Hudson County Exec. Guy highlights listening tour & affordability at 1st State of the County


Hudson County Executive Craig Guy announced a listening tour that will be coming to all 12 local municipalities, as well as highlighting housing and traffic safety efforts, at his first State of the County Address this afternoon.

Photo courtesy of Hudson County.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

Hudson County Board of Commissioners Chair Anthony “Stick” Romano noted Guy recently completed his first 100 days before introducing the man of the hour, who was elected to office for the first time in November.

Guy noted he was the chief of staff to his predecessor, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, and thanked those in the room who were also part of his administration as well. He indicated community feedback will be a hallmark of is administration.

“That’s why today I’m announcing a listening tour in each municipality to give every resident a voice in Hudson County,” he explained.

“Over the next several months, I will be traveling throughout the county to host conversations with residents, business owners, religious leaders, and others to gain insight into county concerns. I’m proud to announce the first of these events will take place on May 23rd in Jersey City.”

After also mentioned that community resource fairs are up and running, he said he wasn’t going to forget about his campaign pledge about housing and affordability.

“We know housing insecurity is a huge issue for Hudson County, which is why I am following through on my campaign platform to increase affordable housing opportunities,” Guy declared.

“Within 30 days of taking office, we were able to complete a groundbreaking transitional housing partnership agreement with the city of Jersey City. Thank you Mayor Fulop. Under this agreement, county clients now in transitional housing will receive priority placement into permanent housing through the Jersey City Housing Authority. This new partnership helps individuals move into permanent, affordable housing that is not time-limited.”

He continued that the Department of Family Services and Reintegration has been asked to focus heavily on this topic, pointing out that both online and in-person applications are available for anyone who needs housing assistance.

“In one four-day period, these offices served over 700 clients needing housing and welfare assistance,” Guy stated.

“We are looking to build new affordable housing units on county government property. Improving our process will improve opportunities for those in need of affordable housing. But actually building new affordable housing will do far more.”

He continued that roughly 1 in 12 families in Hudson County remain food insecure, according to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

“I have directed our Department of Health & Human Services to organize the county’s first-ever Food Insecurity Summit. We will explore partnerships with a range of entities, including third-party non-profits and qualified health centers, to develop new food pantries and food pharmacies,” Guy remarked.

“We have also begun discussions with non-profit partners to work on ways to further supplement SNAP benefits.”

Guy also cited his efforts to improve the local economy, mentioning a $5 million federal grant to rebuild Route 508 in West Hudson to the Wittpenn Bridge in Jersey City, as well as entering into a partnership with Hudson County Community College to give residents green infrastructure career certification and placement assistance.

The latter program was made possible with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“We’ve reached out to our business community and labor leaders to expand our County Summer Youth Employment/Trade Internship program. So students who want to start their careers in Hudson County are empowered to stay,” he explained.

“ … To continue expansion of opportunities for unemployed and underemployed adults, we have been working with the Hudson County/Jersey City Workforce Development Board Chair Roger Jones, the New Jersey Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Labor to improve outreach and opportunities.”

Guy also highlighted that the county launched a disparity study on February 1st to take a deep dive into how they can work more with diverse businesses.

“We will keep adding to our county’s green space, whether in Harrison, or in Union City, or right here in Jersey City, when we demolish the old Courthouse, as I call it, the ugly green building on Newark Avenue and replace it, with a beautiful, central green space,” he explained.

Guy noted the new County Courthouse complex is expected to be completed by this October.

He also explained the Hudson County Vision Zero Task Force is working to improve county streets, paths, and trails. Guy said they are working on reducing issues with busy streets and partnered with Rutgers University to study the issue.

“We have addressed some on a very light level. We put some bump outs on Communipaw. The whole (JFK) boulevard will be evaluated by the members of our Vision Zero task force,” he explained.

“Enforcement is only a piece of what we can do to slow traffic down. The synchronization of the lights.”

Guy explained they changed the traffic lights so they are less conducive to someone going very fast on certain stretches.

“Early this summer we’ll test out a new street design on one of Hudson County’s busy streets with opportunity for in-person and digital feedback,” he noted.

Jersey City has been working hard to reduce traffic accidents as part of its Vision Zero initiative.

“This is what our new direction is all about: an improved quality of life complete with service and opportunity,” Guy, who looks like a shoo-in to be the next Hudson County Democratic Organization chair, concluded.

The 20-minute speech streamed live on our Facebook page and can be viewed here.

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hcvcp/public_html/wp-content/themes/Hudson County View/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 353