There was an affordable housing crisis in Ulster County before the pandemic; now it’s worse. Low-income, immigrant, and Black families are caught in the crosshairs.

According to the 2014-2018 American Community Survey, 55.1% of Ulster County renters are cost-burdened — that means at least 35% of their monthly income goes for housing. More than 30% are severely rent burdened, paying more than half of their income toward housing costs.

With your support UIDN has helped nearly 100 immigrant households in Kingston with emergency rent money. That sort of support is not sustainable or scalable. We’re facing a potential train wreck when the statewide eviction moratorium ends.

In response, UIDN has joined other local advocacy groups to urge our elected officials to prevent evictions and foreclosures until we have a viable Covid 19 vaccineand implement policies that ensure affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.

We believe officials have a moral and pragmatic responsibility to prevent greater suffering. Eviction moratoriums have been extended by 180 days in other places. We must do the same here in Ulster County. Please join us by signing and circulating our petition, https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/petition-for-emergency-rental-assistance/.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act (H.R.6800) in part, to address the housing crisis, and the current version would protect some 11 million undocumented immigrants in our county. Please urge the Senate to pass this version of pandemic relief.

Thank you for your support. Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to act as UIDN works with other community groups to learn about and advocate for immediate and longer term solutions to our Ulster County affordable housing crisis.

Your efforts make our community healthier and stronger!

The housing crisis is nationwide. For a quick overview see The Coming Eviction Catastrophe, a New York Times editorial. For a deeper dive, here are two books published in 2019.

Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream
Aaron Glantz (432 pp)

A heart-wrenching investigation into America’s housing crisis and the modern-day robber barons who are making a fortune off the backs of the disenfranchised.

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (368 pp)

Uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued even after redlining and other housing discrimination were banned. For a summary, see Taylor’s Q&A with The Nation, There Is No Housing Crisis: It’s Just Housing Under Capitalism.