Tuesday December 5th
6:30 - 8:00pm
Protecting Columbia County’s farms, forests, and water sources while addressing the need to create more affordable homes are two critical challenges facing our community. Solutions for meeting both needs do not have to be at odds, and if done well these efforts can complement and support each other. Join the Columbia Land Conservancy’s Special Projects Advisor Marissa Codey and Columbia County Habitat for Humanity’s CEO Al Bellenchia as they describe how collaborations and partnerships among the two sectors can achieve positive outcomes for all.
Register HERE to join the conversation!
Hosted by the Columbia Land Conservancy, Community Conversations is an opportunity to join local experts and community members virtually. This program series addresses important issues, from affordable housing to food insecurity, and their connection to conservation. One-hour Zoom sessions will include brief presentations, time for questions and answers, and the opportunity to connect with others. Mark your calendars! The next Community Conversations will take place on: January 9, February 6, and March 5.
Photo (left to right): David Oldrich ‘24, Mark Costanzo ‘24, Robert Hunter ‘24, Emma Holmberg ‘23, Amara Gabriel ‘23
Columbia County Habitat for Humanity is proud to announce that its charter club at Ichabod Crane High School recently held elections of officers for the 2023-24 school year. Robert Hunter ‘24 was elected President; Mark Costanzo ‘24 was elected Vice President; Amara Gabriel ‘23 and David Oldrich ‘24 were elected as co-Treasurers; and Emma Holmberg ‘23 was elected as Secretary.
The Habitat for Humanity Club at Ichabod Crane High School works with Columbia County Habitat for Humanity to help support its mission of building safe, decent, and affordable housing for working families throughout the county. The club meets monthly and is open to any student attending Ichabod Crane High School. The club was first organized by long-time Ichabod Crane faculty member Judy Bury in 1996 and she is still involved today serving as co-advisor along with History teacher Randy Goold.
The club is currently raising funds with Little Caesars Fundraising Program. Proceeds from the sales will support the club's activities and a donation will be made to Columbia County Habitat.
Columbia County Habitat for Humanity is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023 and has recently unveiled a new design for its future affordable starter home building projects that will allow it to increase production of safe, affordable homes for the County’s average-wage workers. Incorporating energy-efficient construction and systems along with a scalable design, Columbia County Habitat will be constructing a variety of homes to meet a diverse range of needs and is currently exploring and discussing potential building sites in several County municipalities.
Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Speaker Carl Heastie Announce $3 Million in Funding for Affordable Housing
Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Columbia / Dutchess Counties) and New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced $3 million dollars in funding to support the construction of affordable housing in Columbia and Dutchess Counties. $1,500,000 in funding was allocated to Columbia County Habitat for Humanity to create more affordable homes for first-time homeowners and the other $1,500,000 allocated to Dutchess County-based Hudson River Housing for the development of affordable rental units. Both of these organizations have committed to investing significant funds for affordable housing – ownership and rental - in the City of Hudson, which continues to face a profound housing crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank Speaker Heastie for his generous support of my district and for recognizing the particular obstacles we face in the rural Hudson Valley region that make the development of new affordable housing challenging, including the smaller scale of our communities, local zoning restrictions, inadequate water and sewer infrastructure, workforce shortages and the rising cost of construction,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett. “We all know that housing is a statewide crisis and we tried in the last budget to start to address this. But it is clear to me that there is no one size fits all solution.”
“The Assembly Majority remains committed to supporting our local communities in making housing fair and equitable for all,” said Speaker Heastie. “This funding will ensure our rural communities are not left on the sidelines on our mission to make housing affordable for New Yorkers all across the state.”
“Hudson River Housing is deeply honored and grateful to receive this monumental award from Assemblymember Didi Barrett. We recognize this award as a significant milestone for our organization that will further propel us in our mission and commitment to create the housing opportunities that our communities so desperately need and deserve. It stands as a testament to our remarkable staff and the valued partners we have at Hudson River Housing,” said Hudson River Housing Executive Director Christa Hines. “Most importantly, it is a responsibility that we are privileged to take on with the utmost dedication and vigilance.”
“We are profoundly grateful to the Speaker and Assemblymember Barrett for their continued support. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary and our new plan to build more homes more often, these funds will enable us to accelerate our program and serve more average wage and lower income families in our community,” said Columbia County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Al Bellenchia. “We are truly building the future together. One that’s affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient.”
