Application for the Ulster County COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Reopened

RUPCO is happy to announce that 33 Ulster County renters received assistance through the Ulster County COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. There is still funding available to assist more households that have had a reduction or loss of income due to COVID-19.  

The program provides emergency rental assistance payments for up to three months for a maximum of $3,000, for renters that were directly impacted by a reduction or loss of income due to COVID-19.  Only households outside the City of Kingston* are eligible to apply. Funds can be used to pay back rent beginning on April 1, 2020 and/or future rental payments.

Complete Applications with all tenant and Landlord documentation will be funded on a first come first serve basis until funding is exhausted.  

Paper copies of the applications are available at the Drop Box at RUPCO offices on 289 Fair Street. 

If you have questions or need assistance with the required documents please call 845-331-9860 x 227.  Screen shots of  the required documents will be accepted, as long as they are legible.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements:

  • Household income limits are listed below. Lower incomes will be prioritized.
  • Proof of loss or reduction of income related to COVID-19 is required
  • A lease or rental agreement is required
  • Applicant(s) must be current on rent as of March 1, 2020
  • All properties must be reviewed for state and federal mapping requirements and must be deemed an eligible property
  • Renters in the City of Kingston are not eligible*
  • Tenants living in RUPCO properties are not eligible
  • Renters receiving ongoing rental assistance, such as Section 8 are not eligible

Household Size

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

80% AMI

46,900

53,600 60,300 66,950 72,350 77,700 83,050 88,400
                 

Need help? Contact Sally Dolan at 845.331.9860 x227 or e-mail [email protected]

 

* The City of Kingston receives a direct allocation of similar funds therefore County CDBG funds must be utilized outside the City.  RUPCO has applied for funding for City of Kingston residents.  When and if those funds are secured, RUPCO will open another application and lottery for renters in the City of Kingston.

COVID-19 Resources for Tenants & Landlords
RUPCO NYS-LAP COVID-19 Resources from Tenants and Landlords

Spring 2020

RUPCO wants to make sure that tenants and landlords have the most up to date information related to COVID-19. There are several resources available that offer daily updates on COVID-19. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease spread between people who are in close contact with one another. Apartment buildings and other shared living spaces pose the increased potential risk of persons spreading the virus. Tenants and Landlords can start preparing for the virus by being proactive with preventative steps and with communication while working as a team.

TENANTS:

Know your rights during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Landlords cannot participate in “rent gouging,” by increasing rent in order to capitalize on the crisis.

  • If you have a current lease, your landlord cannot increase your rent until it expires. If you are rent stabilized or rent controlled, the landlord is limited in the amounts it can increase your rent (currently 1.5 percent for a 1 year renewal and 2.5 percent for a 2 year renewal).

  • For market rate tenants whose lease is expiring or are month-to-month tenants, your landlord must provide you with advance written notice of any rent increases above 5 percent.

    • 90 days written advance notice if you have lived in your apartment two years or more, or if you have a two-year lease;

    • 60 days written advance notice if you have lived in your apartment for more than one year, but less than two years;

    • 30 days advance written notice if you have lived in your apartment for less than one year, or have a lease for less than one years.

Even if you are given proper advance notice of the rent increase, your landlord cannot charge you the increase in rent unless you accept it by signing a lease, paying the increase, or take another affirmative step.

  • If you refuse to pay the increase, the landlord must go to court to evict you. However, your landlord cannot bring you to court because there is currently a moratorium on both new cases and evictions.

  • Landlords cannot withhold essential services over failure to pay rent.

  • A landlord’s failure to provide essential services such as hot water or electricity is a breach of the warranty of habitability.

  • If your landlord has failed to provide essential services to you, you can call your local Code Enforcement office to complain about a loss of essential services such as heat and hot water or other bad conditions. The deliberate disruption or discontinuance of essential services may also constitute harassment as described above.

  • New York state anti-harassment laws make it illegal for landlords to engage in any action that is intended to force tenants to leave their homes or otherwise give up their rights under law.

  • Landlords are prohibited from interfering with tenants’ privacy, comfort, and quiet enjoyment of their homes. It is a Class A Misdemeanor for a landlord to threaten a tenant, change a tenant’s locks, or otherwise try to force a tenant from her apartment without a court order, whether that tenant is paying rent or not.

