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$65k check pays Bliss tenants’ back rent

Quintin Cross of the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition holds a ceremonial check from an anonymous donor for $65,085 to settle at least some unpaid rents at Bliss Tower. At right is Revonda Smith, chair of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, which operates Bliss. Photo by Jeanette Wolfberg

HUDSON—The Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) celebrated receiving a check May 27 from the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition (HCHC) to wipe out overdue tenant rent. The HHA will use the $65,085.44 lump sum payment to credit each of its pertinent tenants the amount owed the HHA as of April 18, 2022. The HCHC got the money from an anonymous donor.

The HHA runs a 135-unit income-restricted residential complex in Hudson. It consists of Bliss Tower and three low-rise residential buildings on its grounds in Hudson.

The HCHC is a “Black-lead initiative that empowers public housing and low-income tenants to fight for housing justice,” according to its website.

The celebration took place in the Bliss’ community room, where a HCHC banner decorated a table, and officials held an oversized copy of the check.

Aside from HHA officials, Hudson City officials, and the press, a handful of people (adults and children) attended.

‘We are in a huge crazy housing crisis. This shows that we are united and have resources.’

Revonda Smith, chair

Hudson Housing Authority

Board of Commissioners

Tiffany Garriga, founder and executive director of the Black Entrepreneur Market, said that the payment shows, “We stand by our community. We stand for our community. It’s not hard to represent the people we work for. People know that they have something to depend on, the HCHC, adding that people get to stay in their homes and, “We’re so extremely excited and proud.”

Revonda Smith, chair of the HHA Board of Commissioners said, “I would like to thank everyone. We are in a huge crazy housing crisis. This shows that we are united and have resources.”

Claire Cousin, vice-chair of the HHA Board and executive director of the HCHC and supervisor of Hudson’s First Ward, said in a statement advertising the event, “People deserve support with no questions asked… . We want to see people happy and housed…. It is a blessing to provide this opportunity of relief to our community.”

Those present at the ceremony also included Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson, Common Council President Tom DePietro, HCHC Senior Policy Advisor Quintin Cross, and HHA Interim Executive Director Nick Zachos.

A flier advertising the event proclaimed, “No More Evictions” three times.

Requests for information about the number of tenants the bailout affects were not answered by press deadline.

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