The Color of Law, April 30

Color of Law invitationJoin us in the Milstein Auditorium at the historic Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum for a conversation addressing housing equity, wealth, segregation, and public policy. 

Author Richard Rothstein shares his perspective from his research and book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. A panel of national and regional thought leaders follows; a book-signing wine & cheese reception ends the evening.

Tickets cost $25, or $50 with an author-autographed book

Sponsorships are available now through March 31.

Agenda for Tuesday April 30, 2019 2 – 6:30 p.m.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley.

Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the U.S. and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems – it corrupts our criminal justice system, exacerbates economic inequality, and produces large academic gaps between white and African American schoolchildren. We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregate neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto—the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights. The Color of Law demonstrates, however, that residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-twentieth century that openly subsidized whites-only suburbanization in which African Americans were prohibited from participating. Only after learning the history of this policy can we be prepared to undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape.

Richard Rothstein’s book, The Color of Law, published in 2017, is subtitled “A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.” In his book, Rothstein lays out the systemic discrimination embedded in the policies of our federal government, largely commencing with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs that created de jure segregation. Chief among these New Deal measures was the creation of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in 1934, largely to insure bank mortgages. The FHA Underwriting Manual, first issued in 1935, contained a “whites only” requirement and the following language: “If a neighborhood is to retain stability it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes.” In 1944, FDR created the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to serve the returning WWII veterans. The VA would provide many services including making mortgages to returning vets. The VA adopted the FHA Underwriting Manual. Officially codified in the federal government, racial discrimination in homeownership and public housing became the law of the land.

For many of us in the non-profit housing sector, the book was a revelation and a conundrum – how much of this forgotten history did we know? If we didn’t know it as well as we should, then surely our colleagues working in government, the private and non-profit sectors, didn’t either. Still today, the effects of these federal policies are widespread and endemic. The resulting disparity in homeownership rates was a key factor in wealth inequality that developed in America throughout the 20th Century. The median net worth of whites typically averages over ten times the net worth for Blacks or Hispanics and much of this inequality stems from federal discriminatory housing policy. According to the Pew Research Center, the variance was 13x greater in 2013 as the median net worth for Whites was $141,000 compared to Blacks at $11,000.


Black History Month Kingston 2019
Black History Month 20192019 marks the 400th year of African presence in America. Blacks slaves came in shackles and had to endure the most inhumane existence. In the course of the struggle for freedom, dignity and human rights, which is still un-going, an amazing creativity, spirituality, gift for music, sports and the arts emerged which has helped transform America.

For a full event list, visit Black History Month Kingston.

Now through February 23, a posthumous exhibition in the East gallery of the art by three late black artists from Ulster County
The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell Street, Kingston
Ben Wigfall (1930-2017) of Kingston 
Ernest Frazer (1942 – 2004) of Saugerties 
Claurice Fuller (? – 2017) of Woodstock 

Wednewsday, Feb. 20, 6pm – 8pm It’s All About You! Youth Talent Show
Rondout Neighborhood Center, 105 Broadway (Free)

Thursday., Feb. 21, 6pm – 8pm Soul Food Gospel Night 
Rondout Neighborhood Center, 105 Broadway, (Free)

Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30pm Rhapsody in Black
Bardavon Ulster Performing Arts Center, 601 Broadway (Free)
Rhapsody in Black is a one-man show that explores LeLandGantt’s personal journey to understanding and eventually transcending racism in America.

Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 1pm – 3pm Family Maple Sugaring Experience
African Roots Library, 43 Gill Street (Free)
A delicious day of tasting maple snacks, walking to the “sugar bush”, tapping and giving thanks to the maple trees, boiling sap into sweet syrup, and singing maple songs.

Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 7pm – 11pm Harambee presents The BHM Kingston Gala
La Mirage Restaurant & Catering, 423 Broadway, Ulster Park, NY ($75)

Sunday, Feb. 24th, 1pm – 3pm Native American Truth & Reconciliation
Old Dutch Church, 272 Wall Street (Free)
Commemorating the Native American lives lost in the 1643 Pavonia Massacre. Featuring Dawnland, a new documentary on the recent Maine/Wabanaki Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

Sunday, Feb. 24th, 4pm – 6pm Re-Publishing Black History
the idea garden, 346 Broadway (Free)
Nine artists, writers, community leaders “Re-Publish” Black History through writing, imagery and design to create posters, placards and zines, in the D.R.A.W. studio.

Tuesday, Feb. 26th, 6pm – 8pm Black Pride
African Roots Library, 43 Gill Street. (Free)
Learn about, celebrate & discuss Black LGBTQ Leaders. A community conversation about fully inclusive Black Pride, and how we build through true unity.

