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Hudson River Housing Announces Devastating Cut in Federal Funding
for Dutchess County Veterans Programs

Executive Director Expresses Resolve to Keep Commitment to Veterans, Asks for Immediate Assistance from Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2017

Poughkeepsie, NY - Hudson River Housing, Inc announced today the US Department of Veterans Affairs notified the organization that its 2018 Supportive Services for Veteran Families application would not be funded. Hudson River Housing has been receiving grant funding from this program since 2012, and current funding expires September 30, 2017.

“Hudson River Housing has made a sustaining commitment to our Dutchess County veterans that we will be there for them in a time of need. It has been a privilege for our organization to serve those who have given so much for our country and the very least we can do to say 'thank you' for their selfless sacrifice on our behalf," said Christa Hines, Executive Director of Hudson River Housing. "But this news has a devastating and real impact on veterans who need housing assistance, and immediately threatens our ability to keep our promise of assistance to our local veterans. We are exploring all options to make up this funding in the short-term, and will need the help of our community to ensure we don't break our promise to Dutchess County veterans."

The funding, totaling $516,145 for the current fiscal year, enables Hudson River Housing to provide services for homeless veterans and their families as well as those at imminent risk of homelessness. Additionally, five full-time Hudson River Housing staff members, two of whom are veterans, are funded through this grant.
Since funding began in 2012, Hudson River Housing has served over 458 homeless or at-risk veteran families, exceeding targets. Services provided include outreach, housing location, counseling and rental assistance, financial planning, community resource links, employment assistance, transportation and other support needed to help veterans obtain and sustain housing. Additionally, many more veterans have received referral and other more limited assistance.

“Additionally disappointing is the only three week notice we received that this funding, after five years, would be completely eliminated. It also unfortunately magnifies the impact this action will have on those veterans we are currently serving and those who will need help in the future," said Hines. 

“However, we are determined not to let this inexplicable decision reverse the progress we have made as a county. In the coming days and weeks, we will be calling on our local elected officials, sustaining partners, and every Dutchess County resident to help us ensure we can continue to tell veterans that we are here when and if they need us. This is a significant and unprecedented challenge for our organization, but one I am hopeful we can meet," continued Hines. “I would also like to thank our Congressional Representatives, John Faso and Sean Patrick Maloney, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, NYS Senator Sue Serino and County Executive Marc Molinaro for their immediate action on our behalf after we received this news. It underscores how deep our regional commitment to our veterans is and is something Dutchess County should be proud of in the face of this devastating news.

Hudson River Housing has 30 open cases of homeless veterans, with an additional 10 new case on average each month. The cessation of this funding beginning October 1 will cause an immediate and serious impact on existing clients and any new veteran that needs assistance in Dutchess County.

Along with county, state, and federal partners, Hudson River Housing has been leading the effort over the last five years to ensure that no veteran who needs housing assistance here in Dutchess goes un-served. Its success at making certain any incident of veteran homelessness is brief, rare, and non-recurring has been recognized by the U.S. Interagency on Homelessness.


Hudson River Housing Announces New Executive Director


Contact: Elizabeth CelayaChrista Hines

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. - Hudson River Housing's Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Christa Hines as the agency's new Executive Director, effective immediately.

Ms. Hines’ career with the agency spans nearly twenty years, most recently as Associate Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. She brings to the position a passion to provide quality affordable housing to communities and compassionate services to those in need, along with a deep knowledge of finance and real estate development. Ms. Hines joined Hudson River Housing as Senior Accountant in 1998. Prior to joining Hudson River Housing, Ms. Hines held the position of Financial Manager for Dutchess County Child Development Council, Inc. She has also worked as a senior accountant with Sperry, Cuono, Holgate and Churchill, CPAs in Kingston, New York.

"I'm thrilled to be chosen as Executive Director for Hudson River Housing, an organization that I have been committed to for nearly two decades," says Ms. Hines. "I'm looking forward to guiding the organization through the next years of its development as we continue to grow in exciting ways that help us better serve our community."

