Posts Tagged ‘Birchez Associates’

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 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

Congressman Chris Gibson chooses the Birches at Chambers to announce important senior legislation

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson is introduced by Birchez Associate’s Steve Aaron at a press conference by Gibson introducing legislation that would re-authorize the Older American Act (OAA). Congressman Gibson says he chose the site because the Birchez Senior communities are a great example of how to care for our nation’s senior citizens by offering high quality, affordable housing that truly meets the needs of the areas senior population.

Birchez Newsletter Fall 2013

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

In this edition of the Birchez Newsletter you will find news stories about our latest initiatives such as the opening of our Craft Studio at Esopus, the final planning stages of Birches at Fishkill, highlights from our communities, profiles of our associates and residents, as well as much more!

Resident Profile – Ruth Rosu

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Ruth Rosu loves to paint. She’s been interested in painting all her life – from the time she was a very young girl to her golden years. But, it was only about 15 years ago that she really started enjoying her hobby.

More than five years ago, she was living in Daytona Beach, Fla., taking care of a friend who had had a stroke. She had painted while staying with him to keep him company. It was a way to pass the time together, she said. When he passed, Rosu wanted to be closer to her two daughters, who live in Saugerties and Stone Ridge. So, she moved back to Ulster County.

Ruth Rosu at The Birches at Esopus

Ruth Rosu designed and painted this tugboat to reflect The Birches at Esopus. The tugboat was featured in a Memorial Day Parade and was later auctioned off for charity.

With a desire to paint landscapes, she discovered that she wanted to live on a property with more scenery. She was inspired by the Hudson River views and landscapes, making Birchez communities the perfect home. “I wanted to have that magnificent view,” she said.

Today, Ruth lives at Chambers Court – where her cottage overlooks the woods. Those woods are often the subject of her paintings. “I love the trees. I love to paint them.”

Why did she move to a Birchez property? “I think it’s the way seniors should be living,” she said.

Specifically, she likes that Birchez offers her a community of senior citizens who she can talk with, relate to and socialize, housing that is built with seniors’ safety in mind and are beautiful inside and outside, and activities such as craft club, garden club, movie club, social club, book club and Bible study.

Now that Ruth has friends at all Birchez locations, she visits each community regularly. For example, she goes to The Birches at Esopus each Thursday to visit their crafts studio and gallery as part of the Busy Bees Crafters group and on Monday afternoons you can find her in the crafts studio at Chambers.

She has primarily painted in oils and has done some watercolors. She even volunteered to design and paint a tugboat for the Tugboat Trail Festival. The tugboat was designed to reflect the style and look of The Birches at Esopus community. The tugboats were featured in a Memorial Day Parade and later auctioned off, with the proceeds going to charity. The tugboat is now on display at the gallery in Birches at Esopus. Now, she is experimenting more with craft painting, painting boxes and trying different techniques. “I must be getting brave in my old age,” she laughed.

Former Ulster County Legislator Represents Residents at Birchez Properties

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Alice Tipp of Birchez Associates

At the age of 90, Alice Tipp has been fully engaged as the senior advocate for Birchez Associates for eight years already and she loves what she does.

She’s had a lifetime of public service, having given 30 years as an Ulster County legislator and 22 years as a member of Kiwanis Saugerties as well as a board member for the Office for the Aging Advisory Council, Kingston Hospital and Coats for Kids, among others. When she started working for the County Legislature in 1975, she was the first woman elected to that office. She served on various committees through the years, such as Youth, Veteran and Aging, Seniors, Finance and Mental Health committees, that would prove to be an excellent education for her in later life.

At the ribbon cutting for The Birches at Saugerties eight years ago, she and Birchez Founder Steve Aaron struck up a conversation and Aaron asked Alice if she would accept a newly created position and she enthusiastically agreed.

“I do this because I want to help people,” she said. “They want to know what services are available to them. Birchez welcomes all of its residents to ask questions and I enjoy the chance to interact with everyone.”

It’s tough to find Alice in her office at The Birches at Saugerties; she is mostly “out and about” visiting with residents of that community or the others she is responsible for – The Birches at Esopus, The Birches at Chambers, Chambers Court and The Birches at Saugerties.

“When I am in my office, though, people come in, sit and talk about whatever they need and they feel so great.”

She matches resources to the needs of the residents in the Birchez communities she services. Alice provides connections for residents in need of things like cleaning services, legal services, Medicare/Medicaid counseling, nutrition education and meal delivery. She is also the Ulster County Area Transit paratransit liaison.

After an unfortunate car accident, Alice recovered at home but returned to Birchez communities on November 11. Against her doctor’s orders, she left the house to be with her friends. Alice arrived at her “Welcome Back Alice” party with a smile and there were even some happy tears. The party was held in place of the weekly social event called “Alice’s Tea,” where residents visit with her, learn about nutrition and bring baked goods to share.

