The Ulster County Housing Smart Communities Initiative (UCHSCI) is a program in the Ulster County Planning Department developed to support Ulster County municipalities in tackling the housing crisis. The program provides policy guidance, incentives, and resources for municipal staff and communities that are working to address housing affordability challenges. The program is specifically focused on the preservation and development of affordable and workforce housing to ensure County households are not displaced by increasing rents and housing prices and can remain in their communities.
Municipalities choosing to participate in the program will begin a certification process to become a Housing Smart Community and be awarded a certification level (e.g., Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) based on the number of housing-related actions taken by the community. In turn, participating municipalities will receive support services and incentives from the Ulster County Planning Department to develop and adopt housing-related policies that address the community’s housing affordability challenges.
Once a municipality has completed steps 1 through 4 of the certification process and officially joined the program, municipalities should select the Housing Smart Actions they would like to implement from the following list:
- Create a Municipal Housing Action Plan
- Adopt Short-Term Rental Regulations
- Support Development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
- Adopt Existing Real Property Tax Laws
- Establish Rent Stabilization Regulations
- Upzoning and Mandatory Affordable Housing
- Adopt an Affordable Housing Overlay District
- Housing Sites Inventory and Issue a Request for Concepts/Proposals for Housing
- Streamline Development Approval Process
- Adopt a Building Energy Code
- Establish a Housing Rehabilitation Program
- Create Innovative Housing Strategies