial building for the site, facing Warren Street, with three or four town houses behind it, facing Fifth Street.
  • 25 North Fourth Street, the vacant lot at Fourth and Columbia streets, owned by the Galvan Foundation. This was one of Eric Galloway's earliest acquisitions in Hudson. It is situated just across Long Alley from the vacant lot at Fourth and State owned by the City of Hudson.
  • Mill Street--It's not clear exactly what property on Mill Street owned by the City of Hudson is being considered. Much of the open space on Mill Street is designated park land. Hudson Development Corporation owned a lot on Mill Street--228 Mill Street--which was sold in August 2020
  • Rossman Avenue--The City of Hudson owns three parcels on Rossman Avenue, but where exactly they are is hard to tell. The parcels don't seem to have street numbers.
Update: A reader identified the City-owned Rossman Avenue parcels for me. One is the location of the water treatment plant and the area around it, which includes the house, once the residence provided for the Superintendent of Public Works, which the Common Council ad hoc Properties Committee has been talking about selling. Obviously, that's not one of the parcels being considered for affordable housing. The other two are actually on Rossman Avenue, near the top, on the left as you are ascending the hill toward the water treatment plant and Mt. Ray Estates. The two parcels are outlined in red on the images below.
  • 514-516 Columbia Street is a single vacant lot owned by the City of Hudson.

The complete Affordable Housing Development Plan is available at the City of Hudson website. Click here to access it.

Mayor Kamal Johnson will hold a virtual town hall meeting about the plan on Tuesday, November 23, at 6:00 p.m. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.


  1. I believe the City-owned Rossman Avenue plots are the land behind (north of) the water treatment plan, east of Vinyl Village and south/west of the cemetery. It's a beautiful hill overlooking some really quiet neighbors.

  2. Seems to me that the goal should be to upgrade the quality of housing for our existing residents. What we don't need is a repeat of the 1970's, when Hudson literally invited disadvantaged people to come here to fill the newly-built housing.

    1. That is what is happening now. A suggested repeat of the '60's and '70's. There is a big wait list for affordable housing and it's not just Hudsonians. Galvan has access to it.

  3. The statistics have got to be exaggerated ---
    1000 households ? hudson has 6,235 people.

    If you want to turn Hudson into the South Bronx, that is pretty much what your plan says. lets develop the town into a high concentration of people with very low incomes.

    Somehow this makes no sense. hudson has no jobs and no industry. I guess what it does have is the local office of the social security adminstration, many drug rehab clinics, and the DSS. Is that what you are building the future on ?

    Sounds pretty bleak and depressing. Ever read the book No Exit ??

    1. You don’t believe that 1,000 households in Hudson are spending more than 30% of their income on housing?! I am a household of one and I am definitely included in that group, and I have a good job. People with money in Hudson just don’t get it, you don’t accept or understand that many of us don’t have the kind of money that you do, many of us are being forced out. The housing crisis is very real, whether or not it affects you directly.

    2. Holst, J. Kay:
      Right now on Zillow (admittedly this does not show all available rental properties) there is only 1 listing under $1,500 - a 1 bedroom for $1,400. The next closest is a 2 bedroom for $2000. $1,500 per month comes out to $18,000 per year. To be at or below the 30% mark, someone would have to be making $60k or more. I am not sure if the 30% is based on after tax income or not, but if it is after tax, one would have to be making significantly more than $60k. The renters in Hudson are indeed spending more than 30% of their income on housing.
      I do not have a sound byte solution, but it is an issue we need to take seriously. I also think we need to separate issues related to creating more subsidized housing from issues facing current renters -- lack of available units, increasing costs for the current housing stock.
      Margaret Morris

    3. I’m with you, Margaret. There are real issues concerning renters that are already here, but we need to investigate wholistic solutions that can increase availability and help landlords keep rents stable. And, yes, subsidized housing is a separate issues that just picks winners and losers.

    4. Thank you Margaret and Union Jack, well said. These are complicated, separate issues with some overlap, but they need to be discussed separately and thus far I’m not hearing anyone who seems to actually understand the issues. Giving tax breaks to billionaires so that they can profit from the situation is a HUGE mistake, especially when that developer has played a major part in CREATING this crisis by warehousing vacant units and sitting on them for years. Why oh why doesn’t anyone in local office ever address Galvan’s vacant by properties?!?! I am currently being forced out of my apartment after 5 years in Hudson due to gentrification, and I’m not complaining because that’s how Capitalism works, but pretty soon there will be NO middle class here in Hudson, shouldn’t that concern everyone?! Hudson is no longer a place where working class people can afford to live.

