Ribbon Cutting for Ulster County
June 4, 2024

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction to Rehabilitate Over 200 Affordable Apartments in Ulster County

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction to Rehabilitate Over 200 Affordable Apartments in Ulster County
Project Will Upgrade and Preserve Affordable Housing at Three Properties in Kingston, Saugerties, and the Town of Ulster

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that construction has begun to rehabilitate 212 affordable apartments at three properties in Ulster County. The project includes site acquisition and preservation of 26 residential buildings in the cities of Kingston and Saugerties, and the town of Ulster. The properties will undergo extensive capital improvements, including sustainability upgrades and introduction of new energy-efficiency measures.

“To make housing more accessible and affordable, we need to increase supply and preserve the homes we already have,” Governor Hochul said. “This project in the Hudson Valley provides over 200 households with piece of mind that they’ll have a modern and affordable place to call home for years to come. My administration is working around the state to invest in housing growth that strengthens our communities and makes New York an affordable, safe and healthy place to live.”

The work announced today will take place at the 80-unit Birchwood Village in Kingston, the 60-unit The Birches at Saugerties in Saugerties, and 72-unit Chambers Senior Housing in the town of Ulster. All 212 units will be affordable to households whose incomes are at or below 90 percent of the Area Median Income.

Sustainability measures will include increased insulation to reduce air leaks, new windows and weatherization, energy-efficient appliances, low-flow bathroom fixtures, insulated plumbing, replacement of HVAC systems, and new lighting. Combined, these measures will reduce energy use by an estimated 14 percent across all three properties.

The project will also preserve existing affordable units, enabling the senior residents to age in place and all residents to continue to have access to pharmacies and healthcare facilities, public transportation, retail, and recreational spaces.

In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved more than 9,000 affordable homes in the Hudson Valley. This Ulster portfolio continues this effort and is part of Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.

At each location, the project includes structural improvements, new mechanical systems, repaired flooring and drywall, roofing and siding refurbishments, accessibility upgrades, landscaping improvements, and curb repairs.

HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “We need all the tools in our toolbox as we tackle the housing crisis. By preserving our existing housing stock, we can help New Yorkers remain in the communities they love while protecting critical affordable apartments. Our investments in these Ulster County properties will improve quality-of-life for more than 200 households and help reduce the carbon footprint of these three developments. We thank Governor Hochul for her continued efforts to invest in our communities and to our partners for making this comprehensive project a reality.”

State Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “Ulster County, like many communities across our state, faces an affordable housing shortage, and we need to protect the housing we have as we work simultaneously to increase supply. These capital improvements, accessibility upgrades, and energy-efficiency enhancements mean that families can keep calling Ulster County home and that their homes remain safe, sustainable, and affordable for years to come.”

Assemblymember Sarahana Shrestha said, "50.4 percent of my constituents are rent-burdened. People are having a hard time staying, and kids who grew up here and moved away can hardly afford to move back to start their families anymore. We need all the investments in affordable housing that we can get to alleviate the crisis here in Ulster County. I look forward to working with the Department of Homes and Community Renewal to make this project a success."

Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger said, “Addressing the housing crisis is not just about expanding affordable housing but also about preserving the affordable housing we currently have, and these three rehabilitation projects represent a significant investment by NYS Homes and Community Renewal to improve and enhance hundreds of rental units, including energy-efficiency upgrades that will benefit of our residents for many years to come. I want to thank Governor Hochul and HCR for their continued commitment to helping meet the need for quality affordable housing in Ulster County.”

Ulster Town Deputy Supervisor Clayton Van Kleeck said, “Cooperation and concerted efforts between government agencies and private businesses are critical in the creation and maintenance of affordable housing. This renewed investment shows an appreciation for past work and a vision for the value of long-term maintenance and improvements in affordable housing.”

Saugerties Town Supervisor Fred Costello, Jr. said, “The current housing crisis in Ulster County underscores the importance of the relationships that the Town of Saugerties has with both HCR and Beacon Communities to maintain and expand quality housing opportunities for residents of all types of demographics. We are grateful for HCR and Beacon Communities continued commitment to Saugerties."

Kingston Mayor Steve Noble said, “I would like to thank Governor Hochul for her ongoing investment in critical affordable housing in the Kingston area. Beacon Communities has committed to dramatically improving Birchwood Village here in our community, and I look forward to this much needed renovation project. Whether we are preserving these important housing or building new units, we thank all of our housing partners for making sure Kingston meets its housing goals.”

CEO of Beacon Communities Dara Kovel said, “We are excited to get these renovation projects underway and provide tenants with the ability to age in place with the high-quality amenities they deserve. Beacon is particularly proud to have worked with the state on an innovative and first-of-its-kind financing structure for this undertaking that we believe can serve as a model for future affordable housing preservation projects both in New York and across the nation. Preserving existing housing is a critically important aspect of successfully combatting the affordable housing crisis, and we look forward to the completion of improvements at these properties.”

The upgrades are supported by HCR’s State Low Income Housing Credit program that will generate equity of approximately $14.6 million, $16.6 million from HCR’s Multifamily Preservation Program, and tax-exempt permanent bonds of $6.1 million. In addition, HCR allocated an 82-unit Section 8 Project Based Vouchers contract to the properties, which reduced rent burden for existing tenants and guaranteed future affordability. 

The project was announced earlier this year as part of HCR’s March 2024 bond issuance which provided $412 million in tax-exempt housing bonds and subsidies to expand and protect housing.