Housing Committee

Housing Committee Membership

Ellen Levy, Chair. Email:  email hidden; JavaScript is required
Shirley Bresler
Joe Browdy
Tom Carty
Hank Henward
Joyce Lapenn
Maureen Rodgers
Tina Sharpe
Frank Upham
Joan Wallstein

Our Purpose

To preserve the unique character, culture and economic vitality of our community by ensuring that it welcomes and supports a diverse population, representative of every income level. Toward that goal, the Hillsdale Housing Committee is committed to preserving and increasing opportunities for low and middle-income individuals, couples and families to make Hillsdale their permanent home.

Our Programs and Activities

  1. Conduct research to measure the need for below market rate housing and recommend strategies to achieve a greater range of housing choices;
  2. Raise awareness among, and enlist the support of, key community interest groups about the need for a variety of housing options, including below market rate housing. Those groups include:
    • Hillsdale residents, homeowners and renters, permanent residents and weekenders
    • Elected officials
    • Real estate professionals and organizations
    • Church leaders
    • Social service organizations
  3. Explore successful examples of affordable housing activities in surrounding communities.
  4. Recommend changes to the current zoning ordinances and other local or State rules, if necessary, to facilitate the preservation of existing, and the creation of additional, lower cost housing for local residents, including seniors and working families, within the Town.

2012 Report

The Hillsdale Housing Committee had a busy year. We concentrated on enhancing the concept of Accessory Housing  as a means to increase the availability of affordably priced rental housing units in the Town.  This had been one of the recommendations  in the “Action Plan” of the Housing Needs Study, completed in late 2010. Here are our accomplishments:

Spring 2012 – worked on changes to Town’s Zoning Ordinance, Section 4.7-2, Accessory Housing. Presented to Planning Board in June, 2012 and passed by the Town Board in July, 2012. Also revised definition to Affordable Housing.

June, 2012 – Received Grant from the Fund for Columbia County, a program of the Berkshire-Taconic Community Foundation, to produce a brochure, The Accessory Apartments Program: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Accessory Apartment.

December, 2012 – Held panel discussion at the Roe Jan Library on Accessory Housing with the following panelists: Lee Heim, Building Inspector for the Town of Hillsdale; Mike Stertz, a local general contractor and expert in apartment conversions; Stephanie Lane, Executive Director of Housing Resources of Columbia County; and Pat Hare, a consultant for and owner of accessory apartments. Our banker, from the Bank of Greene County, was not able to be there. The program was moderated by Jocelyn Ayer, Program Director of HousingUs, an initiative of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Approximately thirty people attended. Howard VanLenten helped us with publicity and outreach.

We will be meeting in the next few weeks to scope out our next steps in encouraging the creation of additional affordable units in Town through a variety of means, including Accessory Housing development.

Various Notes

Committee Report, July 24, 2012

Committee Minutes, August 13, 2012