Wednesday, Feb. 27th, 5:30pm – 7:30pm Unity In The Community Dinner
Kingston High School, Cafeteria, 403 Broadway (Free)

Thursday, Feb. 28th, 4pm – 6pm 2nd Annual Everett Hodge Day Celebration: Crossing The Line To Freedom
Everett Hodge Center, 21 Franklin St. (Free)
Learn about the black history of Kingston and the African lives of those buried in the AME Mount Zion cemeteries.

Thursday, Feb. 28th, 6pm – 9pm BHM Kingston Closing Celebration!
UC Restorative Justice Center, 733 Broadway, (Free)
Music, food, fun, art on display, projects and pictures created within the community throughout Black History Month.

Ulster County Rental Assistance (Section 8) Wait List Opens March 1
Ulster County Housing Choice Voucher Wait List open from March 1 to April 1.
Local residents struggling to make rent have an opportunity to tap into hope in the long-term. For the first time since 2016, RUPCO is opening the Wait List for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) in Ulster County. Starting March 1, the community developer will receive applications from those looking for rental assistance. Most rent voucher recipients are among the most vulnerable populations in our communities like seniors, the disabled, single parents with children, and working families.
The HCV Program, commonly referred to as Section 8, provides rental support to people with low to moderate incomes, based on household size. The program is underwritten by the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department, and delivered through the New York State Homes and Community Development (NYS HCR). RUPCO oversees the voucher program in Ulster and Greene Counties, however, this application round is for lottery access to Ulster County voucher subsidies only. Anyone receiving a voucher will be required to live in Ulster County for the first 12-months of the subsidy cycle. The last time the Housing Choice Voucher Wait List was open in Ulster County was November 2016. Applicants placed on the list could wait one to three years for help with rent.
Applications are available Friday, March 1, 2019 through Monday, April 1, 2019. Interested applicants can download an application online from or pick up a hard copy at RUPCO’s office; 289 Fair Street, Kingston, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
All applications must be completed, signed, and mailed or hand-delivered to the Kingston office. No faxed or emailed applications will be accepted. The application deadline is Monday, April 1 at 4:30 p.m. to 289 Fair Street, Kingston.
“The HCV Program provides rental assistance for very low-income families. Funding enables people with limited income to choose and lease safe, affordable, privately-owned rental housing,” says Vanessa Secore, RUPCO’s Director of Rental Assistance. “Ulster County individuals and families earning 50% or less of the area median income are eligible to apply. For a family of four to be eligible, their combined household income should total $39,600 (or less). For single people, the income threshold is $27,750. We encourage veterans and their families to apply, as well as people on the fence.” In 2016, RUPCO received over 1850 applications for the Ulster County Wait List.
This year, applications will again be entered into a random lottery drawing to be conducted after April 1. This lottery determines placement of applicants on the Wait List. ”All applications submitted by April 1 have an equal chance of being first on the list. That’s the beauty of the lottery,” adds Secore. “Make sure your application is complete. If you need help with the paperwork, come to the Kingston office (289 Fair Street) on Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. A Housing Choice Voucher Specialist will assist you. Bring proof of residency, something like utility bill that has the same address as the application or a driver’s license. And as a reminder to those applying, being placed on the Wait List doesn’t guarantee receiving a Housing Choice Voucher right away. Many applicants wait one to three years before receiving rental assistance. After April 1, all applicants will be notified by mail of their status.” RUPCO administers 1662 Housing Choice Vouchers in Ulster County.

Former Senator & RDAC Host Roundtable Discussion on Disabled Veterans Funds of $300k
At SUNY Orange’s Kaplan Hall, a unique collaboration of nonprofits, lenders, elected officials, and veterans’ organizations met to discuss available funding for disabled veterans. With the help of one of Senator Larkin’s last acts in office and New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Orange County Rural Development Advisory Corporation (RDAC) was awarded $300,000. These allocated funds allow disabled veterans to remain housed, avoid premature institutionalization, and/or return home from an institution.

“This grant opportunity is giving our heroes, over 22,000 in Orange County, a sense of security and stability in their homes by making them accessible to their needs,” stated RDAC Executive Director, Faith Moore. “Recipients of this grant funding can earn up to 120% Area Median Income and their disability does not have to be service related, allowing for a larger pool of applicants who may be in need.

“It is very important that we get the word out to the Orange County veterans community right now,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “We have no time to waste as this money must be spent by June this year. Disabled veterans all over Orange County who are in desperate need of improvements at home should have an opportunity to take advantage of this available funding. It is up to us as leaders of the veterans community to help RDAC get this much needed support to our veterans.”

