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Barrett announces affordable housing funds for Columbia, Dutchess counties

Oct 20, 2023 1:03 am

Jammel Cutler reports for Columbia-Greene Media that on Oct. 19 Assemblymember Didi Barrett announced at a press conference $1.5 million affordable housing funds for Habitat for Humanity, and $1.5 million to the Dutchess County-based Hudson River Housing. State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was at the announcement, alongside Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, Common Council President Thomas DePietro, Hudson Housing Director Michelle Tullo, Canaan Town Supervisor Brenda Adams, and others. Heastie said, “This housing crisis isn’t just in New York. Recently, I was at a speakers conference in Utah. The Speaker there said the two biggest problems in Utah are affordable housing and climate. Across the nation, the issue is about people having a place to call home. We are in a crisis, and today is a small piece of what really needs to be done.” Al Bellenchia, director and CEO of Habitat for Humanity, said there will be income qualifications for the new homes, saying, “We’re working between 50% and 75% of the area median income.... That is between $40,000 and $55,000 for total household income. We’re talking to a number of towns and municipalities. We don’t have anything to announce yet, but we’re getting close.” Johnson said, “Affordable housing has been the No. 1 priority of my administration.... For the last two years we haven’t been able to field a high school football team because we don’t have enough students. When I think of affordable housing, there are a lot of misconceptions. These are people who work in our schools and grocery stores. They take care of us in the hospital. As we work on a local level to put over 100 new affordable housing units in the city in the last three years, it’s amazing to hear that there’s a state commitment as well, and that is what this should be all about: Local and state officials working together for the community.” Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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