February 10, 2023 - In this issue:

Mayor's Message

Court Upholds Kingston's Emergency Tenant Declaration

Kingston Launches Mobile Mental Health Program

Know Your Housing & Eviction Rights Event

ARPA Community Events Grant Reminder

ARPA Small Business Grant Program Reminder

Mayor Noble's Tuesday Radio Show

Mayor's Message:

Dear Friends -

We were proud to launch a Mobile Mental Health pilot project this week, one of very few in the country. We recognized, with the growing mental health crisis, the need to provide more specialized services for our residents. With our highly-trained EMT and mental health professional, we will be able to provide the support our community needs in situations that would have previously involved law enforcement. I thank the Kingston Fire Department for their leadership in this endeavor, and the County for their support.

I hope you had a chance to read our Special Zoning newsletter earlier this week. One lingering misconception seems to be surrounding short-term rentals like Airbnbs. The proposed code is extremely strict on STRs - it caps the number at 100 citywide, or 1% of our housing stock. Without the new code in place, many more STRs would be allowed by law. The proposed code would be one of the most limiting measures possible.

The final public hearing is Monday, and the deadline for written comment is February 18.


Court Upholds Kingston's Emergency Housing Declaration

The City of Kingston has successfully defended a lawsuit against the 2022 Vacancy Study, and the City’s subsequent Housing Emergency Declaration, which allowed Kingston to opt into the Emergency Tenant Protect Act.

The State Supreme Court Judge ruled in favor of the City of Kingston and the validity of the City’s 2022 Vacancy Study.

Mayor Steve Noble said, “Thousands of ETPA tenants here in Kingston can sleep a little better tonight knowing that Kingston’s Declaration of a Housing Emergency, the first in Upstate New York, has withstood judicial review. We all know that Kingston is in a housing emergency that our well-managed and professional vacancy survey clearly documented.

"The Court’s decision today allows for the 1200+ housing units to continue to receive benefits from the Emergency Tenant Protection Act. While the Rent Guidelines Board and the NYS Division of Homes and Community Renewal will likely have to meet again to reconsider the “look back period” and what, if any, rental increases will be awarded in the future, this decision firmly protects our most vulnerable residents and remains an important tool that we will continue to utilize in the future. I strongly recommend other communities who have had similar issues to move forward with housing emergency legislation to ensure their residents can have these same protections.

"I would like to thank Barbara Graves-Poller and the Corporation Counsel Office for all their hard work on defending our tenants’ rights, and Bartek Starodaj, the City of Kingston’s tireless Director of Housing Initiatives.”

More at: https://kingston-ny.gov/news/?FeedID=1800

Kingston Launches Mobile Mental Health

The City of Kingston, in conjunction with Ulster County and Access: Supports for Living, launched a Mobile Mental Health pilot project this week.


The first of its kind in upstate New York and one of only a few in the country, the program will pair a mental healthcare specialist with a Kingston Fire Department EMT to staff a mobile response unit weekdays from 10:00am to 6:00pm. The Mobile Mental Health response team of social worker and EMT will have a dedicated ambulance and will provide person-centric crisis response to mental health emergency calls within the City of Kingston.


Ulster County 911 has a dedicated mental health dispatcher, and Kingston Police Department dispatchers have been trained to divert mental health calls. In addition to the Mobile Mental Health team, the entire Fire Department has been trained with an initial Crisis Intervention Training for Law Enforcement. Additional longer-form training is planned.


In 2021, the City of Kingston’s Re-envision Public Safety Task Force spent weeks looking closely at local law enforcement practices and procedures, then provided a detailed report for improving police/community relations. A mental health crisis response was among the top recommendations.


The Mobile Mental Health pilot project was funded by the Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC), represented by the Office of Community Renewal, through May 2023, and will continue with ARPA funds.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911, KPD dispatch at 845-331-1671, or the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by texting 988 or chatting at 988lifeline.org.


For more info, visit: www.engagekingston.com/mobile-mental-health-program

Know Your Housing & Eviction Rights Event

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is partnering with the Attorney General’s Office, For the Many, and Citizen Action for a Housing and Eviction Know Your Rights event next week. The event will be held on Wednesday, February 15, at the Kingston Library as well as via Facebook Live.  

Kingston Community Events Grant Program

Today, the City of Kingston launched the 2023 Community Events Grant Program, which is made possible with Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The City has allocated $375,000 to support local events as part of our city-wide pandemic recovery efforts.

Nonprofit groups and businesses located within City limits are eligible to apply for up to five events per year at up to $5,000 per event — for a total of up to $25,000 per organization. Events must be free and open to the public and either have previously taken place prior to 2020, or if new, not duplicate pre-existing events and focus primarily on youth and families as the target audience. Overall preference will be shown to applications for events that focus primarily on youth and families as well as those that draw audiences from diverse backgrounds.

Funding is available for events taking place February through the end of December 2023. Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from Friday, February 3, 2023, through Friday, November 1, 2023. The last eligible event date is December 31, 2023.

More information, a list of eligible expenses, and the application can be found at: www.engagekingston.com/arpa-community-events-grant-program

ARPA Small Business Grant Program

Last week, the City of Kingston launched the first of its ARPA grant programs, the Small Business Grant Program. The City has allocated $1,000,000 of its $17.3 million ARPA award to aid local businesses in responding to the negative economic impacts of COVID-19. 

Grant awards of up to $10,000 each will help businesses keep their doors open, protect local jobs threatened by the pandemic, support community recovery, and increase resiliency.  

The grant application is due Friday, March 17, 2023. Further details and the application are available at Engage Kingston

Mayor Noble's 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 the form-based zoning code. Click below to hear their converstion.

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
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