“Thank God for Steve and Judy Aaron for providing affordable housing to the community,” Alice said. “It’s a wonderful, high-class, affordable living environment.”

Birchez Associates Continues to Strive for Excellence with Opening of New Resident Craft Studio and Gallery

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Going far beyond what’s required for affordable housing communities, Birchez Associates is known for its strong commitment to the properties it develops, often adding a number of unique amenities that make residents truly feel special.

In August, the company demonstrated this commitment once more with the grand opening of a craft studio at the Birches at Esopus, an award-winning senior living community in Esopus. The studio, dontated by Birchez founders Steven and Judy Aaron, offers a central place for residents to explore their creativity, as well as an opportunity for a club called “The Busy Bee Crafters” to display its wares onsite to support additional projects and local causes.

“Being a part of the club and sharing our talents with the community gives us a sense of purpose,” said Marie Shultis, a founding member of the Crafters. “Steve and Judy [Aaron] have provided us with a gift. Everything they do for their properties has created a way of life.”

Craft Room at Birches at EsopusWhile impressive, the craft studio at the Birches at Esopus is just one example of the company going above and beyond the norm at its properties.

Founded in 2002, Birchez Associates strives to find solutions to the shortage of housing for those who need it most in the Hudson Valley. Its team prides itself on offering high-quality, affordable housing to senior citizens, veterans, and workforce families. The company currently manages five properties throughout the region, and it continues to add value to communities long after they open.

Ever since Birchez Associates launched, the Aarons have emphasized this commitment to excellence, providing a greater overall quality of life for residents. To make this happen, the company adds amenities usually reserved for high-end, gated community-style retirement living, while maintaining the affordability of its units.

In taking this approach, Birchez provide residents with amenities that they would enjoy in their own home. The newly opened craft studio, for example, creates a better sense of community at the Birches at Esopus, serving as a welcoming space that encourages seniors to step out of their apartments and into a more social setting. The property also features a community club area, movie theater, bocce ball court, fitness center, library and game room, where residents can gather and socialize throughout the day.

Birchez has been praised throughout the Hudson Valley for their commitment to excellence at each of their affordable housing properties. In addition to a number of amenities, the company’s properties provide aging-in-place opportunities and feature a wide range of green initiatives. As a result of its efforts, hundreds of seniors in our local communities have been able to enjoy more fulfilling, interactive lives.

“Long after the Birches at Esopus project completion, Steve and Judy continue to demonstrate their love and commitment to the seniors in our community,” said Esopus Town Supervisor John Coutant.

Birchez Associates manages affordable housing properties in Kingston, Saugerties, Ulster and Esopus.

17th Annual Dutchess County Senior Prom

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

More than 400 senior citizens packed the dance floor at the Dutchess County Division of Aging Services’ 17th annual “Dutchess County Senior Prom”.


This fun filled senior event was held on October 15th at the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls. The prom featured a Black & White theme, live music from the Bob Martinson Band, lunch and dancing, as well as prizes and cakes donated by local businesses. (more…)

Keeping Affordable Housing Affordable

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Senior affordable housing is a major benefit to retirees living on fixed incomes, but the public-private partnerships required to sustain such housing often bring about vigorous discussions over property taxes, specifically payments-in-lieu-of-taxes. In this Point of View, Steve Aaron sets out the steps that led to Birchez’ request to amend the original PILOT agreement.

The following article appears in the Saugerties Times, Oct. 16, 2012. (Reprinted with permission)

Point of View: Agreement will keep Birches at Saugerties rents down

By Steven L. Aaron

A lot has been said recently about The Birches at Saugerties’ amended payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement [PILOT]. The issue can be easily misunderstood. I’d like to walk you through it to put the matter in perspective. First, The Birches at Saugerties exists to meet the affordable-housing needs of an important segment of our local residents — seniors on fixed incomes.

Ask anyone who lives in this or any other Birchez community and you’ll immediately sense the pride and security they feel in having award-winning housing that’s clean, safe and affordable in their home community.

Second, it’s vital to these residents and to the entire town of Saugerties that we keep the rents affordable. (more…)

Beyond The Sunbelt

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

From Low-Cost to Luxury, Retirement Living Has Never Looked Better

By Lynn Woods   for Generation Monthly September 2012

Once, retirement meant moving to warmer climates and trading in work for rounds of golf, often until frailty and advanced age led to a nursing home. Today, for many, that option has become passé. They made 40 the new 30, they caused a new-paradigm-spawning social revolution, and now baby boomers are retiring differently from their parents.

They don’t want to be so far from their kids. And there’s the weather: global warming is linked to the droughts that are devastating a large part of the Sunbelt. Some are not retiring at all, instead moving on to new careers. Plus, simple economic necessity is causing many seniors to stay put. All of these factors are increasing the Hudson Valley’s geographical appeal.  (more…)