  • Landlords are also prohibited from engaging in disruptive construction or renovation projects in your building that interfere with your health, safety, and use of your apartment. These actions could be considered harassment.

  • Landlords cannot discriminate against or evict a tenant because the tenant, or someone the tenant lives with, has contracted or had COVID-19, or the landlord thinks that the tenant has or had COVID-19.

  • If you are elderly or have a physical, mental, or medical impairment, which may include a COVID-19 related illness, you are protected from housing discrimination under the federal, state, and city laws, including the New York State Human Rights Law.

  • Landlords also cannot discriminate against a tenant or treat a tenant differently or unfairly because of their immigration status or because the tenant is from, or looks like the tenant is from, a country where there is a serious COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Landlords cannot refuse to protect a tenant if the tenant is being harassed by other tenants because the tenant is from, or looks like the tenant is from, a country where there is a serious COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Posting a notice that someone has an illness would be considered discrimination unless it is necessary to protect the health of others. Generally, there is no need to identify a person who has contracted the coronavirus. Instead, a landlord can post a notice stating that someone within the building has contracted the coronavirus without identifying the person who got ill.

  • If you have questions or believe you have been a victim of harassment or discrimination of this kind, contact the OAG Civil Rights Bureau by emailing [email protected] or calling 800-771-7755.

  • If a New York State Sheriff attempts to evict you, you should contact the Sheriff’s office and then your local County office’s general number to report a violation of the Governor’s Executive Order.

  • If a Landlord locks you out or tries to evict you, also known as “self-help evictions,” which are unlawful in New York State, you should call 911 and show the police officer identification, lease, or public utility bill with your name and address.

Ulster County’s Tenants Protection Unit

Links to helpful information from the CDC and other sources.

COVID-19 Information and Resources by Google
How COVID-19 Spreads
COVID-19 Symptoms
Prevention and Treatment
Stigma and Resilience
What to Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19

These resources track the spread of COVID-19:

COVID-19 Tracker and State-By-State Health Information
Kaiser Family Foundation Tracker

Links regarding rules on evictions given the crisis:

Cities Restrict/Refuse to Conduct Evictions During COVID-19 Outbreak
Coronavirus and Landlords: Effects on Evictions, Assets, and Liability

National Multifamily Housing Council COVID-19 Webinar Series
FHFA Moves to Provide Eviction Suspension Relief for Renters in Multifamily Properties

Other Helpful Links

National Apartment Association Coronavirus Micro-Webinar: How to Handle Maintenance During COVID-19
COVID-19 guidance for owners and managers of multifamily residential properties
If the coronavirus has you worried about your mortgage, do these four things
COVID-19: FAQ for Residential and Commercial Buildings

Guidance for Renters

Support for Renters: Fannie Mae Disaster Recovery Network
New York eviction suspension statewide
Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Homes and Residential Communities
Utilities across NY to suspend disconnections for customers facing coronavirus hardships
Renters: How to Get COVID-19 Rent Relief

Additional Resources (Non-Profit/Small Business Support)

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Guide and Checklist for Small Businesses and Nonprofits
Maintaining Business Continuing During COVID-19 Pandemic

Thank you for taking the time to review this and for taking steps to help our region flatten the curve. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, comments or concerns.

RUPCO is here to support you.
Michael D’Arcy
845-705-7883
https://rupco.org/nyslap/

WEBCAST Learning Lunch: Guiding the Caregiver, Alzheimer’s

SPECIAL WEBCAST – ONLINE LEARNING

The RUPCO Learning Lunch series allows guests to enjoy free presentations on a range of historical and cultural topics. Admission to our Learning Lunch series is FREE. 

Our Learning Lunch series affords you the most consistent opportunity to remove yourself from a busy work week, and learn something new about the community we all call home.

TO JOIN

To participate, visit: https://bluejeans.com/845845914 

ID: 845 845 914

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Guiding the Caregiver: Alzheimer’s with Tara DeLuca, MA, LCAT, ATR-BC|Care Consultant/Director of Client Assistance, Hudson Valley, NY Chapter| Alzheimer’s Association 

This Learning Lunch is geared towards the care industry that supports the caregiver. During this presentation attendees will learn up to date information on communicating how to better identify the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as Alzheimer’s disease stages and risk factors. You will learn strategies for helping the caregiver, and first line personnel in decoding messages through non-verbal communication to connect and communicate in more meaningful ways at each stage of the disease. Through open discussion and a case example, this Learning Lunch will also teach you to identify common triggers for behaviors associated with dementia and learn strategies for addressing them.

