Senior Resident Finds Peace of Mind At Theater Workplace

Ever go to the Rosendale Theater to watch the latest film? In the booth, the projectionist is a humble man dedicated to his work. Anthony Cacchio, a Park Heights resident at RUPCO’s senior housing campus in Rosendale, NY, casts glimmers of life through his own lens. He’s glad to be serving the community, and intends to keep working as long as he is able.

For over 40 years, Cacchio has been working in the theater business to ensure the sound and video quality are up to company standards. He works closely with an engineer who shows him how to operate the equipment, and if there is a technical issue, he can bank on the engineer to fix the problem in a jiffy—even from home. Indeed, growing up without lightning speed electronics that send signals in milliseconds makes living in this era a bit foreign, but he manages to learn new skills and train every once in a while to keep up with the ever-changing technological advancements.

Growing up in a much different period of film and TV, Cacchio remembers his favorite shows from the 1930s, at the beginnings of the film industry. He laments that he does not watch recordings of them because they remind him of young celebrities who embodied vigor and have since passed away or have consummated their years of acting. So Cacchio gets his drama fill from working night shifts six to seven days a week, and prefers his home life to be quiet and serene.

He has been living at Park Heights for 5 years now, “and was lucky to get in right away.” Cacchio describes the home-finding experience as an easy process. “RUPCO gave me a nice comfortable place, in a nice area, and I am content here.”

Back when he was living at his parent’s home, he was also content with the peace that large plots of land could afford. Cacchio remembers his father used to cut the grass with a John Deere tractor. Every once in a while, neighborhood grandchildren would visit and provide noise that the day-to-day environment lacked. When his parents passed away, he and his brother inherited their childhood home. But, he explained, it just wasn’t suitable for happy living; the reminders of his parents were just too much when he walked past their room. Apart from the constant emotional tug, Cacchio decided that one person doesn’t belong in a six-room house, when a family could easily enjoy the space. Selling the property, he ventured on to rent an apartment at Park Heights, where he lives close by ladies who are familiar faces in his daily routines. “We treat everybody as buddies,” he says; if the ladies don’t see him for a day or two, they worry.

Anthony Cacchio, senior resident at Park HeightsLuckily, 85-year-old Cacchio has good genes. His father lived until he was 91; his mother, 90. He has clear intentions to keep on working, and “to make the best I can out of it.” Perhaps his hard work ethic is the family trait that keeps them so young; Cacchio used to assist his father in the tile and marble industry, working for other businesses to provide construction work.

With years of experience behind him, Cacchio continues to play an important role in the community, including being a happy parent to his cat, “Princess.” She lets him know what foods she does and doesn’t like, and insists that he stay in the room until she finishes eating. Her melodramatic personality entwined with a need for attention lends unique companionship, and Cacchio appreciates her taking center stage in their Park Heights home while he works behind-the-scenes.

Letter to the Editor: Petition for What is Right

In response to recent articles about Landmark Place — in particular RUPCO’s filing of an amended petition, Article 78 and HUD complaint — RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor distributed this letter to area news outlets. Some opted to print his comments in full; others not. Here is the complete content of that letter issued 8/22/17.

On behalf of our senior citizens and vulnerable elders, we filed an amended petition on July 11 as one strategy to protect our collective rights. While New York State law allows for a protest petition by neighbors of a proposed rezoning to trigger a super majority, the law is equally clear that if there’s a 100-foot-buffer between the rezoning and the neighbors, a protest petition from neighbors cannot force a super-majority for approval of the rezoning, and a simple majority vote is enough to approve it.

Let’s remember that a majority of the City of Kingston Common Council voted 5-to-4 in favor of a zoning change for this site. That is an expression of the democratic process and the will of the People of Kingston. While the City assumed the protest petition was valid, thus requiring a 7-to-2 vote to approve the zoning change, we believe the petition fails the legal requirements and should have been rejected. Therefore, we have filed an Article 78 and Declaratory judgment action that challenges the denial of the zoning change under our original petition as well. We think the courts will deem the original vote in favor of rezoning to be sufficient.

In addition, if necessary, we will also file a complaint with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and will follow with a lawsuit against the City of Kingston for failing to make a reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. Both the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect persons with disabilities from discrimination and require reasonable accommodations to be made by a municipality to ensure fair housing practices. Persons with disabilities are a protected class, no less important than race, sex, religion, national origin, color or familiar status. Those protected classes include several of our intended tenants: seniors with mental illness, seniors with substance use disorder, and seniors with physical impairments. The record is clear that certain members of the Common Council relied on inflammatory and discriminatory rhetoric against protected classes in making their decision on the original rezoning request. Simply put, a municipality may not make zoning or other land use decisions based on neighbors’ fears that a dwelling may be occupied by members of these protected classes.

