FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2023
Mayor Noble, Kingston Housing Authority Announce Renaming of Stuyvesant Charter Apartments & $50 Million Renovation Project
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble and the Kingston Housing Authority Executive Director Benjamin O’Shea are pleased to announce that the Stuyvesant Charter apartments have been renamed the Leonard and Vera Van Dyke Apartments.
On Wednesday, the Kingston Housing Authority held a renaming ceremony at 144 Sheehan Court, with representatives from the Van Dyke family, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, development partner Mountco Construction and Development Corp., residents, and other friends and supporters. Mr. and Mrs. Van Dyke were civil rights activists and active community members. Leonard served as the first Black Alderperson on the Kingston Common Council.
The $50 million restoration of the Leonard and Vera Van Dyke Apartments is already underway for the complex’s 120 units that currently house families, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Renovations include new bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, appliances, upgraded common areas, as well as new roofing and windows. It’s only fitting that with a 50 million restoration, that the apartments have a name that they can be proud of, a name that represents a commitment to service, and a dedication to community.
“This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Kingston Housing Authority’s service to the community,” said KHA Executive Director Benjamin O’Shea. “With the renaming of Stuyvesant Charter, the KHA Board and staff celebrate our core mission to provide safe and affordable housing to low and very low-income residents of the City of Kingston and are so pleased to launch comprehensive redevelopment efforts to preserve and improve the KHA’s entire housing portfolio for all residents in our 441 households.”
“I want to thank the KHA Board and the staff for initiating not only this much-needed renovation, but also this beautiful renaming. The Van Dykes were well known in Kingston for standing up to injustice, fighting for equality, and building up their community,” said Mayor Noble. “The Van Dykes broke down barriers, and I believe it’s apt that their name will be on this complex, where a strong community exists. Thanks to the Kingston Housing Authority’s passion and tenacity, many units will be renovated, to ensure that we continue to provide stable, safe, quality, and affordable housing well into the future. The Leonard and Vera Van Dyke Apartments are the first of many renovation projects coming to fruition, and I’m proud to work alongside the KHA and to watch these developments flourish.”
Funding for the renovations at the Leonard and Vera Van Dyke Apartments is from New York State Homes and Community Renewal which provided 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, tax-exempt bonds, and a subordinate loan, a reinvestment from KHA, a PILOT from the City of Kingston, HUD’s support approving the Section 22 conversion of the public housing, and investments from the project’s financing partners, Hudson Capital and JP Morgan Chase, NA.
Renovations at the Leonard and Vera Van Dyke Apartments is the first phase of the repositioning of Kingston Housing Authority’s portfolio, which also includes Rondout Gardens, Wiltwyck Gardens, Colonial Gardens and Colonial Gardens Addition.
Since 2016, Mayor Noble has helped the Kingston Housing Authority Board restructure and brought in new leadership at both the staff and Board level. Since 2016, the Board and agency has worked to incorporate tenant input through board seats, has worked to revamp its website, and has been open with the City and the community on its improvement plans. Past collaborative projects with the City of Kingston and the KHA include the Kingston Point Rail Trail, which is built through Rondout Gardens, and a community garden at the Rondout Gardens apartments, as well as numerous safety and security improvements in partnership with the Kingston Police Department. Currently, the City of Kingston is working with KHA to review redevelopment plans for Rondout Gardens.