With the rapid gentrification, Kingston’s average home price rose more than 20 percent in 2019, which has led to some low-income people being evicted to the 14 motels in Ulster County.
For the motels, I discovered another system which is trapping people in a carceral way. Most motels used in emergency housing are near the highway but the residents are not able to afford a private car. The state government gives an average of $23,000 a year to each person. But that also means that they have no options for physical or social mobility to change their economic situation.
At the same time, I find that the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, which is a 1,300-acre farm donated by Peter Buffet, is within a 20-minute drive with five motels and a homeless shelter as well as to the vibrant city of Kingston. This huge farm has the potential, not only to cater to the needs of healthy food for Motels’ residents but might also support the local food industry - the short-chain food industry.
What if we help residents of emergency housing in the Motels establish a de-carceral alternative to help them move away from state support toward mobility and Independence?