Catholic Guild for the Blind

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Dara Marshall Outreach worker is visiting our communities to discuss tools and techniques that help legally blind people live independently.  The Catholic Guild for the Blind have an adaptive living program that is for people who need training and services to assist them in living safely & independently at home.  This program offers services such as home management, financial management, meal management, personal care, communication skills, and orientation & mobility.  The person that is suffering from vision loss has to fill out an application ( by calling 917-510-3146)  and then an instructor will come in and help by offering all the services listed above.  This adaptive living program goal is to allow senior citizens who are experiencing vision loss to function independently.

Healthy Living Tips

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Janet Syvertsen from Alzheimer’s Association is at The Birches at Esopus today. She is joined by a group of residents for a lunchtime presentation: “Healthy Habits for your brain and body: tips from the latest research. The workshop covered lifestyle habits associated with healthy aging: cognitive activity, exercise, diet & nutrition, and social engagement. Of particular interest was the Mediterranean diet as a few residents shared some menu ideas and diet successes.

Alzheimer’s Association Presentation

Monday, November 7th, 2016


Janet Syvertsen from the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter gave a wonderful and informative presentation today to our residents about knowing the 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.The ten signs and symptoms:

  1. Memory loss,
  2. challenges in planning or solving problems,
  3. difficulty completing familiar tasks,
  4. confusion with time or place,
  5. trouble understanding visual images,
  6. new problems with words or speaking,
  7.  misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps,
  8. decreased or poor judgement,
  9. withdrawal from work or social activities, and
  10. changes in mood and personality.

For more information about the ten signs visit

And don’t forget to visit and like us on Facebook!


Empowering Seniors

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Birchez Associates was proud to sponsor the 9th annual Circles for Caring Conference presented by Jewish Family Services of Ulster County. This year’s theme: Empowering Seniors. The event was filled with entertaining, informative and engaging sessions, including a welcome by Lawrence Force PhD, Director of Center on Aging and Policy, and Keynote speaker Maria Alverez, executive Director, Statewide Senior Action. Sharon Murray-Cohen, LMSW, Executive Director of JFS, Ulster, explained why the not for profit, non denominational agency chose this year’s theme of Empowering Seniors:

“The grey wave is a demographic group of younger seniors to much older seniors as baby boomers come of age and have longer life expectancy. If a person lives a good long life, a third of it will be as a senior. How then does society empower seniors, a diverse group with unique needs and wants? We need to stay strong in raising the profile of senior citizens though awareness and education. The goal of today’s conference is to Empower Seniors by placing the senior at the center of discussions and planning for their lives.”

Birchez Associates Hosts BOCES Training Course

Monday, July 25th, 2016

As the use of alternative energy proliferates, local fire department officials have identified a number of areas of concern with hazard mitigation and emergency response. This includes solar power systems, which are introducing new and unexpected hazards to Ulster County firefighters and other emergency responders.

Local emergency personnel learn about firefighting that involves solar power systems

Ulster BOCES, Ulster Hose No. 5, Birchez Associates and Rondout Property Management have teamed up to create a class experience for all of our local fire companies. “This is part of our ongoing support of our First Responders. In helping them we ultimately help our residents,” said Steve Aaron, Founder & Managing Member of Birchez Associates.

Last May, Birchez opened its doors to a class of 55 firefighters and their instructors to learn/explore the proper ways to handle any emergencies when it comes to sustainable systems. The class exercise allowed onsite experience and information for firefighters and first responders to assist in their decisions for handling fire incidents in buildings equipped with solar power systems.

“At The Birches at Chambers site, we split the groups up for the class exercise,” former Ulster Hose No. 5 Chief Sam Appa said, “about six at a time. This training was very helpful in getting a hands-on education on solar array operations and safety. Thank you to Steve Aaron, Birchez Associates and Rondout Property Management for allowing us this important opportunity.”

Specifically, this class exercise focused on structural firefighting in buildings and structures involving solar power systems utilizing solar panels that generate thermal and/or electrical energy, with a particular focus on solar photovoltaic panels used for electric power generation.

Click on the title for Birchez Associates Commitment to Sustainability video to learn more about our use of alternative energy.

Birchez Associates Grows with New Community in Schoharie

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Elegant, affordable, senior housing is coming to Schoharie. Birchez Associates, LLC, Founder Steven L. Aaron anticipates The Birches at Schoharie community to be available for residents by late summer.

On Main Street, near Schoharie’s Central Business District, Birchez is constructing 72 apartments: 60 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartments. Floor plans for the cottages and first-floor apartments of the main building include an outdoor patio/deck, while second-floor apartments will benefit from a balcony/deck. Also located at the rear of the garden-style building will be gardening plots with raised beds, and a landscaped recreation area for resident gatherings.

