E.M. Forster, the famed novelist, wrote this passage in “A Room with a View”: “The situation was so glorious, the house so commonplace ... and yet the house ... was the home of people who loved their surroundings. ...”

The Galvan Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement was approved Wednesday, clearing the way for construction of between 138 and 158 new housing units in Hudson. In a housing-strapped city like Hudson, it reminds us that fulfilling basic needs and economic development walk hand in hand.

Nine 1,000-square-foot commercial spaces will be on the ground floor and preference will be given to women- and minority-owned businesses. Galvan also plans to build a park. The apartments will be built on 7th Street and State Street. Mayor Kamal Johnson and the Hudson Common Council have been working to get more affordable housing in a city that is undergoing a period of gentrification.

Some city residents are also hoping a new development like Galvan’s will beget more development and set aside, at least for now, the penchant for building hotels. Critics say the rush to build new hotels in Hudson will only crowd out spaces where permanent housing is more urgent.

The Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition, which is active in housing issues on both sides of the Hudson River, applauded the Galvan project, calling the need for housing dire in Hudson.

We are pleased that the city planning board and Industrial Development Agency are taking an important step forward to address concerns over a mounting housing crisis. Hudson needs more houses, commonplace or otherwise, that will become homes for people who love their surroundings.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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