The group will select a proposal for the Golden Hill property and work to address critical housing needs across Ulster County
KINGSTON, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan today announced that the Ulster County Housing Development Corporation (UCHDC) held its first meeting to begin the process of creating workforce housing at the former Golden Hill Jail site. The five-member board is starting the process of reviewing proposals for the location and will look to select a developer by October. The formation of the UCHDC comes as a recent report(link is external) from the National Association of Realtors found that Ulster County saw the highest increase in home sale prices in the country in recent months with 17.6 percent increase over the same time in 2019.
“It’s more important now than ever that we redouble our efforts to ensure every single resident can afford to live with dignity here in our county. Throughout the pandemic we have seen our frontline workers work full-time to serve and protect us. We must make sure that they can afford to live in the community that they serve every day,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “The UCHDC will not only allow us to start the process of converting an unused property into housing, but it will also allow us to continue to explore ways to address the broader housing crisis that we are facing. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Legislature to tackle this critical need and ensure every Ulster County resident can afford to live with dignity here in our county.”
As part of County Executive Ryan’s Big Five priority to Grow and Diversify our Economy for All, County Executive Ryan identified the site of the former county jail on Golden Hill and established the UCHDC to work to develop this location as well as take a holistic view on affordable housing throughout Ulster County.
“The transfer of the Golden Hill property provides us an opportunity to address housing and other socioeconomic issues facing Ulster County,” Ulster County Legislative Chairman Dave Donaldson said. “Housing affordability is a top priority of mine and the Legislature, I look forward to working with the UCHDC to address these critical issues.”
“The UCHDC will play a critical role in putting a dormant property back on the tax rolls while addressing the need for affordable housing,” Legislator Ken Ronk said. “Now more than ever, we need to work together to find creative solutions that meet these essential needs for the residents of Ulster County.”
“This is an important first step in bringing this long dormant parcel back to life while helping to solve the need for housing in Ulster County,” Legislator Brian Cahill said. “I look forward to hearing from the UCHDC as they explore opportunities while seeking input from all involved stakeholders.”
“The housing crisis in Ulster County has reached epidemic levels, we are beyond a mere crisis; this is a housing emergency,” Rashida Tyler of The Real Kingston Tenants Union said. “I support transferring the underutilized buildings at Golden Hill for the creation of housing that is affordable for the very people who have helped build this community, those who are working 2-3 jobs to remain in the County they grew up in and would like to raise their children.”
Back in April, County Executive Ryan established the Ulster County Recovery Task Force 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. The five-member Ulster County Housing Development Corporation members include Hayes Clement, Dave Donaldson, Dennis Doyle, Ken Ronk and Evelyn Wright.