“Birchez Associates is very excited about the completion of this construction project and opening the doors to this new community,” Aaron said. “We always strive for excellence and we always keep the needs and happiness of our residents in mind. We’re building a community where people will truly enjoy their later years.”

The state-of-the-art senior living community campus will be a smoke free, and the well-appointed apartments will include air conditioning and 24-hour maintenance. Attention to detail is evident from the location of the light switches to the height of the countertops – all designed with the senior and frail senior in mind. Also, there will be plenty of closet and onsite storage space. Amenities include onsite laundry facilities, crafts/game room, computer center and  a spacious community room complete with a kitchen facility.

Each apartment will be outfitted with the latest in energy efficient appliances, radiant heat and air conditioning. The community will meet LEED green building-design standards, including Energy Star components that use 20 percent to 30 percent less energy than New York State requirements.

Residents will have the confidence of onsite management and security. Every unit will be handicapped accessible and include state-of-the-art e-call systems in bedrooms and bathrooms, that directly notify first responders and onsite staff.
“Schoharie will experience many of the same amenities and details that are featured in our other communities,”Aaron said. “This level of quality makes a difference in the lives of all our residents.” Residents will have easy access to shopping, banking, a library, medical offices, dining and entertainment in the surrounding area. They will also have available at-home care from Bassett Health Care Network.

Construction of The Birches at Schoharie has created a positive economic impact on the local community. The project has a $10 million-plus construction value, creating 110 jobs and $2.78 million in wages and salaries during construction and a $1.24 million ripple effect of annual spending income from local wages and salaries during operation.

“In addition to the creation of local construction and permanent jobs, this community is more about bringing a wonderful, affordable living environment to seniors in the Schoharie region,” Aaron said.

For an application to The Birches at Schoharie or any of our communities, email, go to or call 845-338-6173.



Birchez Associates’ Salute to First Responders

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Posted June 15, 2016 by Hudson Valley News Network


The senior residents of The Birches at Chambers and Chambers Court hosted a brunch to show appreciation for the dedicated First Responders who care for their communities.

First Responders Celebrated: Some of the First Responders honored by the residents of The Birches at Chambers and Chambers Court, Town of Ulster, gather for an official pose. Joining them are guests County Legislator Peter Loughran, Town of Ulster Board Member John Morrow, Community Outreach Coordinator Reverend Shirley Whitlock, Senior Advocate (and former Legislator) Alice Tipp, Vice Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature James Maloney, Judy Aaron, and Steve Aaron, Founder and Managing Director of Birchez Associates.

Town of ULSTER – The senior residents of The Birches of Chambers and Chambers Court hosted a brunch this past Saturday to show appreciation for the dedicated First Responders who care for their communities. Honorees included members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Ulster Police Department, Ulster Hose Fire Department #5 and Mobile Life.

“No matter how many times we sponsor an Appreciation Brunch, the excitement is always there and our gratitude to these dedicated men and woman never ceases,” said Birchez Founder and Managing Partner, Steve Aaron. “The professional and friendly manner in which they serve our seniors residents gives us great comfort.”

Mary Nielsen, a resident at The Birches of Chambers since it opened in 2010, summed up the gratitude evident at the event: “Not only do I feel a sense of security and comfort, but so does my family, knowing that if something should happen that help is at hand within minutes. I can live independently, but feel a sense of connectedness.”

Jim Maloney Presents Pride of Ulster County Award to John Kelly, Ulster Hose Co. #5

James Maloney, Vice Chairman of the Ulster County Legislature, presented Pride of Ulster County awards to the First Responders to complement the certificates of appreciation given by the residents. In accepting one of the certificates of appreciation, Ulster County Deputy Sheriff Brandon Schiller said: “It is my honor to be here today. The Sheriff’s Office has met with residents over the years in providing programs on self-defense, scams targeted at our seniors, and general safety, as have the Town of Ulster Police. The good news is we are seldom called! So my thanks go to the residents and staff today.”

Senior Advocate for the Birches Communities and former Ulster County legislator Alice Tipp offered her own experience as an example of the responsiveness of First Responders. “I took a silly fall at one of my weekly resident teas. You’d think I would be more coordinated at my age. Within minutes, Mobile Life was at my side to transport me to the hospital.” Alice was back on her post after care and, at age 93, continues her advocacy for senior residents.

