Columbia Co. agencies partner to expand housing services
Nov 10, 2020 6:00 am
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia County Department of Social Services has partnered with St. Catherine’s Center for Children, the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and Columbia-Greene Continuum of Care to expand housing services and support for residents affected by COVID-19. The initiatives are funded through a $253,000 grant from New York state through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. About 27.6 percent of Columbia County residents rent their home, according to the 2019 state comptroller’s Housing Affordability report. The median rent in Columbia County is roughly $886 per month and the median renter’s income is just under $35,000. “Housing has been an issue for many, many years, and COVID has really just increased the threat people have around becoming homeless,” Hudson 3rd Ward Supervisor Michael Chameides said. “This is a collaborative response with multiple agencies in the county working together to try and address and ameliorate this problem.” New York state imposed a moratorium on evictions in March, which prevents landlords and property owners from evicting tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19. The moratorium expires January 1, meaning tenants can once again be evicted if they cannot pay their rent. The need for legal and housing assistance is expected to increase over the coming months. “The economic impacts of COVID-19 have particularly impacted those at risk of homelessness and the working poor," Columbia County Social Services Commissioner Robert Gibson said. “This program will help alleviate some of those stresses and keep people housed.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.