RUPCO is the local administrator of the Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 Program in Ulster County and Greene Counties. This Federal program, managed by New York State, provides rental assistance for very low-income families. It allows the participant to choose and lease affordable, privately owned, rental housing. We currently administer over 1,500 vouchers in Ulster County and over 200 vouchers in Greene. With these, we are assisting every person in each of those households with their housing needs each year. We manage these programs through offices in Catskill and Kingston and are proud of the staff’s diligence in achieving high marks with their management effectiveness efforts.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides rental subsidies to income-eligible households. The program is designed to allow the participant to pay between 30% and 40% of their adjusted monthly income toward their rent and utility costs. The remaining portion of the rent is covered by the subsidy. The maximum amounts paid by the subsidy are determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Eligibility is determined by total annual household income. To be eligible, a total household income must be below HUD’s 50% income guidelines.
When a name reaches the top of the waiting list, the applicant is notified by mail. Once an applicant has reached the top of the waiting list, RUPCO assigns a priority to households with very low income and those whose head of household is elderly, disabled, and/or handicapped.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program
The Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) was established by Section 554 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 to help residents of public housing and participant on the Housing Choice Voucher program become self-sufficient through education, training, case management, and other supportive services. RUPCO’s FSS Program helps individuals and families, who are receiving Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) rental assistance, to get resources they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The major components of the FSS program are a Contract of Participation between RUPCO and the family, an Individualized Training and Services Plan (ITSP), and an interest-bearing escrow account. Credits to a family’s escrow account are based on increased income earned by family members during the term of the contract. Upon successful completion of the FSS contract, a family may claim its escrow account.
The FSS Coordinator meets on a regular basis with participants to help them establish goals with will remove life barriers. Families are connected to resources that can assist them in locating scholarships to colleges and training programs, budgeting, job training, childcare, health services, and counseling.
RUPCO’s FSS Program began in 1998. Since that time, we have celebrated the success of 58 graduates. Several graduates furthered their education, and several others gave up their rental assistance. Fourteen graduates purchased their own home.
Housing Assistance for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
RUPCO offers two forms of special assistance for households being impacted by a positive HIV diagnosis.
Long Term: Our long term assistance program provides rental assistance similar to that of our Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program. Individuals/families must be referred by another agency, like Aids Related Community Services (ARCS) or Mid-Hudson Care Center. These agencies can provide an application or one may be requested by calling 845.331.2140, however, the application requires the referent signature.
Short Term: Our short term assistance program provides assistance in the form of back rent, back mortgage payments, first month’s rent, and back utility payments. Interested applicants must be referred by Aids Related Community Services or Mid-Hudson Care Center. Applications are available for pick up at 289 Fair St., Kingston.