Hudson school board, so far, not signing off on affordable housing projects
Jammel Cutler reports for Columbia-Greene Media that Hudson school officials were mum on Sept. 12 about a document they need to sign for affordable housing projects to move forward in that city. Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson showed up at the meeting to get the school board officials to sign off on the affordable housing project, but they refused to commit. Johnson said, “We have a housing project.... We are looking for a letter to OK the project. A stipulation says if this property is not used as a park, it will need an OK from the school board. This was given to the school board attorney in June of 2023, and we have not heard any followup or discussions since then. The reason why there’s a sense of urgency and why I had to show up at the board meeting is that we want to get all these projects into the early funding round, so we need this stipulation dealt with.” Hudson Board of Education Vice President Mark DePace said, “We are aware of this conversation about the potential land use.... We are aware of the city’s interest in considering land for affordable housing. We welcome any discussion with the city administration, and we’re committed to weighing options that are in the best interest of the community and children of the city of Hudson. When we have more information, it will be available when it’s appropriate.” DePace also said, “We have to discuss them with our legal team,” and Johnson asked back, “Haven’t you done that since June?” And then DePace answered, “We don’t have any further comments at this point.” The three proposed affordable housing projects in Hudson are a 21-unit mixed residential and commercial building on State and 4th Street; a 60-unit apartment complex on Mill Street across from Charles Williams Park; and two three-bedroom townhouses on Rossman Avenue each featuring a three-bedroom rental unit that allows affordable home buyers to become first-time landlords. Johnson said, “We had 500 students graduate this year countywide. This is one of the lowest numbers we had. Housing is an immediate need. It’s the reason we can’t find any teachers, especially those of color, and the reason why we can’t fill positions in all our services, including our hospitals.... Right now, our city is at a pivotal point where I see a lot of divisiveness around rental cost and housing, and I don’t want to be that politician that says this issue is happening everywhere,” Johnson said. “I’d rather be the one that says I’m trying to do something about it. These projects are extremely important to the future of Hudson.” Read more about this story in HudsonValley360.com.