New HHA director wants to hear from tenants

Jeffrey Dodson, executive director of the Hudson Housing Authority. Photo by Jeanette Wolfberg

HUDSON—As the new executive director of the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA), Jeffrey Dodson expressed interest in learning what is on residents’ minds and repeatedly urged residents to make appointments to speak to him. He made the offers at the July 18 regular HHA Board meeting, the first HHA meeting at which he has officiated.

The HHA runs the 135-unit income-restricted residences, which consist of the high-rise Bliss Tower and three low-rise buildings on its grounds in Hudson.

Mr. Dodson said he was there to “promote decent, safe, and sanitary housing,” as well as good customer service, adding, “Hopefully, great changes will be made at HHA.”

He comes from Newark and started as HHA executive director in late June. He said he can handle people’s concerns best if he talks to them by appointment, so he can make sure he has the “time and space” to give them the attention they deserve. For one thing, he will be equipped to take notes.

Public comment came at the beginning of the meeting, as per a change Mr. Dodson announced he was making. A resident reported that somebody is selling drugs “right in front of” a low rise building, at all hours of the day and night. Nearby cars have been vandalized, and the police have come. Children play in the area.

In addition, the resident reported finding the Bliss community room, which is supposed to be open all day, locked 90% of the time.

Mr. Dodson advised the resident to stop by his office and have a talk about these matters.

For new business, Mr. Dodson said the HHA will work on scheduling and arranging elections for its board. The HHA Board of Commissioners has seats for seven members, but currently only five are filled. Two seats are for tenant commissioners, elected by fellow HHA tenants, for two-year terms. Other seats are filled by appointment by the mayor of Hudson.

The next regular meeting of the HHA Board will take place Monday, August 15 at 6 p.m. in the Bliss community room.

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