Woodstock Commons new “Green” Affordable Housing Units in the Catskill’s. RUPCO begins taking applications for Woodstock Commons
Aerial simulation of the finished project.
WOODSTOCK, N.Y. — Affordable housing has been on the decline for a long time in the Upstate NY/Catskill region, with so many vacation homes built or upgraded to out-of-reach prices for the average person. But, it’s making a comeback in Woodstock as RUPCO’s Woodstock Common’s readies to open. There are 20 units for seniors age 55 and older and 32 “family” units.
And the remaining 12 units are for artists. “We could have visual artists, actors, musicians, singers,” said RUPCO Executive Director Kevin O’Connor, “and they say there’s a real need for it as Woodstock is known as the colony of the arts.” It really has a rich tradition in attracting artists here throughout its history. Affordable housing is really essential to people who make their living being artists, or some part of their living being artists.
Less than 13 months after ground-breaking on construction, Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) will begin accepting applications for residence at the Woodstock Commons intergenerational campus at Woodstock.. Occupancy of the 53 new affordable homes is expected to begin on January 1, 2013 and applications for those who would wish to live there will be accepted during a 45 day window between August 15 and September 30. Following eight years of planning, construction of the complex has been smooth and having reached the 75% completion mark on schedule, RUPCO is now implementing its marketing plan.
“We are very pleased to announce this opportunity for folks to apply to live at Woodstock Commons,” said O’Connor. “The construction work has been remarkable and the excellent design of these homes is becoming tangible.”
Green Design and LEED Certification Mean Better Homes
These green affordable homes are among the first proposed in New York to be certified in the LEED for Homes New Construction (NC) program. In addition to meeting all regulatory requirements, the selection and use of durable, recycled or renewable materials for construction, indoor air quality, energy efficient heating and cooling, low impact site development – to name just some categories – will conform to LEED standards.
The buildings will be clad in natural wood or durable Fiber Cement Siding rather than vinyl siding. And remarkably, the heating and cooling of all the homes will be accomplished through a geothermal system of closed loop, ground source well fields that will completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels at the site. The system eliminates the use of 20-25,000 gallons of home heating fuel per year, nearly a half million gallons over 20 years, which will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the housing. Lastly, the homes at Woodstock Commons will be certified energy-efficient under the New York ENERGY STAR program.
This intergenerational, clustered development of 53 housing units in the Catskill’s will provide affordable housing for seniors, working families and artists when it’s complete. We are proud of the fact that Woodstock Commons was one of the first nine projects in New York State registered in the LEED Neighborhood Development Pilot Program and eligible for gold level certification in the US Green Building Council program. Its construction on an in-fill site behind the Bradley Meadows shopping plaza will complement the vitality of the community, bringing more children to the school and more customers for local business owners.
The property taxes and sewer and water fees RUPCO will pay will add much needed revenue to the town and its taxing districts. The construction site will be less than 1/3 of the area of the 28 acre land parcel. The remainder of that parcel will remain forested and protected and will feature nature and interpretive trails available to everyone who lives in, works in or visits the site. The construction time table will provide for occupancy in 2013.
Woodstock Commons will become home to seniors (age 55 and older), families and artists with incomes up to 60% of the area median income level — $44,340 or below for family of four; $35,520 or less for a two-person household. Median income in Ulster County is $73,900. The property features apartments with one-, two- and three-bedrooms with family size and special needs determining the size of apartment for each renter. Rents will start at a low of $350 a month for 10 of the senior units and as low as $890 for a family, depending on household income. Twelve of the homes will have preferences for artists.
Pets will be allowed, though there are limitations as to numbers, types and sizes of acceptable pets. A pet security deposit will be required of all non-disabled residents. Woodstock Commons will be a smoke-free environment and a no-smoking policy will be outlined in each lease.
All applications received in the 45 day application period will be placed in a lottery to determine the order in which the applications will be reviewed and screened for eligibility. There is no advantage to submitting an application early in the application period but it is important to submit the application on or before September 30. Applications will be available in person at RUPCO’s offices at 289 Fair Street, Kingston and at RUPCO’s temporary office located in the Woodstock Branch of Ulster Savings Bank at 62 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock. Applications will also be available for download at http://www.rupco.org or an application can be mailed to you by calling 845-331-2140. Applications will be accepted in person at either office, via mail to 289 Fair St., Kingston, NY 12401 or by fax to 845-853-7550.
Once the initial occupants are chosen, those who are eligible but not chosen will go on a waiting list. Future applications received after the 45 day rent-up period will then be added to the waiting list as they are received.
For more information on the Woodstock Commons project including site maps and floor plans, or on RUPCO’s other activities and programs, www.rupco.org is the best source.
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