Hudson Launching Anti-Displacement Housing Assistance Fund
In Partnership with St. Catherine’s Center for Children and Columbia County Department of Social Services
Rental assistance is available for low-income residents at risk of immediate displacement who may not otherwise qualify for existing emergency funding.Hudson, NY: The City of Hudson and the Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency (HCDPA) are launching an emergency housing assistance program named Hudson Roots, providing rapid-release funds for low-income Hudson residents at immediate risk of displacement. Hudson Roots is made possible through a new partnership with St. Catherine’s Center for Children (St. Catherine’s), and funded by an anti-displacement grant recently awarded to the City of Hudson and HCDPA. Alongside other strategies to address the root causes of Hudson’s displacement crisis in the long term, Hudson Roots responds to the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income residents by providing rental assistance.
Hudson Roots will support Hudson residents with funds for back rent, 1st months rent, security deposits, and rental subsidies, along with optional case management and advocacy support for residents to seek and secure affordable housing. Those eligible for assistance are (1) City of Hudson residents (2) with an annual income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI), (3) who are unable to access assistance through other means, and (4) who are at risk of imminent displacement due to income loss, rent increases, building sale, utility debts, or other expense increases, such as medical expenses. In Hudson, 80% AMI means a four-person household earning $65,050 or less annually, a 1 person household earning $45,550 or less annually, with other adjustments for household size.
To apply, contact Dave Healy at St. Catherine’s Center for Children via phone at (518) 728-7239, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We are proud to partner with the City of Hudson and Columbia County Department of Social Services in this effort to support residents of Hudson who are at-risk of losing their homes," said Frank Pindiak, executive director of St. Catherine's Center for Children. "Hudson Roots is a welcome approach to the issue of housing displacement for residents of Hudson who may not have other alternatives. We look forward to this collaboration, and congratulate the City of Hudson and their partners for their strategic vision that took Hudson Roots from planning to reality."
Many Hudson residents at risk of displacement can’t access already existing emergency funds because of the eligibility requirements. Often, living in market-rate housing or paying above 30% of one’s income for housing will make residents ineligible for housing assistance programs. Hudson Roots makes emergency funds available for renters who wouldn’t otherwise qualify. In some cases, rent relief through Hudson Roots will also unlock access to additional funding, because relief-adjusted rents may meet the criteria for DSS funds. In this way, Hudson Roots can leverage the anti-displacement granting funds to create a multiplying effect on available assistance, centering a streamlined funding process around residents’ immediate needs rather than existing benefit formulas that often fail to prevent displacement.
“The Hudson Roots Housing Assistance Program is a creative and flexible response to preventing the housing displacement of Hudson City Residents” said Tina Sharpe, Executive Director of Columbia Opportunities Inc, who supported the grant application and provided feedback during the planning phase. “Many Hudson residents struggle with the lack and loss of affordable housing. The situation has been made much worse by the COVID 19 Pandemic. Rent relief is one of the strategies required to meet the housing needs of our friends and neighbors. We look forward to learning about the other strategies that will be offered by this network.”
Hudson Roots is funded by portions of a one million dollar grant for implementing strategies to address displacement of communities of color, released to the City of Hudson and the HCDPA in February 2021. The grant was awarded by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise), in partnership with the New York State Attorney General. Hudson was one of ten cities participating in the New York State Anti-Displacement Learning Network. Since the Network’s launch in January 2020, state officials, leaders, and nonprofit partners have worked collaboratively with local stakeholders to identify particular triggers of displacement in communities of color and design targeted approaches to address them. The awarded applicants demonstrated an understanding of local causes of displacement, a history of collaborating, and a commitment to preserving and stabilizing neighborhoods facing high rates of displacement. Hudson will now implement these high-impact strategies locally with plans aiming to preserve community stabilization and allow residents to remain in their homes.
The Hudson grant application was led by Council Members Rebecca Wolff and Calvin Lewis, Mayor Kamal Johnson, County Supervisor and Mayoral Aide Michael Chameides, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood service provider Serria McGriff, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement Organizer Luisa Thillet, and Galvan Foundation Vice President of Initiatives Dan Kent.
“People are struggling during the pandemic and we’re doing everything we can to get support to people who need it most” says Johnson. “This grant program is an innovative solution to long-standing housing pressures.”
Since January 2020, the Anti-Displacement Learning Network (ADLN) team has been engaging in learning sessions with Enterprise and the nine anti-displacement learning network cohorts from around New York State. The team also conducted interviews with people at risk of displacement and with staff at organizations that provide housing services. The team also researched past studies and outreach.
“The foundation of our community is our residents,” says Chameides. “This program will keep Hudson residents in Hudson.”
In addition to Hudson Roots, the grant will also fund the creation of Hudson’s Affordable Housing Development Plan. The plan, led by Pattern for Progress, will review developable properties, funding opportunities, and development feasibility in order to create a document that recommends the operations, timeline, and partnerships for developing affordable housing.
The grant will also fund a new staff position to manage the grant, expand outreach to people of color at risk of displacement, increase coordination between organizations that provide housing services, and carry out the goals of Hudson’s Strategic Housing Action Plan (SHAP). The SHAP identified creating a housing-focused staff position as a top priority action.
The bulk of the grant is reserved to seed a Housing Trust Fund for future anti-displacement projects. The Housing Trust Fund will be created this year and will include spending criteria, governance structure, and strategic planning.
“Congratulations to Mayor Johnson and the City of Hudson on receiving the Anti-Displacement Learning Network Grant!” says Assemblymember Didi Barrett. “The importance of a safe and stable home has been highlighted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and this important grant will help the city formulate a plan to address the challenge of displacement in our ever-changing community. I wish the city the best of luck in implementing their Housing Assistance Program.”
The program builds ongoing efforts to support low-income residents during the pandemic, including Universal Basic Income pilot program, job fair, and covid resources.
About St. Catherine’s
St. Catherine’s Center for Children was founded as an orphanage in Albany in 1886. Today, St. Catherine’s is a regional human services provider offering a comprehensive range of human services for children, families, and adults coping with issues of homelessness, abuse, neglect, mental illness, and access to health care. In addition to offering extensive services to the homeless and those who are at-risk of becoming homeless, St. Catherine’s offers residential
services for children ages 5 to 13, therapeutic foster care services, a special-education elementary school, and community-based services and programs designed to strengthen vulnerable families and adults. For more information, visit www.st-cath.org.
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