Groundbreaking Celebrates New Investment in First-Time Homeownership on Poughkeepsie’s Northside

On Thursday, October 21, 2021, Hudson River Housing hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the launch of our new investment in Poughkeepsie, the Northside Homeownership Program. The groundbreaking ceremony took place at 85 Smith Street in Poughkeepsie. 

85 Smith Street is one of three properties in Hudson River Housing’s Northside Homeownership Program, which also includes the construction of new 2-family homes at 101 Thompson Street and 31 Pershing Avenue. All will provide a place to call home and long-term rental income to income-qualified first-time homebuyers. Through a partnership with the Nubian Directions II, Inc YouthBuild program, construction of the homes will also provide training to City of Poughkeepsie youth.

85 Smith Street was once the site of a vacant home that was frequently visited by squatters and a site of drug activity until it experienced a fire in 2016. Following the fire, the building remained a safety concern and eyesore in the community. Working with the City of Poughkeepsie, Hudson River Housing acquired the property in 2017 and removed the blighted structure. Now, the site will become home to a new two-family house that will be sold to a first-time homebuyer earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income. 

The groundbreaking event included remarks by City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, 5th Ward Councilperson Yvonne Flowers, Nubian Directions Inc II Executive Director Robert Wright, and Hudson River Housing Executive Director Christa Hines. Hudson River Housing hosted Yani’s Food Sensation at the event, a Black-led Caribbean food business operating out of the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory that cooked up their signature empanadas for the surrounding neighborhood.  Prior to the start of the ceremony, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress was also on site collecting input for the City of Poughkeepsie Housing Needs Assessment.

The Northside Homeownership Program is part of Hudson River Housing’s long-term effort to build generational wealth and strengthen neighborhoods throughout the City of Poughkeepsie. 

As Hudson River Housing Executive Director Christa Hines said, “We believe very strongly that affordable housing is a critical foundation of thriving communities and especially that homeownership is one of the greatest ways for families and individuals to build long term wealth and achieve financial stability. By increasing opportunities for homeownership, we can work to combat some of the historic, racist housing policies that have hurt our communities and continue to widen the wealth gap for lower income families.”

Financing for the Northside Homeownership Program came from a $240,000 grant from New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s Affordable Housing Corporation.

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