County Executive Ryan and the Ulster County Legislature establish Housing Advisory Committee
County Executive Ryan signs legislation that calls for expansion of the City of Kingston Land Bank into a county-wide land bank
County Executive Ryan shares application information about the Ulster County Emergency Rental Assistance Program
KINGSTON, N.Y. – County Executive Ryan today signed two housing initiatives to help residents who have been impacted by COVID-19. County Executive Ryan signed a resolution from the Ulster County Legislature requesting that the City of Kingston Land Bank expand its jurisdiction outside of the City of Kingston to create a County-wide landbank, and to promote the use of county-owned lands for workforce housing. County Executive Ryan also signed a Resolution introducing the formation of a Housing Advisory Committee in partnership with the Ulster County Legislature. The Housing Advisory Committee will assess the causes and drivers of the shortage of affordable housing options to meet community needs and recommend strategies that the County can pursue to provide a healthy housing mix, in conjunction with municipal, business, and community partners.
“Addressing affordable housing is crucial for our recovery efforts,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “These initiatives will ensure that all residents have access to high-quality affordable housing. I encourage our frontline workers and any families and individuals struggling right now in the wake of the COVID-19 to apply for the rental assistance program. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Legislature to tackle this critical need and create more affordable housing for our residents.”
“The County has an ability to help the City of Kingston expand what is possible in terms of a land bank if we work together,” Ulster County Legislator Abe Uchitelle said. “This would provide crucial affordable workforce housing for families struggling to make ends meet. This strong partnership between the Ulster County Legislature and County Executive Ryan will be critical in solving our housing crisis, as would the City and the County partnering in the form of a land bank.”
“Our committee has been working closely with the County Executive and his staff to address the current and coming housing crisis in Ulster County,” Ulster County Legislator and Chair of Economic Development Brian Cahill said. “We share the urgency in the formation of the Housing Advisory Committee and anticipate a successful partnership in working towards a multi-faceted solution for today, tomorrow and a long time into the future.”
County Executive Ryan also provided new details regarding the County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Earlier this month, County Executive Ryan announced that the County is reallocating $150,000 from its Housing Rehabilitation Program to provide rental assistance payments to eligible households earning less than 80% area median income. RUPCO, has agreed to administer the program. Ulster County will honor its commitments to homeowners already in the program. In addition, the County will use the approximately $125,000 that will remain available for households that have the most needed repairs allowing these homeowners to safely remain in their homes.
The Emergency Rental Assistance program will target low and moderate-income families in compliance with CDBG requirements. The maximum assistance proposed is $3,000 for up to three months’ rental payments. This is in line with average rents for a one-bedroom apartment. Households will not be asked to contribute any portion of the current monthly income towards their rental payment.
Residents of all municipalities in Ulster County except those in the City of Kingston (which receives a direct CDBG allocation) will be eligible to apply. Additional information on how to apply will be released shortly. Eligible household requirements include:
- Complete the required forms
- Self-Certify that they earn less than 80% AMI;
- Demonstrate that they experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 and are unable to make rental payments;
- Have a current lease, or landlord agreement;
- Document that they were current on their rent as of March of 2020.
Applications from the Rental Assistance Program are now open and are available on the RUPCO website found here. Applications will close June 12th. Parties will be then chosen by a lottery system and awards will be announced by the end of June.
These new housing initiatives are a part of the Ulster County Recovery Task Force. Back in April, County Executive Ryan established the group to ensure a coordinated and compassionate response to the devastating socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on county residents. The Task Force specifically highlighted the need for housing for frontline workers fighting COVID-19.
There are currently 1,748 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 77 fatalities in Ulster County.
For additional information about COVID-19 visit: https://ulstercountyny.gov/coronavirus
Ulster County COVID-19 Hotline: 845-443-8888
NYS Coronavirus Information Hotline: 888-364-3065