While we harbor no ill will towards the neighbors who have protested against this project, we do believe it’s time – particularly given the hateful rhetoric that has been demonstrated across the country against persons of color, certain religious groups, and other protected classes – that the hateful rhetoric spoken here in Kingston against our most vulnerable senior citizens at public hearings and written in the comment sections of the newspaper and on social media stops, once and for all. Kingston has declared itself a sanctuary City and its leaders have almost universally spoken out against the culture of hate displayed elsewhere. It is time to take care of business at home and to stop treating people as “other” people! We stand with the majority of Kingston Common Council members who voted to support our proposed project.

We take no pleasure in bringing lawsuits against the City of Kingston, and we are troubled that the City has recently faced two other federal fair housing lawsuits. We hope the Common Council will take action to avoid unnecessary taxpayer expense by settling our claims without costly litigation. Between the cost of litigation and the loss of tax revenue this project would bring, all of the taxpayers of Kingston should not bear the burden of defending unlawful actions. We listened to the neighbors early on and responded by making reasonable accommodations in our proposal – we adjusted the age of the population to be age 55 and over for all tenants. The law requires the City to do no less. We were pleased to receive a negative declaration from the City of Kingston’s Planning Board and an endorsement from the Ulster County Planning Board prior to a favorable vote by the City’s Common Council to change the zoning. 

A proposal that is widely supported by the record is being held up by a handful of families who live next to the project. Their opposition is based on unfounded fears about the populations to be served, are veiled in arguments which the record reflects are unfounded. We reject any notion that simply living near senior and supportive housing will have a negative effect on people’s lives.

We are compelled to move forward based on our mission and the following facts:

  • The City of Kingston, based on the fact that it accepts federal Community Development Block Grant funds, has a duty to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing.
  • The need for affordable and supportive housing for the age 55 and over cohort has been soundly demonstrated in the record.
  • Since 2001, other municipalities in Ulster County have approved and built 534 senior housing units while the City of Kingston has built zero. It is well past time for the City of Kingston to step up and meet the needs of its senior citizens. The rhetoric of opponents that the City of Kingston has “done enough” is simply not factual.
  • In 2009, Ulster County adopted the Three County Housing Assessment Needs Study, executed by an economist and paid for by the Dyson Foundation that stipulated that to meet the affordable housing gap, the City of Kingston would need to build 1005 units of affordable housing by 2020. Since that report was published, the City has only added 55 units of affordable housing.
  • RUPCO has the experience and expertise along with funding commitments to develop, build and adequately staff Landmark Place to safely provide 35 supportive housing units for seniors with special needs along with 31 affordable housing units for seniors of low income.
  • Landmark Place will pay a robust $132,000 recreation fee to the City of Kingston Recreation Department and put the property back on the tax rolls for the first time in its history. The $20-million development will bring tax revenue and jobs to the City during construction and as permanent positions when operating.
  • Landmark Place will save local taxpayer dollars by moving folks out of motel rooms, shelters, and overcrowded boarding homes where local taxpayers are paying up to $100 per night to house them, and alleviate the burden on local hospitals by keeping people housed and supported with regular care.
  • In the end, Landmark Place will accomplish all of the above and provide 66 permanent, healthy, accessible homes to our senior citizens, some with special needs, in a richly designed, well-built, well-staffed campus.

We hope that the will of the People of Kingston and the obligation of our City to serve its seniors and disabled will prevail, and that more people will come out to show their support.

Kevin O’Connor
Chief Executive Officer, RUPCO

Senior homeowners eligible for NYS HTFC RESTORE PROGRAM

older man and older woman as a couple on park benchFor a limited time, RUPCO is offering available funds for emergency home repairs through the NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HFTC) RESTORE Program. RUPCO plans to help seven or more senior homeowners in Ulster County with emergency repair funding up to $10,000 including program fees.

 Funding Availability: Not all eligible applicants will be selected. If demand exceeds funding availability, those with most feasible and highest need projects will be selected first.

