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Former Ulster County Jail Demolition to Begin this Summer, Showing Continued Progress on Senior and Workforce Housing Project at Golden Hill

KINGSTON, N.Y. – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced today that Ulster County is moving forward on affordable housing construction with demolition of the former county jail set to begin this summer. The 2022 Executive Budget directed $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the County-led Housing Development Corporation, to accelerate the demolition of the old Ulster County jail and support new construction. Last week, a bipartisan supermajority of the Ulster County Legislature approved the use of ARPA funding to demolish the former jail, in order to make way for the development of intergenerational, affordable housing. The Golden Hill concept plan calls for approximately 80 units of senior housing and 80 units of workforce housing that are affordable at a range of 30 percent to 60 percent of area median income. Today, Ulster County released a request for bids for the former jail demolition work.

“Seniors across our community are under tremendous pressure due to the housing crisis. And far too many of our frontline workers, who have worked full time to serve and protect us through the pandemic, are unable to afford decent housing. This project will directly address both of these urgent needs,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “I want to thank our partners in the Legislature for taking this critical step towards the creation of more housing for seniors and working families here in Ulster County.” 

“As a legislator who is committed to working with colleagues and constituents to develop pathways to quality affordable housing, I am proud of the Legislature’s work to lay the foundation for the Golden Hill intergenerational, affordable housing project. This is what our ARPA funds are for,” Legislator Peter Criswell, Chair of the American Rescue Plan Act Special Committee, said.

“I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for approving this ARPA funding to make way for senior and workforce housing,” Legislator Thomas Corcoran, Deputy Chair of the American Rescue Plan Act Special Committee, said. “My focus is on collaborating with other government leaders to best serve my district and all of Ulster County residents, and the creation of more housing does just that.”

The Ulster County Housing Action Plan calls for increasing the supply of an array of affordable housing for individuals and families that includes senior, workforce, and supportive housing. The former County jail site has been determined to be a suitable location to meet these needs and to develop affordable housing. Due to the age and condition of the vacant jail structure, economic reuse of the building is not viable; therefore, the former jail and adjacent buildings that currently occupy the site must be removed for the site to be utilized for affordable housing. 

In November 2020, County Executive Ryan announced that the Ulster County Housing Development Corporation (UCHDC), formed in August 2020, had released designs for a new neighborhood of mixed income, intergenerational and workforce housing on the site of the former county jail on top of Golden Hill. The development will include a 5,000 square-foot community building, providing gathering and fitness space for residents and space for local community organizations to offer services. All buildings will be constructed to high efficiency levels, utilizing advanced electric heating and cooling technologies and incorporating rooftop solar. Demolition will begin this summer with construction to start in Q1 of 2023 and anticipated occupancy in Q1 of 2024.