New Ulster County Housing Action Fund Opens Applications on March 11

Posted February 27, 2024

Year 1 Application Window for Funding Housing and Housing-Related Projects


KINGSTON, NY - The Ulster County Housing Action Fund, approved last August by the Ulster County Legislature, will open its first application window on March 11 and will accept applications until May 10, 2024, at 3 p.m. EST. The Ulster County Planning Department will host a virtual webinar on March 19, 2024, at 6 p.m. to provide information on the fund and application process. Interested parties can register at   


The $15 million Fund, of which up to $3 million in projects could be allocated this year, was proposed last year by County Executive Jen Metzger and sponsored by Abe Uchitelle, Chair of the Legislature's Health, Human Services and Housing Committee, to address the housing crisis and support a wide variety of sustainable and affordable housing projects. After the Fund's approval by the Legislature last summer, a Housing Policy and Oversight Committee, composed of housing and financial experts, was appointed in November to develop and administer the application process, with the support of the Ulster County Planning Department. The committee has been working to prepare the way for this first round of funding, meeting most recently in early February.


The maximum grant amount and affordability level for projects vary based on the housing category. Generally, the Fund focuses on serving households earning up to 80% of Ulster County Area Median Income (i.e., $81,300 for a four-person household, $56,950 for a one-person household). Recipients of these grants will be required to keep housing units affordable for a minimum of 50 years, with priority given to projects that keep the housing permanently affordable. Projects are required to meet New York State Housing and Community Renewable Sustainability Standards. For detailed information and application materials, visit


Eligible housing project types for Year 1 funding include:


  • Affordable Rental Projects

  • Affordable Homeownership Projects

  • Preservation of Affordable Housing for Housing Co-Ops and Community Land Trusts

  • Emergency and Supportive Housing Projects

  • Housing-Related Infrastructure

  • Housing Catalyst Fund Projects


"The only way to address the acute shortage of housing options in our County and make housing more affordable for our residents is to expand supply," said County Executive Jen Metzger. "The Housing Action Fund is intended to do just that, providing needed gap funding to help projects pencil out while at the same time encouraging housing solutions that are innovative and energy efficient,  which is good for the environment and good for residents’ pocketbooks.” 


"The Housing Action Fund represents a vital investment in our community's well-being, fostering the creation of housing that is not only affordable but also sustainable and inclusive," said Peter Criswell, Chair of the Ulster County Legislature.  


"This marks a major milestone in Ulster County's response to the housing crisis. For years, leaders in both the private sector and the public sector have been vocal in calling for a transparent and open process for investing public funds in the types of housing our community needs. I am proud that we have made that a reality here in Ulster County and look forward to seeing what housing projects might come forward as a result,” said Majority Leader Abe Uchitelle, Chair of the Legislature's Health, Human Services, and Housing Committee. 


Following the adoption of the Housing Action Fund legislation, the County Executive and County Legislature appointed members to the Housing Policy and Oversight Committee (HPOC) to oversee its implementation. Committee members include:

  • Fawn Tantillo, Chair - Fawn Tantillo served as an Ulster County Legislator from 1993 to 2003. Tantillo also worked as a legislative staff member for Ulster County from 2012 to 2023. She has also been a small landlord and property manager for 15 years and brings this experience to the Committee. 

  • Susan Blickstein, Vice-Chair - Dr. Blickstein has served as a planning, policy, engagement, and research consultant to municipalities, counties, MPOs, and state agencies for over 30 years. She has served as Director of Planning for two multi-disciplinary planning, transportation, and engineering firms and, since 2007, as the Founding Principal of Susan G. Blickstein LLC (SGB, LLC) since 2007. 

  • Soham Dhesi, Secretary - Soham is a Senior Investment Office for the Leviticus Fund, a regional nonprofit loan fund (CDFI) founded in 1983 that uses capital to alleviate poverty and improve the economic and social conditions of low-income individuals and families throughout the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area. 

  • Loriman Rhodell - Lori is a long-time community organizer and housing advocate having worked for the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, Oglala Sioux Housing Authority, and El Puente de Williamsburg, a community-based organization (CBO) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

  • Sara Bayer - Sara A. Bayer is an Associate Principal and Director of Sustainability at Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP), dedicated to designing housing, specifically affordable and supportive housing. There, she manages many of the firm's most energy-efficient multifamily housing projects, including two that have won NYSERDA Buildings of Excellence Awards.


Details regarding scheduled HPOC meetings can be found on the Ulster County Legislative Calendar at




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