For more information, contact RDAC Executive Director, Faith Moore (845) 713-4568 ext. 110.

Credit 101 Workshop, March 28
RUPCO & Citizens Bank present a series of FREE Credit 101 Workshops.

March 28, 2019
5:30-7:00 pm

The Kirkland Building
2 Main Street
Kingston, NY 12401

This workshop will provide valuable information on important aspects of your credit making it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

Tips will include

  • Understanding your credit report
  • Improving your credit
  • Reducing your monthly debts

Find out how RUPCO programs can help you reach your goals.


Taller Informativo para Compradores de Vivienda en Español, Febrero 27
¿Listo para comprar su primera casa, pero no sabe por dónde empezar?

Descubra cómo los programas de RUPCO le pueden ayudar a alcanzar su objetivo de ser propietario de una vivienda.

Esta sesión informativa para compradores de vivienda primerizos describe el programa del Centro de Propiedad de Vivienda de RUPCO y el camino hacia la propiedad de su propio hogar.

¡Registrese Hoy!

¡Llame 845-331-9860 o envíe un  correo electrónico para registrarse hoy!

The Kirkland, 2 Main Street, Kingston NY 12401Volante que muestra el edificio Kirkland en 2 Main Street en Kingston NY y un grupo alrededor de una mesa para un taller informativo para compradores de vivienda, promoviendo un taller informativo para compradores de vivienda el 27 de Febrero de 2019 de 6-7 PM para averiguar cómo RUPCO puede ayudar a los compradores de vivienda primerizos alcanzar su objetivo de vivienda


SONYMA Contractor Breakfast – January 28, 2019
Are you a contractor looking to expand your business in 2019?

Join RUPCO and SONYMA – State of New York Mortgage Agency for a free breakfast on January 28, 2019 and find out how you can connect with new clients.


Credit 101 Workshop , January 22
RUPCO & Citizens Bank present a series of FREE Credit 101 Workshops.

January 22, 2019
5:30-7:00 pm

The Kirkland Building
2 Main Street
Kingston, NY 12401

This workshop will provide valuable information on important aspects of your credit making it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

Tips will include

  • Understanding your credit report
  • Improving your credit
  • Reducing your monthly debts

Find out how RUPCO programs can help you reach your goals.

Register today!

Flyer promoting a credit 101 workshop in kingston ny sponsored by rupco and citizens bank , showing an image of a pencil on a calculator, an image of the kirkland building in kingston ny

RUPCO Expands Executive Leadership; Adds Chief Strategy Officer

Ernesto Vigoreaux of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY adds Depth and Experience to Nonprofit’s Real Estate Development Team