Basic program requirements:

  • Must own and reside in a home in Ulster County
  • Must be up to date with mortgage, tax payments and have Homeowners Insurance
  • Household total gross income at or below the 80% Area Medium Income limits for Ulster County
  • Must have an approved emergency repair need that is within budget
  • Dwelling must not have other major repair issues
  • Project must be able to complete within 30 days by a qualified contractor.
  • The homeowner must be 60 years of age or older
  • Property Maintenance Declaration form filed
  • Owners must live in the home for 3 years after service
  • Homeowners to supply 2 estimates from local contractors

Typical Emergency repairs or replacement covered:

  • Failing water heaters, well pumps, pressure tanks, supply lines, septic tanks, fields, drains
  • Accessibility improvements such as wheelchair ramps, lifts etc.
  • Leaking plumbing, Leaking roofs and failing heating systems
  • Electrical safety issues, Broken steps, landings, railings
  • Other emergency health and safety issues

Annual gross income limit for household size

1 person 2 people 3 people 4 people 5 people 6 people 7 people
$44,000 $50,250 $56,550 $62,800 $67,850 $72,850 $77,900

For more information or to apply today, contact Sally Dolan 845-331-9860 ext. 227

Equal Housing Opportunity logo black&white EnglishProgram funding is provided based on eligibility, funding availability and project feasibility. Other restrictions and conditions may apply. Funding provided through the NYS Housing Trust Fund Corporation.

 

Public Invited to Informal Open House February 18

Landmark Place: a dron'e aerial view of the campusWe’re opening the doors at 300 Flatbush Avenue, Kingston. You’re invited to a free, informal open house on Saturday, February 18 between 10 a.m. and noon.

“People have asked us if they can visit the building,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “Many have fond memories of working here for the County. We want to show people the potential this site has to carry forward the vision of Kingston’s forefathers, the vision of caring for the most vulnerable populations in our midst. Pending the rezoning to “multifamily,” Landmark Place — an integrated campus of affordable senior and supportive rental housing – is a strategic benefit for both area taxpayers and future residents.”

The day’s agenda includes:

  • Question & Answer rooms about
    • 1st floor: senior and supportive housing with RUPCO Program Services Supervisor Kim Mapes and Senior Care Coordinator Robert Budreau
    • 1st floor: history with SUNY-New Paltz professor Bill Rhoades
    • 3rd floor: development plans with local architect Scott Dutton, Dutton Associates
  • Architectural renderings of the proposed historical building renovation, new construction and campus landscaping
  • Informal guided tours with key RUPCO staff Guy Kempe, Joe Eriole, and Michael D’Arcy
  • Light refreshments served
  • Visitors should park in designated areas in the lower lot
  • The open house will be held rain, snow or shine

“We want our neighbors and curious residents to visit the property in advance of the February 28 public hearing, to ask questions about what Landmark Place proposes,” adds O’Connor. “We’re here to give people an opportunity to hear what RUPCO envisions for the property, to see the architectural renderings created by Dutton Associates, and to tour the building and grounds.” A print piece, The Case for Landmark Place, Landmark Place factsheet, and other supporting materials will be on hand.

“At the request of the City of Kingston Planning Department, and as a courtesy to the public, we are making all relevant materials available on our website, www.rupco.org,” says O’Connor. “We look to put another vacant, underutilized building back on the tax rolls. We’re adding depth to the community by adding services and solutions to City and County residents. The Almshouse has stood strong throughout its history, it will stand stronger as Landmark Place, continuing to fulfill its original mandate – to care for the most at-risk populations in our community.”

RUPCO currently holds an option to purchase the building from Ulster County, pending a rezoning decision by the Kingston Planning Department. A site plan review public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 at 6 p.m. at Kingston City Hall, 420 Broadway.

Landmark Place Planning Department Materials

Landmark Place aerial site map

On this page, you will find the materials relevant to Landmark Place, as requested by the City of Kingston’s Planning Department for ongoing conversations at City Hall, 420 Broadway, Kingston. Submit information requests and questions through the form below. (Last updated 7/17/17)

Presentation Materials

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Proposed housing brings historic building back to its roots of serving public need

Alms House, 300 Flatbush Avenue, Kingston, built circa 1874RUPCO, the Hudson Valley’s premier developer and operator of affordable housing, and the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance (UCEDA) took an important step today toward rising to the challenge of providing a housing solution to many of the County’s most vulnerable residents. In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s call this year to construct 1200 units of housing of supportive housing for the homeless across the state, the UCEDA entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RUPCO to sell the County’s historic Alms House site at 300 Flatbush Avenue to RUPCO who plans to develop a 66-unit, integrated housing campus to provide housing for the homeless and seniors.

