Several people who live near the vacant Alms House aren’t shy in their opposition of affordable housing agency RUPCO’s plans to put 66 affordable housing units there — a battle years in the making.
Kingston's planning board passed the plan on Monday.
All of the units will be for people 55 and older, and some of the units will be set aside for recovering addicts and the homeless.
Glenn Schwenk, like others in Kingston, doesn’t like the latter part.
"We wouldn't want to see anyone thieving or hanging around the neighborhood, going on people's property or anything like that,” Schwenk said.
The planning board had previously approved the project and found it conforms with the city plan. Then, in August’s final vote, the board voted 3-2 against it without offering any new information or testimony.
RUPCO sued, asking a judge to chime in on the board’s change of heart. The judge ruled the board’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” and said the board must reconsider.
"We thought the law was on our side here in New York state, and Judge Mott agreed,” said RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor.
He notes that it’s worth the fight.
"We haven't created any affordable housing for seniors at all, in over 20 years, and given where the market has gone, the need is overwhelming,” O’Connor said.
O'Connor said construction should start later this year and will take about 18 months to complete.