Posted September 3, 2009

Kingston, NY (September 3, 2009) - Ulster County has been awarded a total of $750 thousand dollars in two separate Community Development Block Grants; a $400 thousand dollar grant for county-wide housing rehabilitation and a $350 thousand dollar grant for farm worker housing.

The $400 thousand, county-wide housing rehabilitation grant will be administered by the Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) and will assist eligible households in a variety of ways. “We are extremely pleased to assist the County to deliver these critical housing rehabilitation services,” said Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO’s Executive Director. “At the time of our application, we had 251 homeowners on our waiting list, half of whom were either senior or disabled.

Remarkably, fully ¼ of these homeowners had incomes at less than 30% of the County median. This investment will save taxpayer money in so many ways. It will allow seniors to remain in their homes, eliminate health and safety violations, improve energy efficiency to lower utility costs and ultimately, sustain our housing stock for the next generation of homebuyers.”

The farm worker housing rehabilitation program will address the critical rehabilitation needs for farm-worker housing in Ulster County. The program also provides an economic shot in the arm for farmers that need to provide housing for their workers - and will help to ensure that their farm businesses remain financially viable.

"I am very pleased Ulster County will have another round of farm worker housing projects. It helps both our local farmers and workers,” said Hector Rodriquez, Chair of the Ulster County Legislature’s Economic Development, Housing Planning and Transit Committee. He added, “Cornell Cooperative's track record with this program is impeccable. Our housing rehabilitation program will ensure that residents will be able to have quality housing stock that they can be proud of."

“It is welcome news that Ulster County was awarded these valuable grants. It will help sustain our seniors, working families and farm families, all of whom need as much assistance as possible during these very difficult times,” said County Executive Hein. “I would also like to acknowledge Congressman Hinchey’s role in securing these grants. He has been a tireless advocate for this program and we appreciate his efforts.”

Michael Berg, Chairman of the Ulster County Housing Consortium said, “These grant awards are very badly needed. Housing is a huge issue for the well being of our residents, the integrity of our workforce and our ability to attract businesses to Ulster County. I’m sure these funds will be put to very good use.”

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and New York funding is provided through the New York State Office of Community Renewal. The CBDG program is a flexible program that provides communities with a wide range of unique community programs and is designed to assist persons of low and moderate income. The CDBG program is one of the  longest continually run HUD programs.