September 25, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Noble Announces $3 Million Housing Investment
36 Properties to be Transferred to and Renovated by the Kingston City Land Bank
New Walk-in Office to be Established on Franklin St.
KINGSTON, NY – On September 18th, Mayor Noble provided a brief presentation to members of the Common Council’s Finance Committee regarding new grant funding that the City of Kingston and Kingston City Land Bank will be accessing to advance the City’s housing efforts. The funding, provided by an anonymous donor working through the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, will support the establishment of a new housing office in the heart of Midtown, pay for the back taxes of 36 properties owed to the City, and cover the startup costs of the Kingston City Land Bank for the remainder in 2018. The Mayor expects to include in his 2019 budget another $1.6 million in grant funding from the same source to support the Kingston City Land Bank, including its maintenance, renovation and disposition of the transferred properties.
After his presentation, the Finance Committee unanimously endorsed multiple resolutions in support of this effort, including:
- A resolution authorizing the Mayor to accept grant funding and execute all required grant documents for funding through the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley in the amounts of $298,650 for the rehabilitation of 124-126 Franklin Street and $102,365 to cover a portion of salaries and benefits of staff of the Kingston City Land Bank.
- A resolution authorizing the transfer of surplus properties to the Kingston City Land Bank for rehabilitation/redevelopment and disposition. The positive financial impact will be $1,048,221.21
“This is the largest targeted housing investment the City of Kingston has made in decades,” said Mayor Noble. “With funding in place, we have the opportunity to rehabilitate three dozen properties across the City, bringing them back on the tax rolls and into the care of new homeowners. Beyond the significant financial benefit, this investment will result in a remarkable value to our community. We’re going to see neighborhoods who have been negatively impacted by vacant, derelict buildings rejuvenated by the renovation and sale of these properties. In addition, local families will be able to access good quality housing that they can afford.”
“The Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley is pleased to partner with the City of Kingston and an anonymous donor to invest in and uplift these neighborhoods. Affordable housing is an entryway to a more accessible, just and healthy community,” said March Gallagher, Esq., President & CEO of the Community Foundations. “Working with a donor who understands both the economic and moral imperative of this effort epitomizes the generous nature of the Hudson Valley. The Community Foundations is proud to facilitate this vital initiative.”
As part of this effort, the City of Kingston will be establishing a new headquarters for its housing, economic and community development initiatives at 124-126 Franklin St. Once renovated, community members will have improved access to housing resources and programs.
“In order to effectively serve our community, I feel that it is vital that our staff is in our local neighborhoods, connecting with residents, informing them of new resources, and learning about the barriers to accessing affordable and quality housing,” said Mayor Noble. “We already provide foreclosure prevention assistance and funding for homeowners to address health and safety issues through the City’s Housing Rehabilitation Program, but this is really the first time that we will be leading a housing initiative of this scope and size. We have heard from our community that they are concerned about residents potentially being displaced by development while properties are flipped for significant profits. This housing effort seeks to combat that trend and support our neighbors to stay in our city in a home they can afford.”
“Thank you to the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and the anonymous donor for helping us to advance our commitment to quality housing and ensuring a stable foundation for the new Kingston City Land Bank,” Mayor Noble concluded.
The full Common Council is expected to vote on the two resolutions at its meeting on Tuesday, October 2nd. The third grant, which will support this initiative in 2019, will be included in the Mayor’s 2019 Recommended Budget.
About the Kingston City Land Bank
The Kingston City Land Bank has been formed with the purpose of acquiring title to city-owned and other distressed properties in the City of Kingston, removing barriers to redevelopment, and returning the properties to the tax rolls. The key priorities of the Kingston City Land Bank will be to ensure that the reuse of these properties provides opportunities for homeownership for those who might not otherwise be afforded such opportunity, to maintain a range of affordability in the city's housing stock, and to guide the redevelopment of properties to enhance neighborhoods and suit the needs of the residents of those neighborhoods.