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Activists rally to push Hudson's Common Council to approve good cause eviction law

Aug 20, 2021 2:02 pm

Sam Raudins reports for Columbia Greene Media that local activists, mainly from the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition, rallied in Hudson Aug. 19 outside of Bliss Towers for eviction relief from local officials. The gathering comes before the Hudson Common Council is expected to vote on a good cause eviction law at its Sept. 21 meeting. The proposed law, similar to one passed recently in Albany, would require landlords to provide a detailed reason to a judge when evicting a tenant. New York City public advocate Jumaane Williams was among those gathered, and he spoke to the importance of having a home. “Someone’s home is connected to everything they do —it is hard to get well coming home from the hospital if you’re sick, if you don’t have a place to live,” Williams said. “It is harder for people to study coming home from school if they don’t have a place to live. Being able to rip that away from someone at a moment’s notice at the whims of anyone simply is not right.” Michael Gattine-Suarez, managing director of the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition, said there is currently a local housing crisis, as many New York City residents have bought property here. “Can someone please point these people out to me that are the small mom-and-pop landlords? Because all I see are people from New York City coming out here buying property, raising the rent and then go right back down in New York City with zero care about what’s going on over here,” Gattine-Suarez said. Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson was also there, and said the U.S. Census showed a 12 percent decrease in the population of Hudson over the last decade. He interpreted that data as people being priced out of the area. “This is something that advocates have been talking about for years,” Johnson said. “We’ve seen our school district have to consolidate. We’ve seen our hospital no longer work for birthing services, losing jobs.” In July, Albany became the first municipality in New York to pass a "good cause" eviction law. Besides making eviction's subject to a judge's oversight, the law also gives tenants a right to renew their lease, and protects them from an annual rent increase of more than five percent.