Ulster County Executive ‘Concerned’ Over Emergency Housing Conditions
Having a safe and stable living arrangement is something that everyone deserves. Organizations that create a way for proper housing placement for people are essential in communities.
While some residents are searching for proper living environments, others are looking for affordable housing. Thankfully, there are organizations in the Hudson Valley that can assist with different issues related to housing in New York State.
Ulster County, NY Takes Pride In Helping Those In Need
In 2022, tiny homes were an idea that Kingston, NY wanted to bring to life and provide for those in need. At the time, four tiny homes were going to be placed on Cedar and Franklin Street in Kingston, NY. This was being done through a partnership with the Family of Woodstock.
Those who qualified to reside in these tiny homes will be able to do so for up to two years. They will then pay $900 a month in rent. This will help to get them on track for when they leave their tiny house.
What Will The Ulster County, NY Community Do About The Current Crisis?
On May 2, 2023, a press release was receiving a lot of attention. In the past, Ulster County, NY took steps to help those in need with proper living spaces.
The Ulster County Executive Is "Concerned" Over Emergency Housing Conditions
The recent press release stated that Ulster County Executive, Jen Metzger had some concerns about the emergency housing conditions involving a local motel and DEC violations.
According to Ulster County NY GOV,
"Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger has directed the Department of Social Services to halt emergency housing placements at the Rodeway Inn in the Town of Ulster. On Thursday, April 27, the Ulster County Department of Health communicated to the County Executive's office that the State Department of Environmental Conservation served the Rodeway Inn with a violation of their wastewater operating permit. "
Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger made a visit to this motel on April 28, 2023. This unannounced visit allowed Metzger to see the conditions in person and therefore, was able to make a decision. Ultimately, this would include ending emergency housing at the motel's location.
Ulster County Executive, Jen Metzger Made Decision To End Housing At Motel
Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger made the following statement according to Ulster County NY GOV,
"I am concerned that this facility is not being adequately maintained, and have directed the Department of Social Services to refrain from placing anyone else there and to find new placements for people currently housed at the motel at other locations,"
"The well-being of our residents in need of emergency housing is our primary concern."
There were other violations at the same motel that the Ulster County Department of Health noted as well.
Metzger also stated that,
"The failure to comply with State law regarding the SPDES permit is a serious red flag, especially on the heels of other concerns that have been raised about conditions at the motel."
How Many Residents Are In Need Of Housing In Ulster County, NY?
Ulster County NY GOV stated that the housing crisis in Ulster County, NY has been ongoing.
"The Ulster County Department of Social Services places approximately 300-400 unhoused individual adults and families with children in emergency housing facilities each month. These facilities include two local shelters and approximately 20 motels and hotels."
Through a New York State program, the county is then authorized to use local motels and hotels in order to assist with emergency housing. The cost of the rooms would be shared by Ulster County and New York State as well.
What Will Happen To Emergency Housing In Ulster County, NY Going Forward?
Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger continued to share the next steps of the emergency housing crisis in Ulster County.
"We need to move away from the current system of using motels for emergency housing, and create alternatives that are more stable and that provide services for emergency housing residents on site."
Metzger explained that this progress will take time but they have two projects that are being looked over. The idea of a "county-owned emergency housing facility" could place families along with a "county-supported project by RUPCO to create transitional housing with wrap-around services."
This would take place in the Town of Ulster at the old Quality Inn.
A New Evaluation May Be What Ulster County, NY Needs For Emergency Housing Crisis
Ulster County NY GOV shared information about a new evaluation in regards to the emergency housing crisis that has taken place in Ulster County, NY.
"The County Executive's office has also initiated an independent evaluation of Ulster County’s emergency housing system, in partnership with Legislator Abe Uchitelle, Chair of the Health, Human Services, and Housing Standing Committee and other members of the Legislature. The goal of the evaluation is to ensure services are delivered as efficiently, effectively, and equitably as possible. "
Will This Make A Difference With Emergency Housing In Ulster County, NY For Good?
Overall, the evaluation would review housing needs. What about the use of boarding houses, shelters, motels and more?
"The review will make sure to con\sult all relevant stakeholders, including emergency housing clients, the Ulster County Continuum of Care, Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health, Veteran’s Services Agency, nonprofit partners, and all other service providers who provide housing support to people experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity"
The review may be further ahead than those would expect. On April 27, 2023, a request for proposals to conduct this evaluation was done by the county.
While some residents are praising Metzger for her quick and compassionate efforts regarding the emergency housing crisis in Ulster County, NY, others feel differently.
What do you think about the emergency housing crisis in Ulster County, NY? Share your opinions with us below.