Rising housing and rental prices across New York are a cause of anxiety and pain for many who face an increasing inability to afford them. For residents of Hudson public housing, local prices have risen so much that Section 8 low-income vouchers no longer cover an entire month’s rent in dilapidated Hudson Housing Authority apartments.

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For those that fall behind on their rent, eviction is once again a very real threat since the end of New York’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium in January. For most, the only step after eviction from the HHA is homelessness.

That’s where one anonymous benefactor has drawn the line and stepped up to help in a huge way.

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By way of the Hudson-Catskill Housing Coalition, an unknown Good Samaritan delivered $60,000 to the HHA on the grounds that all back rent for the city’s public housing tenants be paid off. According to the HHA, this donation helped more than 50 renters who owed everywhere from hundreds to thousands on back rent.

There is no application process for residents – all money was distributed based solely on the need and not on perceived merit per the donor and the HCHC’s wishes. HHA interim executive director Nick Zachos says the relief in the community created by this donation is, “just enormous.”

The HHA is already struggling to house tenants, with 25 of the Authority’s 132 units sitting empty due to asbestos contamination, plumbing problems, and garbage disposal issues. Recent estimates place emergency repairs needed at somewhere around $10 million. The HHA is currently taking bids on new housing construction.

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