HUDSON—Repairs accomplished, pet policy and development plans received attention at the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meeting January 23.
The Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) runs the 135-unit income-restricted Bliss Towers and Columbia Apartments in Hudson. It is governed by a Board of seven commissioners, two of whom are tenants on HHA property. These two are Anthony Bennett and Mary Decker.
HHA Executive Director Jeffrey Dodson announced that repairmen have adjusted the big elevator at Bliss so that it makes no noise and fixed the small elevator’s door. Since then, he said, the elevators have been operating without issue. In addition, “there was a heating issue” in December, but Mr. Bennett kept Mr. Dodson up to date on the issue, contractors made needed repairs on the boiler and “since then we have had heat constantly and with no issues.”
On another matter Mr. Dodson said HHA received reports of residents keeping “unauthorized pets.” Now these pets have been turned over to the Humane Society.
Ms. Decker thanked Mr. Dodson for taking care of this problem. The board plans to revamp the pet policy, added Board Chair Revonda Smith.
Ms. Decker reported other tenants have complained to her about people taking carts from the Bliss laundry room for their own use and leaving some on residential floors.
Mr. Dodson reminded the meeting that the HHA is serious about plans to redevelop its property, this process will probably require relocating Bliss tenants, and how good a tenant’s rehousing options can depend on how compliant the tenant is with policies such as rent payments and pet regulations.
The HHA submitted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on November 3 to find developers to partner with it in designing and constructing the redevelopment. On December 12 Mr. Dodson reported, HHA gave a tour to “nearly 20 developers” who had shown interest since the RFQ was issued.
The project is expected to require more land than the HHA currently has. The City of Hudson has made three city-owned lots available to the HHA for half their appraised values if the HHA decides to buy any of them within two years. Which ones it actually buys would depend on the development design HHA chooses and the partner it selects.
In response to the RFQ, developers raised some questions. Answers appear on the HHA’s website:
•The additional land is “available as is. HHA will expect the selected development partner to review the site”;
•As for the HHA’s current tenants, “the HHA will participate and assist in the relocation of tenants. HHA anticipates that the relocation cost will be part of the development budget”;
•Rent rolls and occupancy rates “will be made available to select the development partners,” the website continues. What this means, Mr. Dodson explained on January 26, is that “after a development partner is selected we will… most likely provide the total number of apartments at Bliss and Columbia Apartments” broken down by the number of bedrooms. “The names of residents will not be necessary to formulate plans for development,” he said.
Mr. Dodson also said, “The Housing Authority will determine if the residents are in an appropriately-sized unit based on what is needed and wanted to house” current and possible future families.