The property currently features the City of Kingston’s historic Alms House built circa 1874, and fronts on both Flatbush Avenue and Route 9W. RUPCO expects to repurpose the existing structure with 34 units of single-resident apartments. The Kingston Supportive Housing proposal also includes new construction of 32 apartments, age-restricted to seniors age 55 and over. 35 of the apartments will offer support services to a mix of homeless populations with special needs including veterans and frail or disabled seniors.

“The MOU is an important first step to redeveloping this property in response to a growing need, and we are proud to have the opportunity to make this historic site a home to some of Ulster’s most vulnerable populations,” said Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO’s Chief Executive Officer. “The use of this building as a center of supportive housing services is a natural step in the history of how the most vulnerable populations among us are treated. People who were left behind by society at the time of its construction were housed here as a ‘poor house’; later it was a hospital ward for those suffering from tuberculosis. Today, the goal is to provide the dignity of a home to everyone. That’s what we’re going to do here.”

“RUPCO has a track record for creating high quality, accessible housing units to meet the diverse needs of our population,” said Mayor Steve Noble. “I am pleased that RUPCO is focusing its efforts and resources on filling the gap in housing opportunities for those in need of supportive services, including homeless individuals and senior citizens. I am confident that should RUPCO succeed in its funding requests and approvals, residents accessing this new supportive housing campus will benefit immensely. In addition to providing good quality housing to our local residents, I am pleased that the property will be added to the tax rolls, which will benefit our entire community.”

In addition to an ever-present need for affordable senior housing, Ulster County has just 27 shelters beds to house homeless families. Between January and April 2016, the monthly average number of homeless people in Ulster County was 160. That number climbed to 177 during May. When Ulster County’s 27 shelter beds are full, the remaining homeless are placed in motels where the average length of stay is 85 days, at costs of $65 to $91 per day. The alternative to costly emergency shelter is permanent supportive housing that can save over $16,282 per person per year (according to the Corporation of Supportive Housing).

“Recidivism rates among our homeless are staggering: within the first year, the recidivism rate is 18%; at by 2 years, fully 26% of those who were homeless return to being homeless. But, homelessness doesn’t have to be chronic. Permanent supportive housing is the answer, and this a small, but critical step,” adds O’Connor. “Increasingly, affordable housing is beyond the means of many in our community and our aging baby boomer population is not immune.”

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) Out of Reach report released in May 2016, the hourly wage rates of renters has gone down in Ulster County from $9.90 in 2012 to $9.26 in 2016. The hourly wage required in Ulster County to afford a 2-bedroom apartment is $22.04 and this gap is trend is growing. The 2016 fair market rent (FMR) for a 2-bedroom apartment in Ulster County is $1,146 per month, however the average wage of Ulster County renters will only support a rent of $482.

For RUPCO to move forward with Kingston Supportive Housing, the property (currently zoned residential) requires a zoning change to commercial/multifamily zoning by vote of the Kingston Common Council. The MOU shows RUPCO is ready to purchase Alms House property for $950,000, pending zoning changes and site plan approval from the City of Kingston Planning Board. Zoning and planning approvals could take six to 12 months. Once those approvals are in place, the property closing could take another three to six months. New building construction and renovation and historical preservation of the existing Alms House would begin by year-end 2017.

The property was designed by architect J.A. Wood, who also created The Stuyvesant hotel, owned by RUPCO at 289 Fair Street, Kingston. Originally constructed as a solution for care of the City’s poor, Alms House was later used as a tuberculosis ward in the 1950s and then housed the County’s Department of Health offices. In its 156-year history, the site has never been a part of the City of Kingston or Ulster County tax rolls. RUPCO’s purchase and development will place the property on both tax accounts receivable ledgers once complete.

RUPCO’s Kingston Supportive Housing proposal brings Alms House full circle, providing dignified, supportive care and services through a housing solution that serves Ulster County’s most vulnerable populations: seniors, the disabled and the homeless. The 14.86-acre site currently includes the 23,000-square foot historic main building and three smaller, storage and HVAC buildings. The proposal also calls for construction of a 4/5-story, 37,000-square-foot senior residence building designed by local architect, Dutton Architecture. The housing campus may generate up to 10-12 new jobs including a case manager, nurse, 24/7 security, on-site superintendent, property manager and maintenance support.

