Ticket to reside: Applicants seek housing at Woodstock Commons

The RUPCO construction takes shape. (photo by Dion Ogust)

A third of the way through an application period that will conclude on September 30, senior citizens have demonstrated marked interest in securing rental units at the Woodstock Commons affordable housing complex, which is scheduled to open its doors at the beginning of next year.

While data on the total number of applications received thus far, and on the number submitted by Woodstock residents, are currently unavailable, the overall response has been “enthusiastic,” especially among seniors, according to Guy Kempe, who is vice president of community development for the Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO), the project’s developer.

Since the 45-day application, or “lease-up,” period began on August 15, senior citizens — people aged 55 and older, as defined by the housing program’s criteria — have submitted a “robust” number of applications, said Kempe in an August 28 interview. The order in which applications are reviewed and screened for eligibility will be determined by a lottery conducted after the September 30 deadline. Details on the status of the application process may be available in mid September.


Individuals and families with incomes up to 60 percent of the area’s median level are eligible for housing in the 53-unit development, which comprises apartments with one, two, or three bedrooms. Based on the county’s median income of $73,900, the eligibility threshold for a family of four would be $44,340 and the limit for a two-person household would be $35,520.

Eligible applicants who are not chosen in the current lease-up process will be assigned a place on a waiting list for future vacancies. New applications for the waiting list will be accepted at a future date, after tenants selected in the process that is now under way have taken up residency at Woodstock Commons.


Preferences for artists

Artists will receive preferential consideration in the upcoming selection process for 12 of the housing units. In interviews with a review committee, applicants who identify themselves as artists will have the opportunity to support their claim by answering and asking questions and presenting portfolios or other examples of their work.

All residents of New York State are eligible for housing at Woodstock Commons, which is situated on a 28-acre parcel behind the Bradley Meadows shopping plaza, with a main entrance on Playhouse Lane. Pursuant to the federal Fair Housing Act, RUPCO has formed a marketing committee to apprise minority groups, such as the area’s Spanish-speaking population, of the affordable housing opportunity.

This marketing initiative, said Kempe, will entail an outreach effort aimed at churches and other organizations serving populations with a primary language other than English. “While Woodstock is not demographically diverse, folks involved in organizations or church groups are committed to assisting us in (pursuing) fair-housing goals,” said the RUPCO official.

Construction of the $16 million project began in July 2011 and is on track for completion by the end of this year, Kempe said. In-progress photos of the construction work, along with other information about the 13-building complex, are available on the developer’s website, rupco.org. Housing applications can be downloaded from the website; obtained by calling RUPCO at 331-2140 or mailing a request to RUPCO at 289 Fair Street, Kingston NY 12401; or picked up in person at either the Kingston office or a temporary office in the Woodstock branch of Ulster Savings Bank at 62 Mill Hill Road.