$2 Million Project will Rehabilitate Four Vacant Single-Family Properties into Affordable Homeownership Opportunities
Part of $25 Million Legacy City ACCESS Program Designed to Eliminate Neighborhood Blight and Expand Access to Homeownership for First-Time Buyers and Households of Color
Photos of Vacant Properties Available Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the first project funded through the $25 million Legacy City ACCESS program is now underway. Four vacant single-family properties in Kingston will be fully rehabilitated and sold to income-eligible first-time homebuyers. The Legacy City ACCESS Program is designed to transform blighted structures into newly renovated, move-in ready homes that will help expand affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents, specifically first-time buyers and households of color.
"My administration is committed to providing safe, affordable, and comfortable housing for all New Yorkers in the neighborhoods that they call home," Governor Hochul said. "Our $25 billion housing plan will create a fairer and more equitable New York not only by building and preserving affordable housing, but also by addressing barriers to homeownership like redlining and other discriminatory practices. Through this Legacy City ACCESS program and its first project in Kingston, we are doubling down on that commitment, expanding access to affordable homeownership - particularly for buyers of color who have been locked out of the housing market for far too long - and helping to narrow the racial wealth gap once and for all."
The Kingston City Land Bank was awarded funding through the Legacy City ACCESS Program for the purchase and rehabilitation of four properties located at 29 Rogers Street, 63 German Street, 237 East Union Street, and 169 Hurley Avenue. Upon completion, the properties will be sold to homebuyers who meet eligibility criteria.
The scope of work includes upgrades to structural, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as new kitchens, baths, roofs, flooring, windows and doors and asbestos abatement. The homes will receive efficiency upgrades including insulation, Energy Star windows and appliances, and high efficiency electric mini-split systems for heating and cooling.
The Kingston City Land Bank will rehabilitate the properties in partnership with Maeda Construction, a Certified MWBE General Contracting firm based in Staatsburg. Goldstein Hall provided legal counsel to the partnership. Homeownership Counseling services will be provided by PathStone Community Improvement of Newburgh.
Legacy City ACCESS is a partnership between New York State Homes and Community Renewal and The Community Preservation Corporation, a not-for-profit community development financial institution that focuses on the preservation and creation of affordable and workforce housing across New York. CPC is providing construction financing and technical assistance to the developers for all the Legacy City ACCESS projects through its ACCESS program, an initiative that provides financial resources and capacity-building support to real estate entrepreneurs of color who have historically faced barriers to entry in the development industry.
Financing for the project included $867,000 in construction funding from CPC and $600,000 from HCR.
The Legacy City ACCESS program is available in communities north of New York City that are addressing blight through redevelopment of municipally owned property. The properties must be located in disadvantaged communities, as defined by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and where there exists a legacy of historical disparities in homeownership access for households of color.
Applications generally must consist of three primary partners: land banks or municipalities, local minority developers, and homeownership counseling agencies who work together to identify eligible properties, scopes of work, financing, and future homebuyers.
The program makes up to $150,000 per unit available in cost subsidy for assemblages of up to ten 1-3 family buildings as first-time homeownership opportunities. Homebuyers will have access to the State of New York Mortgage Agency's "Give Us Credit" program - a statewide initiative that uses alternative credit analysis to increase homeownership for applicants who have been underserved in the homeownership market, particularly applicants of color. HCR will offer these potential homebuyers down payment assistance to cover acquisition and closing costs.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Amidst a challenging housing market, we are thrilled that the first Legacy City ACCESS project has now broken ground in Kingston and will soon provide the dream of homeownership for four first-time buyers. This $25 million multifaceted program is designed to provide affordable homeownership opportunities for households of color and first-time buyers, expand opportunities for and help New York's upstate cities eliminate long-time distressed properties that strain community resources. Governor Hochul's new housing plan prioritizes programs like this one that make New York a better, stronger, and more equitable place to live. Congratulations to CPC, city of Kingston, the Kingston City Land Bank, Maeda Construction and our other partners for collaborating to achieve this exciting milestone."
The Community Preservation Corporation President Sadie McKeown, said, "We are excited to break ground on the first Legacy City ACCESS project here in Kingston, and thank the Governor and HCR for their commitment to a program that will create more equity and opportunity in our communities. By providing both capital and technical resources, we can help neighborhoods growth and thrive, and are giving first-time buyers of color an opportunity to build generational wealth and long-term stability through affordable homeownership."
State Senator Michelle Hinchey said, "Increasing access to housing in the Hudson Valley that working families can afford is my priority, and it's why I advocated for the Legacy Cities Program and secured historic housing investments to make it a reality. The Legacy Cities ACCESS Program will change lives by building generational equity and wealth through homeownership for first-time homebuyers who may never have had this opportunity. It is incredible that our Kingston community will be the first-ever beneficiary of this program, thanks to the leadership of Kingston City Land Bank and so many regional partners. Owning a home is a hallmark of the American Dream, and I will continue to fight for long-term solutions to help more upstate New Yorkers secure safe, reliable housing within their budget."
Ulster County Executive Johanna Contreras said, "We are grateful to Governor Hochul, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and The Community Preservation Corporation for selecting Kingston as the site of the first project funded through the Legacy City ACCESS Program. The transformation of these four blighted properties into move-in ready homes in partnership with the Kingston City Land Bank, will provide opportunities to first-time buyers and households of color in our community. The Legacy City ACCESS Program is exactly the type of support we need as we work to close the housing affordability gap and address the legacy of historical disparities in homeownership access in Ulster County."
City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble said, "I want to thank Governor Hochul for her efforts in creating this new program and congratulate the Kingston City Land Bank for being the first in New York State to utilize this critical funding. Affordable homeownership is the cornerstone of rebuilding our neighborhoods that for years have suffered from disinvestment. These four homes were formerly vacant, tax foreclosed properties, and now, though our partnership with the KCLB, will be redeveloped and these neighborhoods will be transformed."
City of Kingston Ward 9 Alder Michelle Hirsch said, "The Kingston City Land Bank's ability to access funding from the newly created New York Legacy City ACCESS Program is a welcome development in getting Kingston families into homes that have been vacant and abandoned for far too long. This funding will help revitalize our neighborhoods while bringing home affordability to the city of Kingston."
Kingston City Land Bank Board Chair Daniel Kanter said, "We are excited to be the first organization to close under HCR's amazing new Legacy Cities ACCESS Program. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the city of Kingston and all involved to scale our efforts under this program to provide many more well-designed, affordable homes for current and future residents of our community."
Maeda Construction Principal Robert Drost said, "This Program helps to fulfill a great need in the Mid-Hudson region. Developing these vacant buildings to provide first time, affordable, home ownership will change people's lives for the better, and we get to be a part of that."
Goldstein Hall Partner Brian Hsu said, "We would like to congratulate Kingston City Land Bank and Maeda Construction on this innovative and exciting project to create more affordable home ownership opportunities for the City of Kingston."
For more information on the Legacy City ACCESS program, visit HCR's website.