  4. This local “housing crisis” is completely manufactured. Inflation is rampant and rents and housing costs are skyrocketing throughout the country. Our population is exploding. Well, not in Hudson. Look at the 2020 and 2010 census. There’s no case there.

    The nationwide population trend puts a constraint on housing supply. Hudson is an old city of historic buildings. There is little available land. Galvan warehouses many potential living spaces through neglect and abandonment. Yet, the city keeps wanting to get into bed with “him”.

    This type of statist plan will bring certain and clear ruin to Hudson. It’s outrageous that the city points the finger at specific private property and then publishes a list of “bad actors”.

    Obviously, I know my view does not appeal to, and likely repulses, most bleeding hearts.

    That being said, why is the solution to this “crisis” solely Hudson’s burden? Why aren’t other parts of Columbia County culpable and taken to task?

    Why aren’t we taking about vocational schools and job training? Why aren’t we taking about our abysmal public school

    Doesn’t Hudson deserve better? Why are we allowing third rate sociologists to dictate our future? Housing “justice” should follow due process. Not Maoist dictatorship

    1. the school system in Hudson ranks in the lowest 10 % of all systems in NY State, while having the highest cost per student at over $ 30,000 per student. thank you wealthy tax payers.

      Hudson is the model for good intentions with devastating social consequences for the chronically poor.

      third rate is kind, by the way. it is the D squad in Hudson.

  5. Now we need a luxury business tax of 100K a year on any Warren Street property, hotel, B&B and non-profit that caters to upscale culture that does not convert 50% of it's property to low income housing. The city owned properties on Warren should be converted to temporary, emergency housing and food distribution centers. A new city agency should be formed, HDSDH, the Hudson Department of Services for he Displaced and Homeless. The waterfront four acres, the Dunn building, Basilica (after they are forced out), can be sold to Huntsman Petrochemical, Sasol Chemicals or some similar company to create jobs for the new residents. Free gas masks and pop tarts for everyone! That should fix Hudson.

    1. i say turn all of hudson into homeless shelters built by Galvan, and rather that defund the police, just shut the whole department down as being a criminal enterprise.

      that is the gist of what the radical left wants - so lets give it to them.

  6. Don't listen to the NIMBYs. More housing, and more growth, are always good things. They bring more demand for goods and services, and therefore more jobs and a bigger economy, bring in more tax revenue, and create a better and more dynamic community. While it's at it, Hudson should reform its zoning laws, permit more multi-family housing and mixed-use developments, and eliminate historic preservation laws that prohibit by-right development. Hudson shouldn't be frozen in time as a 19th century whaling village. It should grow.

    1. I think there’s a way to encourage those warehousing unoccupied housing to renovate or sell it, as well as encouraging development on underutilized land, without bulldozing the city like
      Robert Moses.

    2. While zoning change is sorely needed, the direction the city goes in should be determined by those who live here not philosophy.

    3. When it comes to Hudson, there are no NIMBY's, and no, "growth" is not always a good thing. It's not a question of "not in my backyard," the backyard is already full, as is the side yard, and part of the other side. If people can not afford to live here and/or long for a more congested, grungy urban environment, they can move to Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, the Bronx, Newark and a myriad of other places.

    4. Is there any kind of local legislation that might have an effect on this difficult situation? I’m asking smart people who know things like John Friedman. What are other cities doing? I just don’t feel like building ugly generic apartment buildings is the answer.

  7. Why, oh why, is Galvan allowed to continue to warehouse properties, and then given a sweetheart deal, on taxpayer money, to build new? There is no logic (except that people are being paid off to go along with his program). The statements above about Hudson's certain economic doom are completely valid. This is not a sustainable situation. The housing shortage is not a Hudson predicament; it is a national predicament. People can no longer afford to house themselves because our country is now geared for the 1%, to the detriment of the 99%. Building new "affordable housing" is not going to solve the problem. But putting the screws to property warehousing landowners would be a big help.

  8. Peter Spear submitted this comment by email:

    Joe Czajka of Patterns for Progress Hudson Valley generously spoke at the first FUTURE HUDSON event where he shared demographic data about Hudson.

    In it, he introduced us to the concept of ALICE - a household that is Asset Limited Income Constrained & Employed. These are responsible people who are working extremely hard and yet, not able to afford rent.

    “ALICE earns above the Federal Poverty Level, but does not earn enough to afford a bare-bones household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and necessary technology.

    The ALICE Report uses standard measurements to quantify the cost of a basic household budget in each county and shows how many households are struggling

    Perspective: In the City of Hudson…….the % of ALICE and Poverty Households is 65%”

    Here is video of his presentation:

    Here is a link to his report, with the data: