The proposed Golden Hill affordable housing development received a major boost with a $15 million Homeless Housing Assistance Program (HHAP) grant from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the largest possible award by the program. This award, combined with previous Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) awards, serves as an affirmation from NYS OTDA that the project will help meet a dire need in the county for both affordable and supportive housing. The project is a partnership of the County, affordable housing developer and manager Pennrose, and Family of Woodstock, which will provide supportive services and hold 51 percent ownership of the project.
HHAP funding is dedicated to projects providing emergency, transitional, or permanent supportive housing for homeless households in New York State. HHAP awards are made based on project readiness to proceed, documentation of need, and applicant’s qualifications. This $15 million award will account for over 18 percent of the more than $80 million expected development cost and represents the final needed element of the funding package assembled from dozens of private equity and public program sources to finance the development of the Golden Hill community. Golden Hill was awarded the funding at the Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation’s December 6th meeting.
“We urgently need to expand affordable and supportive housing in Ulster County to meet the dire need, and this major award through the State's Homeless Housing Assistance Program will enable the Golden Hill development to move to construction," said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “This is a model project in many ways, providing on-site community daycare and services to vulnerable seniors, and is well-aligned with the County's climate goals, with an energy-efficient, all-electric design and close proximity to public transit and the rail trail."
“We are incredibly grateful to New York State for their continued support of the Golden Hill project, including the HHAP grant which successfully moves the development nearer to the financing goal line,” said Dylan Salmons, Regional Vice President at Pennrose. “With high-quality housing, on-site social services programming, and amenities for residents of all ages, the brand-new community will bring much-needed affordable homes to households of Kingston.”
“This is a wonderful award that will guarantee that the Golden Hill project is going to move forward,” said Michael Berg, Executive Director of Family of Woodstock, Inc. “The project is the first real effort by the county to not only take care of people that need supportive housing, but also workforce housing. We have not built housing for the people who work in our community in a very long time, and this is a very important step. The fact that the county moved this property to be available for affordable housing indicates the importance the county leadership places on addressing the housing issue. Family of Woodstock is excited to be part of this initiative.”
“I am pleased to see that NYS OTDA has recognized what we have known here in the City of Kingston for quite some time – that Kingston has a housing shortage and the Golden Hill development will bring much-needed housing that Kingston families, seniors, and singles can afford,” said City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. “In addition to the vital housing the Golden Hill community will bring to the city, the development agreement that the City of Kingston has reached with the project team will include millions of dollars of new funding for our people, parks, and programs. This partnership will truly be a benefit for our whole community, and I am excited to see this $15 million HHAP grant move the Golden Hill project one step closer to becoming a reality.”
Family of Woodstock and Pennrose were selected to redevelop the former Ulster County jail site into an intergenerational mixed-income and mixed-use community based on the joint venture’s vision for the project and extensive experience in the development of affordable and workforce housing throughout New York State. By partnering with Pennrose, Family is able to leverage its expertise and 50-year history of serving the community as a local nonprofit partner and housing operator with Pennrose’s 50-year experience as a renowned developer and operator of high-quality affordable homes.
The Golden Hill project, situated at 63 Golden Hill Drive in Kingston, will include the development of 164 housing units with 249 beds, approximately 5,000 square feet of community service facility space, a 600 kW solar power system, six playgrounds designed for a variety of ages, and a trail connection to the Empire State Trail. Notably, 48 of these units will provide permanent supportive housing for domestic violence survivors and frail elderly individuals through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI). The inclusive design also serves a diverse range of age groups and income levels (30-80 percent of Area Median Income) to meet the varied needs of the local population. Family of Woodstock selected the target population based on the severe lack of housing for domestic violence survivors and frail elderly individuals in the county. Golden Hill aims to be more than just a housing project; the goal is to build a holistic community, addressing critical gaps in housing services and fostering a supportive environment.
The development plans were crafted directly from community feedback received during five separate community input sessions and 10 months of reviews conducted by the City of Kingston’s planning board. The development prioritizes accessibility, walkability, and active open space, and includes amenities like a daycare center, fitness center, resident lounges, on-site trails, a community garden, and future connectivity to the UCAT bus network. A 100% electric, Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home certified community, the development aligns with Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger’s Climate Action Commitment, which was an Executive Order signed by Metzger in her first 30 days in office creating the most robust and aggressive climate targets of any county in New York.