RUPCO appointed Ernesto J. Vigoreaux to a newly created position of Chief Strategy Officer earlier this month. Vigoreaux will oversee RUPCO’s real estate development activities; evaluate and assist with mergers and acquisitions; lobby government and regulatory bodies for support; and execute and implement RUPCO’s strategic plan. He brings over 20 years of affordable housing and community economic development experience from his work in Los Angeles, New York City, and the Midwest.
“We are thrilled to have Ernesto join our leadership team at RUPCO,” said Kevin O’Connor, CEO. “Ernesto has significant experience in developing over $400 million of real estate and he will now oversee RUPCO’s expanding real estate development portfolio across the Hudson River Valley. Ernesto brings broad experience, having served large and culturally diverse nonprofits, wearing many hats including Chief Operating Officer. In addition to his real estate development experience, Ernesto has played critical roles in developing social enterprises, supportive housing for persons with special needs, lending programs in the nonprofit sector, and has experience working on both coasts and middle America too! I am excited for the opportunity to work -with Ernesto as RUPCO implements a new five-year strategic plan and we embark on many impactful projects and programs.”
Prior to joining RUPCO, Vigoreaux was Chief Development Officer with Asian Americans For Equality’s (AAFE) Hardesty Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, an affiliate in Kansas City, MO. He oversaw the redevelopment of a 20-acre, formerly vacant brownfield military site known as the Kansas City Quartermaster Depot. Over the course of three years, AAFE planned adaptive re-use for the campus as a community economic development project that would clean the brownfield contamination; create opportunities for local ownership to rehab its 1.2 million square feet of building space; and transform the site into a place for small business retail and entrepreneurship, community services, education, and jobs. As Chief Operating Officer of AAFE, also a NeighborWorks America organization, Vigoreaux was responsible for operational management, as well as negotiating joint-venture partnerships such as One Flushing, a $110 million mixed-use project with Monadnock Development to construct 231 apartments of affordable housing, with community facility space, commercial retail, and underground parking in Flushing, Queens. He led the development of two EB-5 regional centers in New York City and Kansas City, to solicit foreign investments into CDC-led, mission-driven projects requiring an infusion of private equity.
“I am excited to join the dynamic team at RUPCO and hope that my unique experiences and perspectives of working on innovative projects with various multi-ethnic and low-income community partners may meaningfully contribute to RUPCO’s transformational work as it continues to expand affordable housing, homeownership, and economic opportunities throughout the Hudson River Valley and its growing diverse population,” notes Vigoreaux. “My development philosophy is centered on equity and inclusion, employing thoughtful strategy, collaboration, creativity and partnerships in order to redirect the necessary capital investments and funding resources to places that need it most for the greatest impact.”
Prior to AAFE, Vigoreaux served as Director of Housing Development for Comunilife, Inc. in Manhattan, one of the largest NYC HRA partner agencies and provider of supportive housing and health care services for low-income New Yorkers. While there, he developed Prospect Macy, a 60-unit supportive residence for seniors and persons with HIV/AIDS. Another notable project included over 50 apartments of congregate and transitional housing for persons living with mental illness and HIV/AIDS and a community healthcare center known as the Vida Guidance Center in the Bronx. Prior to joining Comunilife, Vigoreaux was a consultant with the Hudson Planning Group in Manhattan’s Financial District, where he provided project management, real estate development and construction consulting services to various nonprofits citywide developing supportive and affordable housing for persons with HIV/AIDS. He has also consulted for the National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development, providing fundraising and annual conference planning support. Previously, as Director of Housing Development with Housing Options and Geriatric Association Resources (HOGAR), he oversaw the development of over 60 units of permanent and transitional housing for persons with HIV/AIDS and severe and persistent mental illness in the South Bronx.
Vigoreaux began his career in 1998 as Director of Housing Development for the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC) in Los Angeles, where he worked on affordable housing development; helped victims of human trafficking; and assisted in the creation of Thai Town in East Hollywood, a place-making neighborhood revitalization initiative that promoted tourism, while also providing a voice of representation for the Thai community.
Vigoreaux has served on the Board of Asian Americans for Equality and the Puerto Rican Alliance of Los Angeles. He earned his Master of Urban Planning degree with a specialization in community development from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University Los Angeles. He is also a graduate of NeighborWorks America’s Achieving Excellence Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, (Westchester County, NY) with his wife and two children.
Donate 2018

Thank you for making “Home” a reality for over 8,000 people throughout the Hudson Valley. 

Together, we’re Building for Everyone. 

Your donation today helps create homes, support people and improve communities in 2019.  Your Building for Everyone Gift invests in our community’s future and affects our most vulnerable neighbors: seniors, people with special needs, veterans, and working families. Making “Home” a reality for one person changes the course of that person’s life…people like James, Harold, Youko and Kazuma.

Join us in making real change in 2019 by Building for Everyone — creating homes, supporting people and improving communities. Invest in our community today by donating what you can — $25, $100, $500 or more!  Your gift this year genuinely impacts people’s daily lives right here in the Hudson Valley. Every gift counts – no matter what the amount – towards making “Home” a reality for one person.  Imagine what we can do together to impact the lives of 8,000!

Your Building for Everyone donation:

  • Ensures critically needed senior and supportive services that allow people to live independently
  • Fortifies the Emergency Assistance Funding that connects families with one-time assistance for utility payments, rent and security deposits, thus pro-actively preventing homelessness
  • Extends instruction via Financial Capabilities and Foreclosure Prevention programs that empower family finance decision-making
  • Provides guidance through RUPCO’s First-time Homebuyer Education Program which inspired over 600 people to begin the process; 102 of them became first-time homebuyers and achieved their Dreams of HomeOwnership
  • Spearheads ambitious community development solutions like
    • Energy Square: a Net-Zero-for-Living mixed-use complex in Kingston
    • East End: Newly renovated apartments in Newburgh’s historic district
    • Landmark Place: Affordable senior housing with support services for many in Kingston
    • The Metro: A film & TV technology hub in partnership with Stockade Works, surrounded by other creative, community wealth-building entrepreneurs at the center of Kingston’s Midtown Arts District

DONATE ONLINE (this button takes you to the PayPal site but you do not need a PayPal account. Simply select the “Credit card option” in the grey box)

CALL BY PHONE with your credit card (845) 331-2140 ext.276
MAIL A CHECK to RUPCO,  Attn: Annual Appeal 2018, 289 Fair Street,  Kingston, NY 12401
Have a question? Call or email Tara Collins (845) 331-2140, ext. 276.

After you’ve made your donation, go online to our Facebook | RUPCOTwitter or Instagram account and post your #UNselfie – THANK YOU!