Ulster County and RUPCO Awarded $5 Million to Continue Successful “Plus One” Home Program

Posted May 3, 2024

14 Awardees Chosen for Round 1 of Program, Providing Grants to Build Affordable Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Ulster County has been granted $5 million by New York State Housing and Community Renewal to extend the implementation of the Plus One ADU Program, which provides financial assistance to Ulster County homeowners for the construction of new, code-compliant Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). In partnership with RUPCO and eight municipalities whose zoning permits ADUs, the funding will facilitate Round 2 of the Plus One ADU Program. Municipalities include: City of Kingston, Town of Woodstock, Town of Saugerties, Town of Rosendale, Village of Ellenville, Village of New Paltz, Town of Lloyd, and Town of Ulster.

Eligible homeowners, earning 100% or less of Ulster County's Area Median Income, can apply for up to approximately $110,000 for ADU construction or rehabilitation through the program. In return, participants agree to rent the unit at an affordable rate for a minimum of 10 years. Award grantees receive support from Ulster County and RUPCO throughout the design, construction, and permitting process.

In Round 1 of the Ulster County Plus One ADU Program, 14 recipients were selected from a pool of over 100 applicants. These awardees are currently in the design and permitting process to ensure project feasibility before finalizing contracts with the County and RUPCO to access construction funding for their ADUs. During Round 1 of the program, a design competition was held to create low-cost and sustainable ADU building plans. Thanks to funding from the City of Kingston's American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), these resources are freely available to all Ulster County residents and can be found here: https://engagekingston.com/adu-design-competition.

"ADUs are a great way to expand the availability of housing that is affordable, and can also benefit property owners in different ways, whether it’s providing a needed source of additional income, or enabling a caregiver or relative to live in close proximity,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “I am delighted that we will be able to continue this popular program, and we thank New York State Housing and Community Renewal for this sizable award to our County.”

“We are pleased to be at the forefront of this new initiative to create accessory dwelling units along with our partners,” said RUPCO Chief Executive Officer Kevin O'Connor. “Hopefully, we will continue to demonstrate the success that ADUs can have for both homeowners and tenants.”

“We are thrilled to continue this work with Ulster County and RUPCO to support low- and moderate-income homeowners with funding for the construction of an ADU. I thank the New York State Homes and Community Renewal for another infusion of this critical funding so that we can continue to encourage the creation of workforce and affordable housing here in Kingston,” said Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. “With programs like Plus One ADU, we are already starting to see the development of much-needed ‘missing middle’ housing.”

“The Plus One Program would provide a multi-pronged solution to the housing shortage facing both the Village of Ellenville and Ulster County,” said Ellenville Mayor Evan Trent. “The creation and/or improvement of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) would support homeowners’ ability to offset their own housing costs in a time of rising prices while at the same time providing safe, quality housing to fill the compelling housing void.”

"The Village of New Paltz updated our ADU law in 2021 to promote more efficient uses of buildings, especially large existing residences, and to expand rental housing opportunities. Our law permits ADUs within, attached to, or detached from main residences, without an increase in lot area. We are excited that Ulster County has been awarded $5 million for Round 2 of the Plus One ADU Program,” said New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers. “The County’s innovative and unique program provides assistance to qualifying homeowners for the construction or rehabilitation of an ADU, provided the property owner agrees to rent the unit at an affordable rate for a fixed period of time. We look forward to seeing more ADUs in New Paltz.”

Partnering municipalities were selected due to their ADU-friendly zoning policies and access to public water and sewer systems, which significantly enhances ADU feasibility and cost-effectiveness. The County also observed resident interest in ADU construction in these areas, based on the over 100 applications received during Round 1 of the program.

Round 2 of the program will launch and begin accepting applications in the summer of 2024.

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)
refers to all forms of additional housing units on residential properties, which can be either attached (internal) to the primary residence (like a basement apartment) or detached (external) from it (such as a garage conversion or cottage). ADUs offer numerous benefits, including providing rental income to homeowners and offering affordable housing options for renters within residential neighborhoods. Additionally, ADUs can support older residents in aging in place by providing a suitable living arrangement. The Plus One ADU Program prioritizes expanding access to equity-building tools, such as secondary rental apartments, particularly for low and moderate-income homeowners. Emphasis is placed on supporting historically disadvantaged communities and locations with existing water and sewer infrastructure.

The Plus One ADU Program aligns with the County and State's aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. Secondary apartment units typically require fewer building materials, energy, and land than traditional home construction methods. Additionally, when situated in or near towns and village centers, ADUs can enhance opportunities for walking, biking, and accessing public transit services compared to traditional single-family homes. To discover more about the Plus One ADU Program, visit https://participate.ulstercountyny.gov/plus-one

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