Speaker Heastie Visits Columbia County to Discuss Solutions to the Rural Affordable Housing Crisis on Annual Statewide Tour

Speaker Carl Heastie made another stop on his annual statewide tour today, visiting Columbia County with Assemblymember Didi Barrett to discuss solutions to solving the affordable housing crisis plaguing rural communities. 

“I want to thank Assemblymember Barrett for inviting me to tour the Hudson Valley and speak to the changemakers seeking to make rural housing more affordable,” said Speaker Heastie. “The Assembly Majority has worked to make affordable housing more accessible across the state, but we know our work still isn’t done. By working with community partners and listening to our residents we can ensure housing is available at a fair cost for all.”

“I’m honored to have Speaker Heastie join us today to tour our region and discuss solutions to building housing that’s more affordable and energy efficient for the next generation of Hudson Valley families,” said Assemblymember Barrett. “Our rural communities must not be left behind during discussions about making housing across the state more affordable. Though rural towns face unique challenges not faced by our urban or suburban communities, I’m confident that by working with these and other thoughtful partners we can develop the smart housing to keep our neighbors in place and attract new families to the area.”

Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Barrett today made stops in Columbia County to discuss the rural affordable housing crisis with organizations that are on the ground working to find affordable housing options available in the county. The first stop of the tour was at a Habitat for Humanity build site where they were joined by Columbia County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Al Bellenchia and Columbia County Housing Coordinator Chris Brown. The second stop was the Hudson Housing Authority, where they spoke with Hudson Housing Authority Executive Director Jeffrey Dodson. These community members are working to find new housing models to not only account for the diverse set of median income levels in Columbia County but the needed housing scale distinctive to rural areas. If successful, these affordable housing solutions could be applied to urban areas across the state.