Ms. Hines has deep roots in the Hudson Valley as a life-long resident of Rhinebeck, NY. She attended Binghamton University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.


Hudson River Housing Celebrates Opening of the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory


Contact: Elizabeth Celaya

Poughkeepsie, New York - Hudson River Housing has completed its nearly $7 million renovation of the historic Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory. The long-vacant structure is now home to 15 apartments and 7,000 sq. feet of commercial space. Hundreds joined the agency for a Grand Opening Celebration and open house on Thursday, March 30th.

The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory is the adaptive re-use of a historic mill building in the heart of Poughkeepsie’s Middle Main neighborhood. After decades of decline, Hudson River Housing has brought the building back to life as a dynamic hub of commercial, community, and residential space. It features 15 affordable and market rate apartments, a shared use commercial kitchen, a coffee roaster and coffee house, and multi-purpose arts spaces.

The Grand Opening Celebration included tours of the building, refreshments in the new Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen, coffee from North River Roasters, studio visits with resident artists, on-demand screen printing of commemorative t-shirts, information on Spark Media Project/Mill Street Loft arts programs, and more. Speakers include representatives from Hudson River Housing; Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro; City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison; Meghan Taylor, Director of Empire State Development Mid-Hudson Region; and Joanie Straussman, Regional Director for NeighborWorks America.

According to City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, "The City has been looking forward to this for several years. This building has already - and now will continue to - have a lasting positive impact not only on the upper end of Main St. but throughout the City as a whole. My congratulations to Hudson River Housing for making this into a reality."

The redevelopment of the factory is the anchor project in Hudson River Housing's work to revitalize the Main Street corridor as part of its Middle Main Initiative.  Since 2009 the agency has worked to create a strong, vibrant, and creative neighborhood in the heart of Poughkeepsie by engaging with residents and businesses, implementing neighborhood branding projects, and creating countless community partnerships.

"With this building, we take one big step forward to restoring the economic engine that is Main Street and supporting the residents, entrepreneurs, artists, and all who share a vison of a strong future for Poughkeepsie," stated Elizabeth Celaya, Hudson River Housing's director of organizational and community development.

Hudson River Housing is proud to steward the historic building into its next phase. The Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory property was built in 1874 as William S. Patten's Poughkeepsie Live Oak Leather Manufactury, and shortly thereafter became the Dutchess Manufacturing Company. By 1895 it was William Paulding's Cooperage.  In 1899 the Queen Undermuslin Company was incorporated, and in 1904 it moved from a location on Mill Street into this building. The building was remodeled to accommodate the unique offerings of Queen Undermuslins, and was highly regarded as a building entirely run on electricity: "One of the lightest, most sanitary, and most up-to-date factories in the city," according to a 1911 Poughkeepsie Eagle article.

The company produced 60,000 garments annually, exclusively for women and children. They were of a very high quality, winning top prize at the Galveston Cotton Carnival and Exposition. The owners of the factory, Robert Stuart and JC MacLean, were certainly progressive employers. Records show them as successful inventors and businessmen, "whose first interest is the promotion of the business, but next to that is the improving of the working conditions of the employees."  All employees were women and they were involved in resolving business disputes. The grounds were lauded for their beautiful condition, included a perfectly manicured privet hedge, a large flower bed at the front of the site, and even a tennis court for recreation for the employees!

Not much is known about the history of the building from the mid-20th century on. Later pictures show it as Central Press, but details have not yet been found about this operation. It was vacant by the 1990s. The building joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, forever cementing its place in history. 

The agency is currently soliciting applications for rental units in the building (income restrictions apply to eleven of the fifteen units) as well as from food producers interested in renting time at the shared use commercial kitchen. Those seeking more information should email or call (845) 337-0263. The coffee house, which will serve a selection of North River Roasters coffees and locally made baked goods, and will provide employment training to local residents, will open to the public on May 15th.


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Elizabeth Celaya

Director of Organizational & Community Development
(845) 454-5176 - Office

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