Resolution No. 330.1

Dedicating Funding To Housing Affordability, Establishing A Policy For Its Use, And Authorizing The Release Of A Notice Of Funding Availability (NOFA) For 2023 – Department Of Planning

Resolution Information

Parent: 
Resolution No. 330
Status: 
Pending

RESOLUTION TEXT +-

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Referred to: The Economic Development, Planning, Education, Employment, Arts and Agriculture Committee (Chairman Cahill and Legislators Corcoran, Criswell, Hewitt, Litts, Maloney and Sperry), The Health, Human Services and Housing Committee (Chairman Uchitelle and Legislators Corcoran, Erner, Lopez, Nolan, Petit, and Stewart), and The Ways and Means Committee (Chairman Gavaris and Legislators Cahill, Criswell, Roberts, and Ronk)

 

Chairman of the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee, Abe Uchitelle, offers the following:

 

WHEREAS,allresidentsofUlsterCountydeservesafe and decent housingatanaffordable cost; and

 

WHEREAS, affordable housing is generally considered housing in which the occupant is paying no more than 30% of their annual income for housing costs, including utilities; and

 

WHEREAS,UlsterCounty’sHousing Action Plan,documenting the housing crisis facing Ulster County, revealed:

 

·      

28% of renter households and 14% of owner households in Ulster County spend more than half their income on housing costs (severely cost burdened);

·      

Median income of renters in Ulster County declined 1% between the period of 2010 to 2018, while median rent increased by 16%;

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Ulster County residents earning an average wage would be required to work sixty-seven (67) hours per week to afford the County’s Fair Market Rent as set by HUD;

·      

Housing vacancy rates for rental and for-sale properties remain well below the 5% benchmark that demonstrates a healthy balanced housing market;  and

 

WHEREAS, in January of 2020 a point-in-time count found 438 homeless individuals in Ulster County and 576 students experiencing periodic homelessness during the 2018-2019 school year; and

 

WHEREAS, average home sale prices have increased nearly $100,000 compared to 2019 levels, according to the Ulster County Board of Realtors; and

 

WHEREAS, more recent statistics illustrate that the Covid-19 pandemic and the growth of short-term rentals have contributed to declining availability and affordability of rental and owner-occupied housing units in the County;and

 

 

WHEREAS, an affordable, diverse housing stock is of fundamental importance to the overall health and well-being of all communities and represents a critical part of the social and economic infrastructure of the community whose benefits include improved health and education, employment outcomes, higher civic engagement, and reduced public service costs; and

 

WHEREAS, Ulster County, in response to the need for housing the County completed in 2021 the Ulster County Housing Action Plan, and in keeping with its recommendations established the Housing Smart Community Initiative to assist local governments in removing barriers to the creation of additional housing with a focus on affordability, and has sought to create incentives for doing so; and

 

WHEREAS, in recognition of the need for housing assistance and its positive community benefits the County has utilized nearly six million ($6,000,00.00) dollars of its American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide for housing development, including funding for supportive housing in the Town of Ulster, affordable senior housing in the Town of Lloyd  and affordable intergenerational housing and emergency housing in the City of Kingston as well as funding for a county-wide landbank; and

 

WHEREAS, in April 2023, the County Legislature adopted Proposed Local Law No. 2 of 2023, designating the development, maintenance, management, and/or provision of Affordable Housing as a public purpose in accordance with the New York State Constitution; and

 

WHEREAS, Recommendation #5 in Ulster County’s Housing Action Plan calls for the establishment of a housing fund for Ulster County to assist in the creation of new affordable housing, promote supportive housing development, and preserve existing affordable housing; and

 

WHEREAS, Ulster County’s unassigned Fund Balance as of December 31, 2021 exceeded the adopted Fund Balance threshold by approximately $53 million dollars, offering an opportunity to implement the recommendation in the Housing Action Plan; and

 

          WHEREAS, it is appropriate from a fiscal management and budget operations perspective to utilize unassigned funds in Ulster County’s Fund Balance by creating an assigned fund balance for Housing Affordability purposes; now, therefore be it

 

 

RESOLVED,thatthesumoffifteenmilliondollars($15,000,000.00)ofUlster County’scurrentunassignedFundBalanceshallbeassigned to Affordable Housing to be utilized in compliance with Local Law No. 2 of 2023; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, such fund is to be known as the “Housing Action Fund of the County of Ulster” (the “HAF”); and, be it further

 

RESOLVED,theHAFshall be accountedforwithintheAssignedFundBalance;and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, the HAF shall be accounted for separate and apart from all other funds of the County of Ulster; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED,moneysinsuch HAF shallbeappropriatedpursuantLocal Law No. 2 of 2023; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, that a Housing Policy and Oversight Committee (HPOC) shall be created whose membership shall consist of seven members with four appointments made by the County Executive and three appointments made by the Chair of the Ulster County Legislature, with a liaison from the Legislature and from the County Executive, to advise the Legislature on housing policy and to make recommendations to the Legislature and the County Executive for the use of the funds from HAF; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, that the distribution of fund from the HAF shall be in accordance with the Housing Action Fund Program Standards as filed with the Clerk of the Legislature, and such standards shall be reviewed and updated annually based on the current housing needs of the County and in consultation with the Housing Policy and Oversight Committee (HPOC); and, be it further

 

RESOLVED,that the annual budget process shall include recommendations for the total amount of HAF funds to be made available each year; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED,the applications for funding utilizing the HAF shall be through a Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) solicitation developed by the Planning Department in accordance with the Housing Action Fund Program Standards; and, be it further

 

 

 

RESOLVED, that applications submitted for funding shall be reviewed by the HPOC with recommendations for funding awards provided to the County Executive and the County Legislature; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, that for fiscal year 2023 the County Legislature hereby authorizes up to three million dollars ($3,000,000.00) of the Housing Action Fund to be made available for competitive proposals through the release of a NOFA; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, the award of funding from the HAF maybeappropriatedonlyby a majority vote of the Legislature; and, be it further

 

RESOLVED, that no section of this resolution shall be interpreted as augmenting or abrogating theexistinglegislativeprocessforexpenditures,includingtheexpenditure of monies from the assigned fund balance account for housing affordability,

 

and move its adoption.

 

 

ADOPTED BY THE FOLLOWING VOTE:

 

AYES:                       NOES:      

 

 

Passed Committee: Economic Development, Planning, Education, Employment, Arts and Agriculture on ______________.

 

Passed Committee: Health, Human Services and Housing on ______________. 

 

Passed Committee: Ways and Means on ______________. 

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT:

$15,000,000.00–ASSIGNEDFUNDBALANCE

Current Text: PDF

Sponsors: 

 

Updated: June 30, 2023

Votes on this Resolution

yes no abstained no vote

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