“Assemblymember Didi Barrett is out front explaining that there is no way to preserve and protect New York State’s rural communities like Hudson, Philmont, Ancram—their economy and ecology—without affordable housing opportunities for its rural workforce.” said renowned architect Dennis Wedlick.
“Today’s announcement by our Assemblymember showed a commitment to housing for the future of our communities. Housing is a human right and necessity and we as elected officials need to make sure we are fighting to fulfill those needs.” said Hudson City Mayor Kamal Johnson.
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Barrett made the announcement at a home built by Columbia County Habitat for Humanity currently owned by Iftakher Chowdury and Shanaj Begum. These townhouses were built using passive energy design and engineering. A "passive house" is one that can maintain a constant comfortable indoor temperature, year-round, with little need for heating or air-conditioning by using advanced wall framing and state-of-the-art insulation techniques and can cut external energy consumption by 90 percent.
Columbia County Habitat for Humanity has unveiled a new design for its future affordable starter home building projects that will allow it to increase production of safe, affordable homes for the County’s average-wage workers.
Incorporating energy-efficient construction and systems along with a scalable design, Columbia County Habitat will be constructing a variety of homes to meet a diverse range of needs and is currently exploring and discussing potential building sites in several County municipalities.
The new expandable design concept will provide affordable, efficient, and sustainable housing for local working residents: 3-4 bedroom/2 bath homes and a 2 BR/1 BA home with an accessory rental unit, which will allow a family to own a home that might otherwise be unaffordable, all while providing a much needed additional rental unit in the marketplace.
“Columbia County Habitat is committed to providing home ownership opportunities for households with incomes between 50 and 75% of Area Median Income (AMI.) This demographic has been shut out of the real estate market in recent years by stagnant incomes, increasing property values, rising taxes and the lack of affordable new starter-home construction,” said Al Bellenchia, CEO and Chief Executive of Columbia County Habitat.
The new starter home designs include a replicable building model that balances sustainability and cost, and high quality with affordability. Key features will include:
Columbia County Habitat commissioned Hillsdale-based architect Dimitri Brand and his company Holesum Studio to develop an efficient, scalable, sustainable and affordable concept that could work in a variety of locations found in Columbia County.
“This design works for infill housing in denser towns, as a one-off house, as a neighborhood, or as a series of houses on an existing road or parcel,” Dimtri Brand said.
Columbia County Habitat anticipates its first building project with this new home design to break ground in the summer of 2024.
Habitat Helping Hands was launched in March of 2022 by Columbia County Habitat for Humanity to help senior citizens and low-income homeowners make critical safety and accessibility-related repairs and upgrades to their homes. This program brings together community partners to improve the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable homeowners in Columbia County and ensure families and seniors can remain independent and safe at home.
Habitat Helping Hands currently has openings for new projects. Some examples of past projects include the construction of wheelchair ramps, repairs to porches and steps and the installation of grab-bars and railings. Seniors, low-income and/or disabled homeowners are encouraged to apply by visiting www.HabitatHelpingHands.com or by calling 518-828-0892.
Habitat Helping Hands is managed by Construction Project Manager, Mike Tizekker of Elizaville. Mike leads volunteers on each project and is always willing to teach people new skills as they work together helping neighbors in the community. Volunteers are always needed to keep up with the demand for this valuable service. While those with construction experience are always appreciated, the only experience necessary to volunteer is the willingness to help a fellow neighbor and make a difference in their community.
Habitat Helping Hands is also seeking partnerships with local contractors in order to expand the scope of services offered in the future. Contractors will be compensated at an agreed-upon per diem rate. Contractors willing to donate a percentage of their time will benefit from marketing exposure of their business on the Columbia County Habitat website, in email communications and in social media channels. Interested contractors are encouraged to sign up at columbiacountyhabitat.org/contractors.
In October of 2022, the Habitat Helping Hands program earned statewide recognition at the New York State Conference of Habitat Affiliates as Best New Program of the Year. To date, Habitat Helping Hands has completed 28 projects across Columbia County in Hudson, Hillsdale, Kinderhook, Canaan, Craryville, New Lebanon, Valatie, Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Falls, Elizaville and Philmont. Habitat Helping Hands is generously supported by Ed Herrington, Inc., Greylock Federal Credit Union, The Dyson Foundation, Columbia County Libraries Association, Columbia-Greene Community College, and the Hudson River Bank & Trust Foundation.
