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.