Wednesday, May 11, 2022

City Seeking Another Consultant

Yesterday, the mayor's office issued an RFP (request for proposals) for a housing strategy consultant. The tasks to be undertaken by the consultant, as enumerated in the RFP, are:
  • "First and foremost" assisting the Housing Justice Director in analyzing the financial feasibility of an inclusionary zoning or set-aside policy
  • Finding a public revenue source dedicated to providing sustainable revenue to the newly created Hudson Housing Trust Fund
  • Piloting a program that incentivizes homeowners to rent below market rate to tenants in exchange for a tax abatement
  • Revisiting the City's existing vacancy law
  • Sketching governance structures for a new community land trust in the City to create permanently affordable housing
  • Considering any temporary affordable housing overlays in the interim while the City pursues a new comprehensive plan and zoning code update
According to the RFP, "The contract period of service will be agreed upon between the consultant and the City after agreeing upon the specific scope of work and negotiating the price." The funding for the consultant will come from the Anti-Displacement Learning Network grant. The RFP can be found here.


  1. i understand the proposal now.

    Suspend all current leases in the City of Hudson, now a capitalism-free city state, and triple real estate taxes.

    makes perfect sense in the new profit free world of today. Have outside billionaires fund the City from their farms in remote parts of Columbia County so they do not have to associate with the local population.

    the "real" world where no one has to work.

  2. the Future of Hudson sounds suddenly bleak, and definitely a fun free zone.

  3. The tasks assigned to the consultant under the RFP are essentially political decisions -- deciding, or at least recommending, how much of Hudson taxpayers' money should be spent on subsidizing below-market housing. This is not what a consultant should be doing.

    1. hudson has the most below market affordable housing in the county.

      why ? it is a huge cash cow for the County, and the supervisors want it only in Hudson. You all can figure out why -

      the Industry of Poverty is a huge money maker, as has been discussed on this blog site for years. make Hudson all subsidized housing with drug clinics, homeless shelters, and the like.

      the fat cats can reap millions

    2. The fattest, most grotesque and pernicious cat being Galvan, of course.

  4. The City of Hudson will improve its vacancy law. I think that is good for Hudson. The negative nellies will complain

  5. It seems that the City is putting the cart before the horse. The updated Comprehensive Plan, which would allow all Hudson residents the opportunity to weigh in on the future of their City, should provide the City with the direction for its housing policies, not a consultant and non-elected employee of the City. And why does our Housing Justice Coordinator need consultation on some pretty basic housing stuff (such as finding grants)? What skills does she bring to the table? I agree with DoubleL. Consultants should not be directing policy for the City. We should all be concerned.

  6. John Friedman submitted this comment by email:

    That the mayor would even consider spending tax payers’ funds on a study to determine how best to take more tax payer money and essentially give them away speaks volumes about his integration of our collective Communard antecedents but also his ignorance of or disregard for the laws of economics as well economic history.

    Housing is a nationwide problem. And no municipality in the county has done more to create and support below-market rate housing. We have a massive and out of scale below-market rate rental project set to rise in a neighborhood of two story homes. Meanwhile our streets are shambolic as is the rest of our infrastructure. When does the Mayor start to expand his focus from subsidized housing (to benefit the man who single handedly took 40-odd rental units off the market in the city and is the mayor’s own landlord) to performing the rest of his duties?

    It’s worth noting that all this is in the wake of a massive salary increase because he was jealous of the Treasurer’s salary — a woman who brings decades of education and experience to her job. Two things the mayor lacks.

    Thankfully the majority of the prior Council left their seats and their replacements don’t seem as much a rubber stamp as their predecessors.

    But the voters in this city need a working chief executive. It’s time to jettison the current structure and look to more progressive forms of municipal governance.

    1. Let's face it, anyone running for mayor of Hudson is likely to be unemployed, retired, or otherwise NOT gainfully employed. Who is going to quit their job to be the Mayor of Hudson when they will likely just be looking for work outside of City Hall in two or, if they are lucky, four years? Do we want the unemployed and retired (read: amateurs) attempting to, or pretending to, manage a city increasingly overwhelmed with serious issues better dealt with by someone who can honestly and competently manage a city, such as an UNELECTED CITY MANAGER WITH SOME EXPERIENCE OR A DEGREE IN CIVIC MANAGEMENT?
      I think technically for this to happen, the city code must first be amended. A lot. Do you think the current mayor or any future mayor will get that ball rolling? Of course not, and that is the problem. The dysfunctional system entrenched at 520 Warren, as I have said before, won't be changed or improved from the inside. It's no different than corrupt countries, like say Russia or Sri Lanka, where things get really ugly and possibly just unravel. If starting over with a new form of governance is the solution, how on earth do we do that? And I don't mean talking about it endlessly year after year.
      B Huston

  7. In my opinion, in situations like this, consultants are used when the people in charge are unable to perform the job they have been elected or appointed to.

    1. We're gonna need a bigger consultant.

      Honestly, it's fine to use consultants with specialized education and skillsets, but what's lacking is a basic foundational understanding of finance, economics, or management. Hudson is a city of 6,000 people, and the pool of willing mayoral candidates is small, but certainly larger than the pool of qualified ones. (One has only to look at the current crop of school board prospects to see whoever is in charge of finding good candidates is clearly not doing their job.) To move the city forward, Hudson needs a city manager.

      As Friedman and Huston pointed out above, it's time for charter reform.

  8. Does Hudson really need all of this huge development and a raft of bad ideas.

    Perhaps it is too quaint ab idea to leave well enough alone and let Hudson develop on its own one building at a time, but it seems to have worked out well so far.

    Big schemes with political overtones are not what built Hudson in the first place. There were simple ideas and industrious people directing the City.

    Can we please leave well enough alone ? That is the real beauty of Hudson -- its small scale and simple look. Preserve what we have.

    1. Like it or not, the migratory trend toward upstate is likely to continue, and Hudson sits on an Amtrak line, which makes it a desirable place for people to live. Moreover, as we have seen, the makeup of Hudson's government and politics make it an easy target for parasitic investors like Galvan and those who profit off the industry of poverty, like Enterprise Community Partners.

      There are of course ways to increase the housing supply without pilfering the middle-class tax base, like incentivizing the construction of accessory dwelling units along the alleys, but those initiatives need organization and effort, and are unlikely to succeed without charter reform to build a government structure that will help the city succeed and build the kind of job base that helps alleviate the economic hardship for people who live here.

    2. dear john kane,

      i wish you were right. However, the politicos in place have vested interests in making Hudson a haven not for those who can work, but for those seeking subsidies and a free ride.

      Hudson will end up as it was in the 1970s or 80s, a desolate welfare town if it is not left alone to blossom on its own. having been here for 25 years, i know what individual efforts can accomplish.