Step 1: Pass a Resolution.
Make a formal commitment to the process via municipal resolution. Use this model resolution template for drafting your local resolution. The resolution should include the reasons the community has determined to address its housing challenges and commit to working through the Ulster County Housing Smart Communities Initiative (Housing Smart Communities) actions.
Step 2: Designate a Housing Smart Community Coordinator.
The coordinator will be the point person between the municipality and Ulster County and will manage and track any documentation required for the certification process.
Step 3: Form a Housing Task Force.
The housing task force reviews the Housing Smart Actions and selects which action the municipality will complete and when. The task force will have regularly scheduled meetings and should assist with the establishment of community outreach and educational campaign on the importance of developing a range of housing options. A municipality can designate a pre-existing housing-related committee or group as the Housing Task Force, so long as they meet regularly and document their decision making process.
Step 4: Submit the registration form for the certification program on the Community Submission page.
Municipalities will use the Community Submissions page to submit Housing Smart Community registration form to join the program. The submission page will also be used by participating municipalities to submit all certification-related documentation to the County. The Our Communities page showcases the progress of each municipality in the program and has a list of possible actions and whether the community has completed these actions.
After (Step 1) passing a resolution, (Step 2) designating a Housing Smart Community Coordinator, (Step 3) establishing or designating a Housing Task Force, and (Step 4) submitting the registration to join the program, a community will be certified as a Bronze-Level Housing Smart Community.
Step 5: Establish a Housing-Focused Community Outreach Campaign.
Once a municipality has passed a resolution joining the program, the other foundational action of the certification program is to Establish a Community Outreach and Education Campaign on the importance of developing a range of housing options. The success of the Housing Smart Communities program is dependent on having communities that are informed on housing issues and engaged in the process. To this end, the municipality should establish, a community outreach and education campaign that ensures housing advocacy groups, as well as the general public, are invited into the discussion regarding housing at every step of the process.
Step 6: Begin implementing a prioritized set of the Housing Smart Actions
Once a municipality has joined the program, the Housing Task Force should review all the Housing Smart Actions and identify the following items:
- Which Housing Smart Actions (that meet the minimum criteria for each action) has already been completed by the municipality? For these actions, the Housing Smart Community Coordinator should submit these actions for review.
- Which Housing Smart Actions are currently being considered or in development by the municipality? For these actions, the municipality to ensure that the design of these actions meet the minimum criteria for each action.
- Which Housing Smart Actions would the municipality like to implement in the future and would like technical support from the Ulster County Planning Department to help implement?
- One of the Housing Smart Actions serves as a catch-all action, “Create Innovative Housing Solutions”, which allows you to submit a summary of another housing strategy/solution you are working on or have completed recently. Identify any other housing-related policies/strategies that are nor include in the list of Housing Smart Action you would like to submit as part of the “Create Innovative Housing Solutions” action.
If a municipality has already completed any of the Housing Smart Actions that meet the minimum criteria before joining the program, these actions will count toward certification points.
Communities earn higher levels of certification based on points which are awarded for fulfilling certain housing actions. There are four certification levels:
Each level of certification beyond bronze is achieved when a community earns 10 points.
|Foundational steps required||
Any combination of additional actions totaling 8 points (most actions are worth 2-4 points)
Any combination of additional actions totaling 6 points (most actions are worth 2-4 points)
In order to achieve Gold-level certification or higher, a community must have created new affordable housing units after joining the program. Affordable housing is defined here as units that do not exceed 30% of annual household income for households that earn between 30% AMI and 80% AMI. The number of required affordable units depends on the size of the community following this formula:
Required units = Total municipal population/100
|30 points||Must have completed a Municipal Housing Action Plan (10 points) in addition to 20 points from other actions.|
|Establish a Community Outreach and Educational Campaign on the Importance of Developing a Range of Housing Options||Foundational action.|
|Create a Municipal Housing Action Plan||10 – Required for Platinum certification|
|Leverage Existing Housing Stock|
|Adopt Short-Term Rental Regulations||3|
|Support Development of Accessory Dwelling Units
|Adopt Existing Real Property Tax Laws||2|
|Establish Rent Stabilization Regulations
|Land Use Changes|
|Upzoning and Mandatory Affordable Housing
|Adopt an Affordable Housing Overlay District||4|
|Development and Approval Process|
|Streamline Development Approval Process||2|
|Housing Sites Inventory and Issue Request for Concepts/Proposals for Housing||3|
|Clean Energy and Energy Costs|
|Adopt a Building Energy Code||2|
|Establish a Housing Rehabilitation Program||3|
|Create Innovative Housing Solutions||2-5|