At the beginning of the year, when the new councilmembers were being sworn in, Common Council president Tom DePietro delivered a speech in which he urged the newcomers to the Council to emulate former councilmember Rebecca Wolff, who brought $1 million to the City in the form of the anti-displacement grant from Enterprise Community Partners. DePietro said the impact of the grant would be felt long into the future. That statement is true in different ways.
Much of the $1 million went to finance initiatives that the City will have to support with its own resources going forward. The grant paid the salary of Housing Justice Director Michelle Tullo for the first year. In the future, it will become part of the city budget. Of the $1 million, $580,000 was seed money for the Housing Trust Fund, which is defined as "a fund of money that comes from consistent public revenue sources that will be used to create and preserve affordable housing in the City of Hudson." Those "consistent public revenue sources" seem to be, directly or indirectly, the taxpayers of Hudson. In the budget discussions last year, Tullo asked for $200,000 from the City: 10 percent of the City's ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds and 50 percent of the revenue from the lodging tax. (In actuality, only about $20,000 was allocated for the HFT in 2022 budget.)
The Housing Trust Fund Board of Trustees, made up Nick Zachos, Angellic Innamorato, Rebecca Wolff, Tom DePietro, Usha Berlin, and Dustin Duncan, is currently conducting a survey to help the board "make final decisions on how to allocate funds to improve housing affordability." What appears above is one of nine questions that make up the the survey. Since everyone in Hudson will be affected by the decisions made by this board, everyone should complete the survey, which can be accessed here. More information about the Housing Trust Fund can be found here.