All senior resident apartments at the four affordable Birches senior communities in the County of Ulster are equipped with call alert units in bedrooms and bathrooms that connect directly to local emergency services. Ulster Hose 2nd Assistant Chief John Kelly said, “Yes there have been some false alarms when a call unit is pulled in error, but that is a small inconvenience when measured against the alert speed of these units when there is a real emergency. We encourage the residents to use them, not to think ‘well maybe the pain will go away’!”

In addition to the emergency call units, Birchez Associates has installed defibrillator stations (AED) at the properties and has provided staff training, as a proactive measure until the first responders arrive.


Birchez Associates, LLC, was founded by Steven L. Aaron in 2002 to develop and construct quality affordable housing for senior citizens, frail elderly, working families, veterans and single parents. Birchez Associates, LLC has since sponsored hundreds of affordable housing units in the Hudson Valley, generating over $60 million of development and construction in the region with well over $100 million coming in the near future.

Birchez salutes Town of Ulster first responders

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Source: 6/14/16                        TOWN OF ULSTER – Senior residents of The Birches of Chambers and Chambers Court this past weekend hosted area first responders as a “thank you” for their continued service.

“No matter how many times we sponsor an appreciation brunch, the excitement is always there and our gratitutde to these dedicated men and women never ceases,: said Bichez founder and managing partner Steve Aaron. “The professional and friendly manner in which they serve our senior residents gives us great comfort.”

“Not only do I feel a sense of security and comfort, but so does my family, knowing that if something should happen that help is at hand within minutes,” said Mary Nielson, a resident at The Birches of Chambers since it opened in 2010. “I can live independently, but feel a sense of connectedness.”

Ulster County Legislator James Maloney presented Pride of Ulster awards to the first responders.

Honorees included members of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Ulster Police, Ulster Hose Fire Department #5 and Mobile Life Support Ambulance Service.

In addition to emergency call units, Birchez Associates has installed defibrillator stations at the properties and has provided staff training to assist until first responders arrive during emergencies.

Birchez names Advisory Board to Guide New Foundation

Friday, March 11th, 2016

KINGSTON, N.Y. (March 11, 2016) – Birchez Associates, LLC, Founder and Managing Partner Steven L. Aaron has named an advisory board that will help the company choose recipients and determine the allocations of grant money for the Birchez Foundation.

The advisory board members are:

  • Maurice Hinchey – Maurice Hinchey’s 38 years of public service has earned him a reputation as “the environmental hero of the Hudson Valley,” and as a tireless advocate for working people everywhere. He is a pioneering voice in the environmental and human rights movements, author of many of the first state and national laws protecting our water, air, land and food, and was an early advocate for family farms. Born in New York City’s Greenwich Village and raised in Saugerties, he is known as an ardent supporter of affordable housing and aging in place communities, a champion of the middle class, and a dedicated fighter for women’s rights, renewable energy sources and economic fairness.

A progressive Democrat who attracted equal numbers of Republican and Independent supporters, Maurice represented New York’s 22nd Congressional District, which spans eight counties from the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes region.

Serving in the New York State Assembly for 18 years, including 14 years as Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Maurice first became known for his landmark investigative work on Love Canal, and for his tireless work against the dumping of toxic waste by organized crime. Former Gov. Cuomo has called him the “environmental conscience of New York State.”

While in the Assembly, Maurice developed a wide reputation for his extensive, local constituent work, believing his office should do all it could to help community members successfully navigate state agencies, and assist with government-related problems. He continued the unprecedented effort through his Congressional years. His office’s constituent services program continues to be a model for elected officials.

Early in his first year in the U.S. House of Representatives, Maurice initiated and led the successful effort to preserve Sterling Forest, the last significant area of open space in the New York metropolitan region and an important watershed for southeastern New York and northern New Jersey. He was the author of legislation that created the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, the first federal action formally recognizing the fundamentally significant role the people of the Hudson Valley played in the early development of America. Coupled with his earlier success in enacting the Hudson River Greenway, Maurice remains an active advocate for the Hudson River and surrounding communities.