You helped us build, now let’s celebrate together!
You are cordially invited to help celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Columbia County Habitat for Humanity on Thursday October 26th from 5 til 7pm in the ReStore.
To celebrate, we will be having hors d'oeuvres and an assortment of locally-produced beer and wine. At 6 pm, we will have a champagne toast to honor the past 30 years of community-supported construction in Columbia County; and kick off our new affordable home construction program.
Come show your support for affordable housing by joining us on October 26 in this celebration of community-supported construction.
On Saturday, August 12th, Anthony D’Argenzio of This Old Hudson and Zio and Sons will celebrate his partnership with The Columbia County Habitat ReStore in Hudson with an open house event. Join us from 11am-2pm, when Anthony will be in-store to meet with customers one-on-one. Shop the ReStore and Anthony’s curated ReStore Collection, get expert tips for your next design project, or ask Anthony your real estate questions. This event is the official kick-off to the on-going philanthropy partnership created between Mr. D’Argenzio and Columbia County Habitat earlier this year. There will be a series of activations both in-store and online. Follow along to see how you can get involved with this great cause.
“At This Old Hudson, we're passionate about making a positive impact on our community, and we know that the Hudson ReStore shares that same commitment. Together, we can work to create a sustainable future for the Hudson Valley by keeping materials out of landfills and offering quality home goods and building materials at affordable prices”, explains D’Argenzio. “Most of us have unused household items in our barns, basements, or garages. Instead of throwing unused household items away, I urge you to consider making tax-deductible donations to the Hudson ReStore. And when we contribute to Columbia County Habitat, our donations stay in the community to support the building of affordable homes for hard-working local families.”
As founder of Zio and Sons, a bespoke agency for a variety of creative and design services, Anthony D’Argenzio uses his style smarts and discerning taste to develop an impeccable, irresistible real estate portfolio through This Old Hudson. The Zio and Sons and This Old Hudson brands have been featured in The New York Times, Hudson Valley Magazine, Domino, Architectural Digest, and Condé Nast Traveler. His burgeoning real estate business is thriving at the intersection of hard-won expertise, hyperlocal Hudson Valley knowledge and passion for helping connect people and properties.
Join us after work on Tuesday May 23rd from 5 to 7pm for a Chamber Business After Hours 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗲! Mingle with friends and make new connections as you browse the ReStore. Who knows what you'll find! Enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres, beers from Chatham Brewing and assorted wines as you learn how shopping at ReStore helps build affordable homes and saves the planet!
𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘍𝘙𝘌𝘌 𝘌𝘝𝘌𝘕𝘛 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤...𝘸𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘴𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳'𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘣𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘸𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶! https://tinyurl.com/BAH-5-23-23
What an amazing and fun evening we had this past Saturday at Meissner's Auction Service where we held our 𝗕𝗮𝗴𝘀, 𝗕𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 charity auction. Dolores and her team really made it a fun event and everyone left with a little more bling! The money raised will help a hardworking local family finally realize the dream of homeownership. (Scroll down to see the pics!)
Special thanks go to Chatham Wine & Liquor, (drink) Chatham, Kinderhook Bottle Shop and Show Pony Wines & Spirits for providing a wonderful assortment of wine that was enjoyed by all...and surely helped increase bids in some of the auctions!
A very special THANK YOU to McNan's Variety Foods in Philmont for providing some AMAZING sandwich trays for this event...including one whole tray of gluten-free and vegan options!
BECOME A HABITAT HOMEOWNER
LEARN HOW ON
Monday, May 8th at 5:30pm
Philmont Public Library
Learn how to become a Habitat Homeowner! Join us for an informational session where we will outline how to apply to become a Habitat Partner Family. Learn about the qualification process and how families are selected. Application packets will be available to take home and prepare for submission.
Habitat homes are purchased by families through an affordable mortgages from a local bank or other lending partner who specializes in affordable homeownership lending. Along the way, Habitat also prepares our families for successful homeownership through home-buyer education classes that are completed before they close on their homes and begin paying their affordable mortgages.
Our program is straightforward, based on three criteria:
Space is limited and pre-registration is required!