The historic rehabilitation of Alms House will include 34 apartments; 28 of those will be designated to permanent supportive housing for those currently homeless plus 1 on-site superintendent apartment. Approximately 2500 square feet in the historic building will be allocated to community/program space.

In the proposed new construction, 32 apartments for seniors 55 and over, includes 7 designated specifically as permanent residence to those currently homeless. Approximately 3500 square feet on the first floor will serve as community and commercial space. The proposal would be financed through a series of funding opportunities including mortgage debt, private equity, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, and other potential sources.

For 35 years, RUPCO has led the region in creating and maintaining quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, inspiring understanding and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives, fostering community development and revitalization, and providing opportunity to people to improve their living standards. In that time, RUPCO has established a successful track record as a leader in the creation and improvement of quality, sustainable housing, created strong partnerships locally and nationally, and has maintained a fiscally healthy balance sheet, allowing for flexibility and agility in providing services.  As part of its mission, RUPCO provides first-time homebuyer education, rental assistance, and senior/disabled supportive housing services. For more information, visit www.rupco.org.

RUPCO, RCAL Offer Grants for Accessibility Modifications for Those Receiving Medicaid

Rhouseholds meeting income lmits can receive home modifications for Aging in Placeesource Center for Independent Living (RCAL) in partnership with RUPCO has funding from NYS Homes and Community Renewal to assist renters or homeowners receiving Medicaid with modifications allowing them to remain in their homes or return to their homes from institutional care settings. Call RCAL at (845) 331- 0541 ext. 27 to receive an application package. Click on the image here to print off the flyer.

Accessibility modifications can include:

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Tub-to-shower conversions
  • Other health and safety items for the disabled and frail elderly family homes

Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be on Medicaid, have a disability
  • Applicant may own or rent a in Ulster County
  • The entire household income cannot exceed the Ulster County Average Median Income (AMI) limits listed below:
    Household of 1 = $15,950
    Household of 2 = $18,200
    Household of 3 = $20,500
    Household of 4 = $24,300
  • Other eligibility and document requirements apply

Examples of accessibility modifications include:

  • Wheelchair ramps and  vertical lifts
  • Interior and exterior stair lifts
  • Roll-in showers with grab bars
  • High-rise toilets with grab bars
  • Roll-under countertops and sinks
  • Front knob appliances
  • Automated faucets
  • Visual alarm systems for the hearing impaired
  • Reclining lift chairs
  • Automatic door openers
Care Manager: NY Connects

Social Care Photography, DHThese positions were filled as of January 2016.

The Care Manager provides nonjudgmental, individualized information and assistance to persons of all ages with disabilities regarding Medicaid Long Term Care Services and Supports (LTSS) which provides linkages to programs and/or services that the individual and/or their caregiver qualify for. The Care Manager bridges the gap between client and partners, working collaboratively with agencies and other service representatives to ensure, tot he fullest extent possible, that benefits and entitlements are accessed. This is a 13-month pilot program designed to provide seamless coordination across systems and populations seeking LTSS and provide easier access and understanding.

Responsibilities:

  • Use of online and other questionnaires
  • Collection of preliminary functional and financial information and coordination with other agencies to guide individuals through the eligibility process
  • Guidance with the requirements of application and enrollment assistance for public benefit programs including Medicaid
  • Provision of Person Centered Assistance/Options Counseling
  • Assistance in care transitions
  • Confidentiality

Position Requirements:

  • Must have strong work ethic
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Good interviewing and problem-solving skills
  • Good documentation skills
  • Basic proficiency using computers and web-based systems
  • Excellent public speaking and written communication skills
  • Ability to provide services to seniors and disabled clients with patience and compassion
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships
  • Ability to communicate, orally and in writing
  • Ability to prioritize and multi-task
  • Ability to respond to customers in a professional , nonjudgmental an d culturally appropriate manner

Minimum Qualifications: Graduation from high school or possession of an equivalency diploma plus one of the following:

  • Three (3) years paid full-time or its part-time equivalent experience involving work within a health or human services agency, preferably in Ulster County providing customers with information OR
  • Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with an Associate’s degree and one (1) year of experience as defined in (A) above OR
  • Associates degree plus five years relevant experience.  or related disciplineMaintain a clean and safe
  • Any equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of (A) and (B) above
  • Valid NYS Driver’s license

Salary: $498.75 per week

Application Deadline:  Friday, December 4, 2016

Submit notification of interest by email: Kim Mapes, Program Services Manager