Affordable housing, rentals and regulation are focus of Sept. 18 symposium at SUNY New Paltz

The Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz invites community members to a half-day symposium dedicated to one of the greatest challenges facing the region: the availability of affordable housing.

“Hudson Valley Housing: The Impact of Short-Term Rentals and the Prospect of Rent Regulation,” presented by the Benjamin Center, the SUNY New Paltz Foundation and RUPCO, will focus on two key recent developments affecting the affordable housing supply in our region.

The symposium will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building Multipurpose Room on the New Paltz campus. A $25 registration fee includes continental breakfast; the symposium is free to SUNY New Paltz faculty, staff and students.

Please use this link to view the full schedule and to register.

“Hudson Valley Housing” begins with “The Prospect of Rent Regulation,” a panel addressing the newly enacted state legislation that allows New York towns and cities to create their own regulations to keep rental properties affordable.

Benjamin Center Director Gerald Benjamin will moderate this conversation between tenant attorney Jack Lester, a leader in achieving housing court reform in New York City, and four regional municipal officials:

  • Randy Casale, mayor, City of Beacon
  • Reynolds Scott-Childress, majority leader, City of Kingston Common Council, and assistant professor of history at SUNY New Paltz
  • Sarah A. Salem, city council member, City of Poughkeepsie
  • David Sager, former manager, Village of Monticello

The second panel, “The Impact of Short-Term Rentals on Long-Term Housing,” is moderated by Guy Kempe, vice president of community development at RUPCO, a leading provider of and advocate for quality affordable housing in the Hudson Valley.

Kempe will lead a conversation among Eoin Wrafter, Dennis Doyle, Dave Church and Freda Eisenberg – the county planners of Dutchess, Ulster, Orange and Sullivan Counties, respectively – about the relationship between short-term rentals and long-term housing in their communities.

The symposium wraps up with a summary of the current state of affordable housing in the Hudson Valley. Patricia Singh, Hudson Valley community organizer for Airbnb, and Alex Panagiotopoulos, founder of the Kingston Tenant’s Union, will talk with moderator and Benjamin Center Associate Director KT Tobin, who will draw upon findings from her forthcoming major long-term study on the cost of living in the Hudson Valley.

“Hudson Valley Housing: The Impact of Short-Term Rentals and the Prospect of Rent Regulation” is a collaborative project of The Benjamin Center, RUPCO, and the SUNY New Paltz Foundation. It is presented in conjunction with the fourth annual Hudson Valley Future Summit, which will take place at SUNY New Paltz on Nov. 18.

Preregistration is requested. For a detailed schedule and breakdown of the morning, visit: