June 3, 2022 - In this issue:
Mayor's Message
Covid Update
New Vacancy Study Qualifies Kingston for Housing Emergency Declaration
Kingston Launches Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program
Community Preservation Plan Launches with Public Meeting
Green Jobs Paid Training Program
Mayor Noble Tuesday Radio Show 
Paving News
Roadwork Update for Next Week
Mayor's Message:

Dear Friends -

This week has been full of great housing news. We conducted a new vacancy study on our rental units in the City of Kingston, and based on the results, can finally declare a housing emergency. I'm hoping the Council will move forward with an official declaration so we can opt into the Emergency Tenant Protection Act as soon as possible. Hear more in this WAMC interview.

We know we have a housing crisis and are woefully lacking in rental housing, so my office and the Housing Director are constantly seeking new programs and policies that will help us keep residents safely housed. This week we also launched a Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program.

Next week, we'll start a series of meetings for our Kingston Forward rezoning initiative.

These are three of the many, many housing efforts we're currently undertaking. Kingston is a unique community, and requires thoughtful action and policy. For more on all of our current housing initiatives, please visit https://kingston-ny.gov/housing.

Covid Update
There are currently 265 active cases in Ulster County and 47 in Kingston.

Latest news:
New Vacancy Study Qualifies Kingston for Housing Emergency
The City of Kingston and the Office of Housing Initiatives have completed a new rental vacancy study.
In April/May, the City surveyed properties built before 1974 with 6+ rental units to determine how many apartments are vacant, how many are occupied, and how many are vacant but not available to rent. Based on the survey data, the City of Kingston has a net vacancy rate of 1.57% for this class of rental properties. The full vacancy report and methodology can be found here.
Based on the results of the study, Kingston is eligible to declare a housing emergency and opt into the New York State Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). The rental protections under EPTA can only be applied to buildings constructed prior to 1974 with six or more units. When rent stabilization under EPTA is in place, the annual allowable rental increases would be determined by a County Rent Guidelines Board. The operation of rent stabilized units is also regulated by other rules, including building maintenance standards and penalties, lease renewals, and capital improvements.
"Based on the results of this survey, and the housing issues we’ve long been aware of, we can finally declare a housing emergency,” said Mayor Noble. “Under the ETPA, there would be more than 1,200 rental units in the City of Kingston that would be eligible for rent stabilization. We know these residents need relief and would benefit from the preservation of affordable housing. I’m asking the Common Council to pass the ETPA without delay.”
The Laws and Rules Committee will be reviewing the vacancy study and considering a resolution to declare a housing emergency and opt into ETPA in June. If the Common Council passes the resolution, the Department of Housing Initiatives will oversee the implementation of ETPA in coordination with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Kingston would be the first New York municipality to opt into ETPA north of Rockland County.
City Launches Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program
The City of Kingston has launched a Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program, which offers free and confidential assistance from a trained, neutral mediator for landlord/tenant conflicts in Kingston. The mediation process is designed to resolve conflict without having to escalate disagreements to Housing Court.

Mediation can help resolve conflicts in areas such as:
· Disputes about rent, incl. agreements about payment plan for back-owed rent
· Negotiations between landlords and tenants around potential rent increases
· Disputes around needed repairs, including maintenance and safety concerns
· Disputes between tenants/landlords involving commercial leases
· Disputes between tenants around noise or property use

Mediations can be virtual or in person, and is a voluntary and free process. The typical turnaround from intake to mediation is two weeks. Mediation does not replace housing court, but can be a valuable first step to help both parties reach an agreement. If mediation does not work, tenants and landlords are free to proceed with the appropriate next steps, including taking their case to housing court.

The Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program is run by the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC), which has been helping residents in Ulster County resolve conflicts for 15 years. Landlords or tenants are encouraged to fill out an intake form or call the DRC at (845) 372-8771 x 5001. For general questions about the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Program, contact the City of Kingston’s Office of Housing Initiatives at (845) 334-3928.

For more information and an FAQ, reference this fact sheet.
Kingston to Create a Community Preservation Plan
The City of Kingston is preparing a Community Preservation Plan (CPP) to guide future investments in our natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

The Community Preservation Plan can identify priorities for resource protection including the preservation of historic places, expansion of public access to the waterfront, preservation of natural areas, expansion of the recreational trail system, among other similar goals. The CPP will refine and advance our existing Open Space Plan by identifying priority areas for future preservation.