  • Al Spada – The former Ulster County clerk who has the distinction of being the longest serving county clerk in Ulster County since George Clinton held the position in the late 18th Century.  Spada received numerous honors over the years including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Association of County Clerks and the Man of the Year Award from the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served on the boards of Benedictine and Kingston hospitals, the New York State Advisory Board of Public Works and the Kingston Housing Authority (also served as chairman). Spada also served on the Heritage Advisory Committee, the New York State Sports Authority and Ulster County United Way. In 2015, Congregation Agudas Achim synagogue awarded him its Humanitarian Award.
  • Barbara Gutzler – Independent retail business manager; former Town of Wappingers Falls supervisor 2011-2016; Dutchess County legislator; West Park Union Free School District special education teacher. As supervisor, she was known for her ability to keep taxes down without cutting services and was a lead player in negotiating a deal that brought water from New York City to parts of the town that had not previously had it. She also served as president of the Dutchess County Association of Supervisors and Mayors.
  • John V. Forman – Dutchess County legislator 2002-2005, 2008-2013, 2015-present; Fire Districts of New York Mutual Insurance Company marketing representative. He has spent many years volunteering in local organizations that include: a 25-year member with the W.H. Mase Hook & Ladder Fire Company, an honorary-life member with the Lewis Tompkins Hose Fire Company, a former director of the city of Beacon Little League, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a former board vice president for the Beacon Housing Authority.
  • Marlow Dunham – Pastor, Change Point Church, Poughkeepsie, for nearly three decades, first under the banner of the Hopewell Christian Center and then later as The River Church. He has led a multitude of successful outreach projects to people of all walks of life and is especially known for his visionary skills and his ability to accept, embrace and meet the spiritual and temporal needs of people from all walks of life.
  • Larry Kithcart – Ulster County Community Action Commission (UCCAC) executive director 1982-2012 (and currently UCCAC interim executive director), former Ulster County legislator 1969-1988. A pillar of the Kingston and Ulster County communities, he continues to help those in need. In his role with UCCAC he managed programs like Head Start, to help disadvantaged children, and heating/weatherization programs for the poor. During his legislative tenure he served on many county committees, including Budget and Operations, Labor Relations and Programs for the Aging. His work helped produce “spin off” organizations such as Resource Center for Accessible Living.
  • Leslie Price – The Village of Schoharie clerk/treasurer since 2005, who is also the owner of the J. Lacy Unisex Salon, which has been in business in the village since 1979. Price took great care to ensure village offices never closed after they were destroyed by Hurricane Irene in 2011.  She oversaw the offices’ relocation two times before their current move into the town hall.

“Birchez Associates is honored to have these outstanding community leaders join the Birchez Foundation Advisory Board,” Aaron said. “Their collective insight and outreach into the region will be beneficial to senior citizens, U.S. military veterans, students furthering their education and the environment.”

The Birchez Foundation, created in 2014, awards grants to further assist organizations that provide services to assist senior citizens and U.S. military veterans, or support educational programming and preserve or improve the environment.

Birchez Associates has often supported many worthy community causes and events in the communities that it serves, such as providing educational scholarships; distributing turkeys, toys and clothing during the holidays; and improving the lives of their residents. The Foundation’s goals are consistent in keeping with the history of generosity of Steve, Judy and Josh Aaron.

“The establishment of the foundation now formalizes Birchez ongoing, extensive commitment to the areas our Birches communities serve,” Aaron said.


Birchez Associates, LLC, was founded by Steven L. Aaron in 2002 to develop and construct quality affordable housing for senior citizens, frail elderly, working families, veterans and single parents. Birchez Associates, LLC has since sponsored hundreds of affordable housing units in the Hudson Valley, generating over $60 million of development and construction in the region with well over $100 million coming in the near future.

For further information on Birchez Associates, LLC, please visit or call 845-331-2097. For information about the Foundation, email

Release by Focus Media

Kingston mayor backs Cooperage senior housing proposal

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

By Paul Kirby, Daily Freeman

KINGSTON >> Mayor Steve Noble says he supports a proposed 72-unit senior housing project in Midtown — one of two significant projects expected to come before the city Planning Board next month.

The Bruyn Avenue housing project, known as The Cooperage, and a proposal for an indoor shooting range on Prince Street are to be considered by planners when they meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 in City Hall, 420 Broadway.

Noble said The Cooperage, proposed by Birchez Associates and its managing partner, Steve Aaron, would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

“The Cooperage looks to provide an opportunity for seniors to live within a city setting and have access to numerous services in our new and upcoming arts district,” the new mayor said in an email. “The fact that this proposed project looks to renovate historic buildings, while also building on land that is currently an eyesore in the neighborhood, is a win-win for the city of Kingston.”

The Cooperage would occupy the vacant former Kingston Cooperage Co. building where Bruyn Avenue dead-ends at the CSX railroad tracks.

Noble said he looks “forward to seeing this project work its way through the planning process.”

Aaron said recently that he’s confident construction will begin in the first quarter of 2017 “at the latest.”

The city Planning Board voted unanimously in September 2014 to extend for 18 months the permit granted to Birchez Associates to build the project. Birchez now needs an additional extension, which is why the project is back before the board.

The project, estimated to cost at least $16 million, first was proposed in November 2011.

The Kingston Cooperage Co. originally was called the Kingston Barrel Corp. and began producing beer barrels in the brick building on Bruyn Avenue in August 1933, just four months before Prohibition ended.