Newburgh Ministry is an organization on Johnston Street that provides food, clothing and housing to those who are struggling. Members say they want to buy the city-owned property next door and convert it into studio and one-bedroom apartments to help provide a stable and affordable home.
"Knowing the challenges of permanent housing in the city of Newburgh, particularly for the low, low income individual -- that is, the individual who is on public assistance but receives $412 a month -- there's nothing that rents in the city of Newburgh, not even a shared room, for $412 a month," said Newburgh Ministry Executive Director Colin Jarvis.
Jarvis says the market rate for a one bedroom in the city is around $700-900. Some see this move as one more renovation that would help ease the city's problem of vacant buildings.
This proposed permanent housing unit would be able to house up to 35 people and offer on-site case management, mental health and substance abuse resources, and possibly some medical resources. Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey says he's excited about the possibility of adding low-income housing to the city, but says this idea for the property is in the preliminary stages.
"There are different moving parts to this. We don't have all the details yet," Harvey said. "We just gave our corporate counsel, our legal representation, the go-ahead to get into discussion on what those details are, what his vision is, and how we can assist."
If city officials give Newburgh Ministry the needed approvals, Jarvis says he wants to finish the building in one year.