In 2019, the Community Preservation Act was amended by NYS to include Ulster County, which offers the City of Kingston an opportunity to protect open spaces and natural resources, our environment and community character. The law allows communities to develop a reliable, ongoing source of funding without increasing annual property taxes for residents which will support parks, trails, lands conservation, and historic preservation.

The City of Kingston will be kicking off the CPP process with a public meeting on June 14, 2022 at 6:30pm. Representatives will provide an overview of the planning process and will review preliminary ideas about prioritization areas. To further establish the community’s needs and priorities, the City has also launched a survey at Engage Kingston, which will be open until July 15, 2022.

Community Preservation Plan Public Meeting
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
City Hall

More information can be found at EngageKingston.com.
Green Jobs Paid Training Program
The 2022 Empower Kingston Clean Energy Jobs Training Program sponsored by Communities for Local Power (CLP) and SUNY Ulster is now accepting applicatoins.

The program runs August 1 to October 3, 2022. Trainees will be paid $15/hour and will be insured. Support for services such as transportation, may be provided. SUNY Ulster will offer trainees a chance to obtain a micro credential in Clean Energy Careers, a great tool for finding a job after the training.
Mayor Noble Tuesday Radio Show
Mayor Noble hosts a weekly radio show on Tuesdays at 5:00pm which airs live on Radio Kingston and the City of Kingston Facebook page.
This week, Mayor Noble spoke with Bartek Starodaj, the City of Kingston's Director of Housing Initiatives about Kingston Forward, and the new zoning code draft. Click below to hear their conversation.
Paving News
Washington Avenue from Schwenk Drive to Lucas Avenue, including the intersection at North Front Street, will be paved next week.
DPW will begin preparing the section of Washington Avenue near the Trailways bus terminal on Monday, June 6, 2022. A section of the street from Schwenk Drive to North Front Street will be rebuilt before paving. The construction zone will include Lucas Ave to Hurley Ave with the majority of the work on Washington Ave near Trailways. When the work is completed between Schwenk Drive and North Front St, milling and paving will follow from Schwenk Drive to Lucas Avenue. Paving work is planned to be completed in one week. 

Milling on Lindsley Avenue from Delaware to East Union, and Walnut Street from the dead-end to Gill Street began today, with paving to follow next week.
DPW is expected to schedule a round of paving each month until the end of the paving season in November. More information about paving projects in the City of Kingston can be found at https://kingston-ny.gov/paving.
Milling on Walnut & Lindsley
Roadwork Update for Week of June 6
Elmendorf Bridge: work is wrapping up on the bridge, which is expected to reopen next week.

Central Hudson: Main installation will continue next week on Stephan Street, Farrelly Street, Florence Street, Hayes Street, Gage and Lincoln Street with road closures and lane changes.

Service replacements will continue on Clifton Avenue (Highland Ave. to Lincoln Street) and Shufeldt Street with detours and road closures. 

Wurts Street Bridge: Current ongoing work includes abutment pedestal replacement along with the removal of the chamber floors, removal of existing bridge sidewalk railings, removing welded clips, removal of rivets and replacement with high strength bolt. Current steel replacement activities include removing and installing and torqueing down gusset plates, replacing sidewalk steel, wind chord and lateral wind bracing. Pedestrian protection system is now installed beneath bridge over walkway adjacent to the Rondout Creek.

Abeel Street will be transitioned to one-way traffic on Monday, June 6, weather permitting.  

Regular Roadwork Updates are posted on the City's website here.
Kingston 311
The Kingston 311 app, website and phone system allow residents to quickly and easily report issues and submit service requests. The Kingston 311 app, available for Android & iPhones, is a fast and simple way to connect to City officials in non-emergency situations.

This system is a valuable resource to submit service requests for streetlight replacement, roadwork, City signage, traffic calming measures and other concerns. Issues with snow removal and reporting of vehicles and sidewalks not in accordance with the Snow Emergency restrictions can also be submitted via Kingston 311. Photos can also be attached to illustrate service orders. Dial 311 from any phone within City limits to reach us. 
Sent on behalf of:
Mayor Steven T. Noble
The purpose of this newsletter is to share important information, project updates, pictures and news from the City of Kingston. For more detailed information, visit: