The Birches at Fishkill

“You have to be in it. . .”

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

So starts the Lotto ad. And the same is true of our wait lists. If you don’t have an application in, you’re not on the list. Wait lists can discourage some, but we want to encourage you. When an apartment becomes available, it is available to the next qualified and ready applicant. But apartments are as-signed to particular income bands, and we have disabled and frail elderly preferences to consider as well.

What’s this all mean to you? You are on a subsection of the wait list based on your income and whether those ahead of you are ready to move in when the apartment becomes available. We’ve seen instances where we contact 20 applicants before we find a Resident. Plus should you not be ready when you are called it doesn’t affect your standing. You stay on the list.

Fill out an application soon! You can download an application, stop by at our communities (either by appointment or from the brochure display in the lobby) or just call toll free 888-980-0090 and we will mail you an application.

The Birches at Fishkill

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The Birches at Fishkill is the latest concept from Bichez Associates, an award-winning developer of affordable housing in the Hudson Valley. The plan calls for 72 elegant affordable senior-housing apartments situated on the beautiful Elant at Fishkill nursing home campus.

The Birches at Fishkill is dedicated to the concept of an enriched community lifestyle, enabling people to age in place with dignity and, when needed, providing the comfort of first-class medical resources from the staff of the adjacent Elant, one of the most respected providers of healthcare services in the  region.


New Health Care Partnership

Friday, November 19th, 2010

11-19-10  by Kathy Kahn

Elant, the largest senior health care provider in the Hudson Valley, and Birchez Associates, an affordable senior home builder based in Ulster County, are joining forces to bring more services to the region’s fast-growing over-55 population.

Elant, with locations in Orange, Dutchess and Westchester that serve over 1,000 people a day, and Birchez Associates, which has been several affordable housing projects for both families and seniors in Ulster, have formed a private-public partnership to help provide a wider range of services to the seniors they serve and expand their respective reach into the growing elder care marketplace.

Their first partnership, “The Nurse Is In,” was started in April 2010, facilitated by Elant’s vice president of clinicial affairs. Three mornings a week, a registered nurse from Elant travels between The Birches at Esopus and The Birches at Chambers, providing wellness counseling, acting as a liaison between residents’ doctors or hospitals, and assisting residents who need licensed home health services, which Elant is able to provide through its own health aide program.

For Elant, it’s an opportunity to expand its presence in Ulster County. For Steve Aaron, founder and president of Birchez Associates in Kingston, it’s an opportunity to work with a respected senior health care provider and to offer enhanced services to residents of his senior care complexes and to expand Birchez Associates’ borders as well.

They co-sponsored a breakfast in Orange County on Nov.10 at Anthony’s Pier 9 featuring Matt Thornhill, founder of The Boomer Project. Thornhill spoke of the growing trend of private-public partnerships similar to the one Elant and Birchez has embarked upon.

Elant and Birchez plan to continue their private-public partnership and are currently working to build a 62-and-over affordable senior apartment complex on the grounds of Elant at Fishkill.

“It will be another way for us to provide continuum of care for the senior population,” said Donna Cornell, chairwoman of the board of directors for Elant. “Steve builds quality affordable senior housing. We excel in providing services for seniors. We have 6 acres of property at our Fishkill site where we would like to provide housing and also have the ability to provide services for residents as they need them through our own skilled nursing facility. We both believe that we can provide a combined service to the community and to form the private-public partnerships that are needed.”

Aaron says public-private partnerships is a growing trend that makes sense for anyone trying to meet the needs of the aging population. “No one entity can do it all alone. ‘The Nurse is In’ program has been a great boon to our residents at our senior complexes and I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with Elant.”

published on Westfair Online

Universal Design is Key to Easy Living

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Kingston, 11/10 by Gina Marinelli

No one can predict the future, but one can prepare for it by creating a safe home environment to “age in place.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), aging in place is the ability to live in one’s home regardless of age or ability. However, Active Adult Communities (AACs) throughout the Hudson Valley and tri-state area have made it possible to age in place in a community that is not only accessible, but beautiful as well.

Malcarne Contracting, under the ownership of Joseph Malcarne, is one of the key contractors responsible for the construction of The Birches at Chambers, an affordable senior housing community in Ulster. “The first thing that would be surprising is just how beautiful the place is,” Malcarne says of the landscaping and architecture. It was important to meet the full spectrum of needs of the seniors, Malcarne says, while still remaining user-friendly to those without special needs.

“If you are a fully independent and active senior today, you don’t really have to take advantage of the ADA (Americans with Disability Act) appliances and features,” says K.J. McIntyre, director of marketing of Birchez Associates, LLC, which represents The Birches at Chambers as well as many other AACs. “But let’s say you fall and break a hip, you don’t have to move to accommodate that.”

All units are either handicapped accessible or handicapped ready if a resident’s needs change, says McIntyre. With wider doorways and extra studs in the bathroom walls to accommodate grab bars, the units can be retrofitted in stages, she says. For instance, in the kitchen, the island can be adjusted to provide moving space, and the central drain can be switched to a side drain so that tenants in wheelchairs can have easy access. In the bathrooms, McIntyre continues, roll in showers are already in place and fold down shower seats can be installed and additional grab bars can be added, as necessary.”This is especially helpful if there is a couple living in the unit,” she says.

In the case of The Birches at Chambers, Malcarne wanted to “create senior living that is going to provide  healthy and quality indoor air and be very energy efficient.” Slated for a LEED Platinum certification, The Birches at Chambers is a state-of-the-art building, says Malcarne, which features energy recovery ventilators and air exchangers that recovers heat and humidity in the air. In addition, the units are extremely airtight, the attic features cellulose insulation made of recycled newspapers, and there are solar panels on the roof, which will provide a large portion of the energy to supply heat, hot water, and electricity to the community.

“Finding affordable housing at this level of universal design with the aging-in-place concept is very unusual,” says McIntyre. The Birches senior living communities, which also have locations in Esopus and Saugerties, offers EMS quick responses, fitness centers and trainers, movie theatres, libraries, game rooms, fully equipped computer rooms, among other amenities for a complete and convenient living experience. Birchez Associates will soon break ground in Fishkill, giving residents access to the nursing services of the Elant campus on which the facility will be built. . .

Excerpted from the full article, Multi-Generational Design: Universal Design is Key to Easy Living, in the Boomer’s Guide to Living 2010 published by Schein Media (Kingston, NY)

The publication is currently available by clicking here.

Redefining Affordable

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Kingston, 11-10 by Kim Plummer

Over the past few years there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of affordable housing developments being built throughout New York State. For aging boomers seeking affordable housing, the key is to start looking early, do your homework, and reach out to local agencies, sources say.

Ken Harris, senior policy analyst for New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (NYAHSA) says the decline in this sort of housing can be attributed to increased costs and zoning issues. “A lot of housing that needs to go through zoning changes is finding opposition from neighbors in many cases,” Harris says. “It’s a recent trend that’s difficult.” . . .

When looking for affordable senior housing, one should keep in mind that affordable housing can still be very competitive with market-rate housing as far as amenities go. A lot of people believe the more you pay, the more services you get, but that’s not always the case, Harris says.

Housing is unique; amenities, transportation services, and communities vary quite a bit, even in the realm of affordable housing units. Harris suggests people do their homework when searching for affordable housing; one element he finds particularly important to seniors is an onsite service coordinator.

“The service coordinator is sort of like a linchpin between the resident and services in the community,” Harris says. “They can help the resident find resources in the community – everything from Medicare, Medicaid, help with information, and supportive health services.”

Currently, The Birches at Chambers in Ulster and the Birches at Esopus in Ulster Park are two ADA-compliant, affordable housing facilities resembling market-rate housing. Amenities in the average rental price of about $750 per month include fitness trainers in the onsite fitness studio, a movie theater, community rooms, a library, fully equipped computer labs with Internet access, and craft rooms. Additionally, The Birches at Chambers is anticipating LEED Platinum certification and has been certified as a NYUSERDA Energy $mart Building. “It’s not what people expect to see for affordable housing,” says K.J. McIntyre, director of marketing for Birchez Associates, LLC.

Most recently, Birchez Associates has received initial funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York to build affordable senior housing onto the Elant campus, a nursing home in Fishkill. This will be another ADA-compliant facility. “With the service of Elant close at hand, we can offer additional home health and nursing care as needed, while our residents continue to live in their homes, as opposed to the nursing home environment,” McIntyre says.

Birchez Associates also owns and manages two additional affordable senior housing communities. Chambers Court, completed in 2004, provides cottage-style one- and two-bedroom apartments adjacent to The Birches at Chambers in Ulster. The Birches at Saugerties is another affordable senior community completed in 2006 with 60 garden-style apartments. . . .

Seniors who need assistance finding affordable housing can contact their local Office for the Aging, where they can be provided with additional consultation about affordable housing as well as Active Adult Communities that specially reserve units for affordable housing.

Photo: The Birches at Esopus

Excerpted from the full article, Affordable Housing Trends: Redefining Affordable, in the Boomer’s Guide to Living 2010 published by Schein Media (Kingston, NY)

The publication is currently available by clicking here.

Low-income senior housing planned

Monday, July 26th, 2010

HVBiz June 25, 2010 by  Terra Thompsen

Affordable independent living for low-income seniors is the aim of a proposed $15.4 million development slated to be built on the property of the Elant-owned nursing facility in Beacon.

The project, called The Birches of Fishkill, would provide housing for seniors age 62 and older who are at 50 percent or less of median income. The facility would offer residents the prospect of independent living outside full-time nursing homes.

“It’s a real opportunity for a chance of community and a chance of a home within the communities these seniors have lived in their whole lives,” said Steve Aaron, managing member of Kingston-based Birchez Associates LLC.

The facility is to be built on the present Elant property at 22 Robert R. Kasin Way off Route 9D in Beacon. Elant at Fishkill partnered with Birchez Associates for the development of this facility and to provide health care in the communities they already serve.

The facility would provide 62 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors. The cost of buying into the community had not yet been determined.

The main building will consist of apartments, amenities and nursing offices. Two separate cottage-style buildings will provide for more apartments. All 72 apartments will be handicapped-accessible and meet the standards set forth by the American With Disabilities Act.

Amenities will include a theater, media room, community room, game room and a library.

Registered nurses and athletic trainers on the premises will provide care weekly with no additional charge to residents.
“We continue to push the envelope to provide amenities that make this home,” Aaron said.

The facility’s design is also intended to provide energy efficiency to reduce costs. A similar design at The Birches of Esopus in Ulster County was awarded a 2010 New York State Energy Research and Development Agency’s Award for Excellence.

“There are certainly not many models of affordable independent living in the country,” Aaron said.

Currently there is demand in the Fishkill community for 1,169 units of independent senior living apartments based on the waiting lists for similar facilities. The Birches at Fishkill would ease this demand, Aaron said.

The project recently was awarded $1.4 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank of America and its member Rhinebeck Savings Bank.

The grant will help fund the construction, which is expected to begin in the fall pending final approvals.

Community Empowerment Conference

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

From The Senior Gazette, NicheNewsNY  by Bette Ann Moskowitz

Admin note: Representatives from Birchez Associates attended this session. At The Birches communities we also have a philosophy of  ”aging in place” — for seniors who have made our communities their home!

“If people come together, there is no limit what can be done,” said Michael Burgess, Director of the New York State Office for the Aging, and keynote speaker at the recent conference entitled Community Empowerment for Livable Communities, hosted by the Partnership for Healthy Aging, a coalition of Ulster County agencies.
Held on June 15 at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, this was third in a series of informative forums presented by the Partnership. Its Director Burgess talked about “aging in place” – the phrase used to describe the desire/intention/practice of letting older people remain in their own homes even as they are challenged by things they can no longer do, by providing services and support within the community. He talked about Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) in the State, giving an historical context to NORCs and other “aging in place” models, from the early ones, mostly in New York City, in single apartment buildings, to the “neighborhood NORCs” which spread out a bit, and made way for the rural models, which are being started or studied by some upstate communities, including Poughkeepsie and Woodstock.
Burgess talked about the importance of coalitions of all sorts of people, from health care workers to faith-based organizations, to housing specialists and community activists in order to “mobilize community groups” and push forward with solutions for older people that give them choices, preserve their dignity and keep them safe.
Toby Krawitz, a planning consultant for the recent aging in place start-up called Staying In Place, in Woodstock, talked about her outreach into the northern Ulster communities targeted for Staying In Place, about the high level of interest (20% or more responding to her questionnaire, a great return) and some of the concerns of the respondents. At the top of many lists was transportation, followed by worries about eventually sliding into poverty by way of taxes and the gradual devaluation of income not keeping up with rising costs of living, loss of ability to do the activities of daily living, of isolation and fear of living alone, as well as concern that the county would not have enough affordable rentals when people were ready to transition to smaller, less expensive, more manageable living situations. She posed the question of whether, in this economy, it was still feasible to support such initiatives as aging in place, and concluding it was, even more so.
Amy Godes, President of Staying In Place, talked more specifi cally about what the organization, at present, offered (transportation, assistance with tasks and referral and discounts to reliable services, as well as social support), as they build their network of members and volunteers. Godes said they are linked to the American Association of University Women and the Woodstock Time Bank, which allows members to exchange skills on a barter system.
Sally Taylor, board member of Hudson Valley Home Matters, in Poughkeepsie, another aging in place organization, described the grassroots genesis of her organization, and enlivened the discussion with anecdotes meant to personalize and particularize how successful and important aging in place is, which they did. She also talked about the enormous task of “vetting” service providers, through interview, feedback, background checks, as well as careful investigation of volunteer drivers as well – their driving records, their insurance — and of the agencies who supplied home health aides to their members. She emphasized, as Godes had, the importance of the social component, and said that volunteers to drive people were not limited to rides to doctors, but could take folks out to shop, to concerts, and so on.
Doris Rubinsky of the Orange County Jewish Family Services “Town of Newburgh Senior Project” described the project that started as a simple friendly visitor program in the Monroe area of Orange County, which turned out to provide so much more – much needed monitoring of the older people they serve, transportation, and fulfilling small needs that might slip through the cracks, but without which life could be a challenge to an older person. She gave the example of an older woman who, no longer able to get on a stepstool and change her lightbulbs, sat goals were: to increase awareness of what Ulster and other communities have done and are doing to support independent living for seniors, to suggest possible avenues of exploration for municipal planners, town governments and city agencies (as well as the general public), and to encourage focusing attention on local “aging in place” initiatives.
Present were members of the sponsoring agencies, community activists and members of the public.

$1.4 Million Grant towards The Birches at Fishkill Announced

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

June 19, 2010 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (“FHLBNY”), along with Congressman Maurice Hinchey (NY-22) and Congressman John Hall (NY-19), have announced that Elant, Inc. has been awarded a $1,440,000 Affordable Housing Program (“AHP”) grant from the FHLBNY and its member, Rhinebeck Savings Bank. The grant will help fund construction of The Birches at Fishkill, a planned 72-unit housing community for low-income seniors, to be developed by Birchez Associates, LLC.

“This Affordable Housing Program grant will help bring much-needed senior housing to our region,” said Congressman Hinchey. “The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Elant and Birchez Associates have long been supporters of affordable housing across the Hudson Valley; this grant continues their commitment to the community.”

“Improving services for our seniors continues to be one of my top priorities,” said Congressman Hall. “With assistance from this Federal Home Loan Bank of New York grant, the Birches at Fishkill will not only create more than 70 affordable homes for Fishkill’s seniors, but will also provide residents with the support and care they deserve.”

“The Federal Home Loan Bank of New York is proud to partner with our member, Rhinebeck Savings Bank, to help make this affordable housing a reality for the seniors in Fishkill,” said Alfred A. DelliBovi, president and CEO of the FHLBNY. “We are grateful to Congressmen Hinchey and Hall for their leadership and support in Congress, which allows us to offer this program to the housing groups that are strengthening communities across the region.”

The Birches of Fishkill complex will consist of 62 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments. The units will be targeted to low-income senior citizens and will provide a continuum of care.  Elant, Inc., a leading Hudson Valley not-for-profit organization providing healthcare and housing programs, will collaborate to provide rehabilitation services, adult foster family care, and long-term home health care to the residents. Birchez Associates, an award-winning developer and manager of affordable senior housing in the Hudson Valley, is again partnering with Elant, Inc., to develop The Birches at Fishkill.

“This is a significant piece of the financing for this much needed development,” said Steve Aaron, Managing Member of Birchez Associates LLC, the developer of the planned project. “We are particularly encouraged in this economic climate that both Congressman Hinchey and Congressman Hall continue to champion the need for affordable housing. And we appreciate the continued financial support of Alfred DelliBovi and his team at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York,” said Aaron. This will be the sixth time the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York has participated in the financing of a Birchez Associates’ community in the Hudson Valley (

The grant is part of a total of $29.7 million in AHP subsidies that the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York will award in conjunction with the approval of the first competitive application round of 2010.  In total, these grants will help to finance the creation of 54 housing projects that will generate 2,917 units of affordable housing in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Last year, the Federal Home Loan Bank System celebrated the 20th Anniversary of its Affordable Housing Program. Earlier this month, the program was recognized by the National Housing Conference as its “Housing Person of the Year”. The Federal Home Loan Banks have distributed nearly $4 billion in AHP funds since 1990.

About Birchez Associates LLC

Birchez Associates LLC, a Hudson Valley real estate development and management company, is widely recognized for providing senior citizens with homes they can afford in supportive communities where they can age in place. Birchez fosters strategic partnerships with leaders in the service provider industry such as Elant, Inc. The firm recently completed The Birches at Chambers in the town of Ulster with 66 units, of which 8 are handicapped accessible and the balance are all handicapped ready. The Birches at Esopus, completed last year with 80 units, has been voted Project of the Year – Upstate by the New York Association for Affordable Housing. At the ribbon cutting, the project was recognized by New York State Energy Research & Development Agency as an Energy $mart Building, the first new construction low-rise multifamily to receive the designation. The community is currently one of four national finalists in the Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Readers Choice Awards. Other Birchez Associates communities include The Birches at Saugerties and Chambers Court, both affordable senior housing communities, and Birchwood Village designed for work-force housing.

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Birchez Associates LLC

K.J. McIntyre, Director of Marketing, 845-532-7528