In September 2020, the Common Council passed a resolution in support of establishing a housing trust fund. That resolution included three things:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the City of Hudson supports
1) The creation of a Housing Trust Fund to serve residents of Hudson at risk of displacement
2) Applying for Anti-Displacement grant funds to seed a Housing Trust Fund
3) Applying for Anti-Displacement grant funds to support a Housing Justice Manager, whose responsibilities will include the management of the Housing Trust Fund
In fulfillment of the second two items in the resolution, the City received a $1 million grant in January 2021, which allowed the City to, among other things, hire Michelle Tullo as Housing Justice Manager and pay her salary for the first year. Of the $1 million grant, $600,000 was designated to seed the housing trust fund. In the 2022 city budget, $20,000 was allocated for the housing trust fund. During the budget process, it was made clear that the City is expected to make annual contributions to the fund. (The original request for 2022 was about $200,000--10 percent of the City's ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] funds and 50 percent of the revenue from the lodging tax.) During the review of the redevelopment of the Pocketbook Factory, the Community Benefits Alliance asked that 10 percent of the profits from the hotel and restaurant go to the housing trust fund.
While the fund is being amassed, it is still not clear exactly how the fund will be used. The following is a generic definition of housing trust fund found in a search of the internet:
Housing trust funds are distinct funds established by city, county or state governments that receive ongoing dedicated sources of public funding to support the preservation and production of affordable housing and increase opportunities for families and individuals to access decent affordable homes.
At Friday's HCDPA (Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency) meeting, Michelle Tullo, the Housing Justice Manager, said the fund would be used "to support and leverage other programs," as well as paying her salary so that she can apply for grants. Oversight of the fund will be the responsibility of a board of directors, which is currently being assembled. The board of the housing trust fund is to have two ex officio members: the Common Council president and the executive director of the Hudson Housing Authority.
Members of the housing trust fund board must be residents of Hudson and should have some experience in managing funds. Letters of interest in serving on the board are still being accepted and can be sent to Michelle Tullo, Housing Justice Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.