Housing authority asks City Council for payment reliefThe Hudson Housing Authority got less than it was looking for from the Hudson City Council Monday night. The authority’s board was looking for a significant reduction in the authority’s annual payment in lieu of taxes to the city.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson Housing Authority got less than it was looking for from the Hudson City Council Monday night.
The authority’s board, which operates the Croix View Apartments at 1015 Second St., was looking for a significant reduction in the authority’s annual payment in lieu of taxes to the city.
Instead, the council on a 5-1 vote capped the payment at $10,000 a year for the next five years.
While that is expected to save the public housing authority a little more than $1,000 in 2013, it isn’t the kind of relief it was looking for.
The authority’s payments in the previous five years averaged a little more than $9,300, according to a report from city Finance Officer Neil Soltis.
Jody Branson, the executive secretary for the 51-unit apartment complex, said the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has cut funding for public housing by 10 percent and asked authorities to approach their local governments for relief from payments in lieu of taxes.
The non-profit authority doesn’t pay real estate taxes, but agreed to make payments in lieu of taxes when Croix View was built in 1966.
The payments are 10 percent of rental income or the equivalent of what its tax obligation to the city would be, whichever is smaller.
Branson said meeting the payments wasn’t a problem early on, when the authority had renters with higher incomes and the facility was new. But now the authority receives less revenue from rent that is often limited to 30 percent of residents’ incomes, she said. And the apartment complex has more maintenance needs.
She said the building needs a new roof, siding and boiler heating system.
Alderperson Lori Bernard said she had a problem with the federal government pressing municipalities to make up for reductions in public housing funding.
“They print money. We can’t,” she said.
Later, Bernard added, “People are struggling all across the city.”
If the housing authority’s payment was reduced, that amount would have to be added to other property owners’ tax bills, she indicated.
Bernard noted that a payment in lieu of taxes of $10,000 a year amounted to less than $200 per apartment unit, or about $16 per month per unit.
Alderperson John Hoggatt countered that the authority provides a service to needy Hudson residents. He indicated that the building might fall into disrepair if the housing authority doesn’t have the funds it needs to maintain it.
Bernard made the motion to cap the authority’s annual payments at $10,000 for five years.
The motion carried on a 5-1 vote with Hoggatt opposing it.