In August 2021 a plan was announced for Rupco to convert the Quality Inn hotel a half-mile closer to Kingston on Route 28 than the Rodeway Inn Skytop. A partnership of Ulster County, Rupco, Family of Woodstock, and Catholic Charities were to provide social services in conjunction with supportive housing for individuals and families. The announced purchase price on the six-acre site at that time was $3.7 million. State and federal funding were available for a large share of the rehabilitation costs, which were estimated at as much as $20 million.
Ulster County executive at the time Pat Ryan said the project would create “desperately needed supportive housing.” He said the project would not solve all the county’s housing issues but would be a step forward. “Housing is our number one issue in the county,” he said. “It’s holding back other things, including economic growth.”
Instead of the tenants at the 81 units finally decided upon for the Quality Inn facility having to go for support to the agencies involved, the plan was for the services to go to the facility. The greater purpose was not to house the homeless but to re-integrate them as productive members of Ulster County society — something that has proven almost impossible to do at the isolated and substandard nearby Rodeway Inn Skytop and Route 38 Motel Motor Inn.
Is this not an opportunity? Might there not be a simple way for Ulster County government and its allies to deliver services to the DSS-supported tenants in those nearby facilities now reeking with hopelessness and neglect? Some Skytop tenants could be delivered to the former Quality Inn to participate in activities there by public transportation. Other services might be provided to them on-site.
The easiest route might be to purchase or to condemn those facilities.