KINGSTON, N.Y. – County Executive Pat Ryan announced today that the Ulster County Legislature passed three resolutions proposed by the Executive, which pave the way for more housing in Ulster County. Among them legislation to support an affordable senior housing project in the town of Lloyd, $5 million in a Community Development program to provide matching funds for infrastructure investments including housing and economic development, and funds to remediate blighted properties around Ulster County.
“We desperately need more housing in Ulster County, and projects which allow us to provide affordability while also greening our environment and economy are a win-win. This is exactly what we should be doing with our ARPA funding,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “I want to thank our partners in the Ulster County Legislature for their shared commitment to providing for these critical constituent needs.”
“With significant investments in environmental clean-up and municipal water and sewer infrastructure, which is critical to housing and economic development initiatives, and the necessary approvals of a new housing project, I am proud of the work that the Legislature’s American Rescue Plan Act Special Committee has done to move Ulster County forward on much needed housing priorities,” Legislator Peter Criswell, Chair of the American Rescue Plan Act Special Committee, said.
“Providing opportunities for housing and helping municipalities who have publicly owned water and sewer systems complete projects which lead to improved communities and economic development is the kind of lasting change the County is hoping to make with ARP funds,” Legislator Thomas Corcoran, Deputy Chair of the American Rescue Plan Act Special Committee, said.
Resolutions passed tonight address the following critical needs in Ulster County:
- Silver Gardens is a new housing development project located in the Town of Lloyd, off Route 9W, within a quarter mile of the Bridgeview Plaza Shopping Center. The 57 units will be marketed to seniors 55 and older from lower socio-economic backgrounds; 29 of these units will be permanent supportive housing for homeless or chronically homeless seniors. RUPCO would act as a subrecipient of $600,000 in ARP funds to offset costs for geothermal heating. There is a cost estimate included in the materials that quotes a little over $1 million for the design and installation of the geothermal system. Silver Gardens addresses critical housing gaps that were identified in the 2021 Housing Action Plan while simultaneously providing renewal and revitalization for the Town of Lloyd.
- The Brownfields Redevelopment program will aid in the remediation of blighted properties around Ulster County, and build stronger communities through investments in neighborhoods in disproportionately impacted communities. According to USEPA, a brownfield is a property for which the “the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse … may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” This understanding allows for cleanup and reinvestment in these properties which benefits neighbors, communities, and the County through removal of environmental hazards and blight to encourage neighborhood-compatible reuse at the site and on adjoining properties, thus reducing pressure to develop green field sites and increasing the local tax base. Under this program Ulster County would avail itself of a mechanism in New York Environmental Conservation Law known as a Temporary Incidence of Ownership (TIO) to gain entry to the properties for the purposes of conducting the necessary environmental investigations to understand the risks involved prior to foreclosure.
- The Community Development program provides matching funds for infrastructure investments. Housing, economic development, and public health are the main priorities for water and sewer projects under this program. The level of required match will be determined on a case by case basis but will not exceed 75% of the project costs. Applications from municipalities participating in the County’s Housing Smart Communities Initiative will be prioritized, along with projects supporting a community-identified housing and/or economic development priority. The $5 million approved for the Community Development program is the single biggest investment of ARPA funds during the April 19th meeting of the Ulster County Legislature, and will assist economic development and housing projects, community service facilities such as health and childcare, recreation and public facilities that result in shared services and lower costs at the community level.
On Earth Day, April 22nd, 2021, County Executive Ryan released his Green New Deal plan for Ulster County, the final section of which looked to continue Ulster County’s efforts to redevelop foreclosed brownfields. The report consisted of over 30 goals and targets and made Ulster County the first in New York State and among the first in the nation to release a comprehensive Green New Deal plan.
In the 2022 Executive Budget, Ulster County made major investments in maintaining and enhancing infrastructure, including $3.9 million to help spur and accelerate much-needed municipal water and sewer projects.
For more information on ARPA, visit ulstercountyny.gov/arp.