Tara joined the Alzheimer’s Association in June 2019 as a care consultant serving Dutchess and Ulster counties. Tara DeLuca is a licensed creative arts therapist with more than 10 years of experience working with a variety of populations. Her work has included individual patient/family consultation, managing an art volunteer program and community-engagement events with a broad and positive impact. Tara is honored to serve the community in her role as director of client assistance, educating the public and creating individual plans for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. 

Tuesday, April 7th 12-1:30 PM

 

Affordable Commercial Lease Space Available at Energy Square!

Come be part of one of a kind opportunity rising in Midtown Kingston!

Property Overview

• Two Ground Floor Commercial  Ground Floor Spaces Available:    Unit 1: 914 SF    Unit 2: 838 SF 
• Spaces may be leased separately or combined as 1,752 SF
• Located one block off Broadway, on Cedar, corner of Iwo Jima
• Next to the Center for Creative Education (CCE)
• Affordable commercial rates – 12 PSF modified gross

Project Overview

The first floor of this five-story building features 11,000 square feet of civic/ commercial space. Set to open in Spring of 2020, the local nonprofit Center for Creative Education (CCE) will provide comprehensive community-based art and job training programs for young adults ages 18 to 25. The upper floors will house 57 mixed-income apartments owned and managed by RUPCO, a trusted community partner with a proven track record for delivering high-quality affordable housing in the Hudson Valley.
Energy Square’s innovative design features new construction with a “Net Zero for Living” standard. RUPCO will equip the building with enough solar capacity to generate and meet electrical usage of all residential and common area use.

Nearby Businesses

•Ulster County Performing Arts Center (UPAC)
•Dunkin Donuts
•Barcone’s Music Center
•Kingston Library
•YMCA of Kingston & Ulster County
•Kingston Food COOP (coming soon)
•Health Alliance Hospital
•Kingston High School
•Kingston City Hall
•Kingston Water Department
•SUNY Ulster Kingston
•Monkey Joes Roasting Co.
•Joe Beez
•Sunoco Gas Station
•Rite Aid/Walgreens
•Boice Brothers Dairy
•United States Post Office

Contact: Kendra Home, RUPCO 845.331.2140 x 267 [email protected]

Learning Lunch Series – Forsaken In Life, Forgotten In Death

The RUPCO Learning Lunch series allows guests to enjoy free presentations on a range of historical and cultural topics. Admission to our Learning Lunch series is FREE. Bring your lunch and enjoy complimentary beverages. Each program begins at noon unless noted.

Our Learning Lunch series affords you the most consistent opportunity to remove yourself from a busy work week, and learn something new about the community we all call home.


A Talk With New Paltz Town Historian, Susan Stessin-Cohn:

Forsaken In Life, Forgotten In Death

Susan is a professional genealogist and a former Professor of Education at SUNY New Paltz. She served as Director of Education at Historic Huguenot Street, and chair of the New Paltz Historic Land Commission. Susan co-curated several exhibits focusing on the history of the Hudson Valley on topics such as: slavery, 19th century women’s needlework, poverty and the poorhouse system, the Civil War, and the Lenape People. She is currently the Historian for the Town of New Paltz, New York and serves as chair of the New Paltz Historical Society.

RSVP to [email protected]

Applications will be accepted October 1, 2019 for RUPCO’s Energy Square, 20 Cedar Street, Kingston

Applications will be accepted October 1, 2019 for RUPCO’s Energy Square, 20 Cedar Street, an Energy Efficient Live/Work Community in Midtown Kingston, New York with Occupancy starting March 2020.

Energy Square is an Innovative development in heart of midtown Kingston with 56 Affordable Homes with Retail, Community-based Arts Education and Job Training. The building design incorporates geothermal power sources and energy-saving features to make Energy Square Hudson Valley’s First “Net Zero for Living” Affordable Apartments

September 25, 2019 – Kingston, NY – The new home for the Center for Creative Education (CCE), along with 56 mixed income apartments will start occupancy on March 1, 2020. Applications for the apartments will be accepted starting October 1, 2019, and be due by December 5, 2019 for occupancy March 2020. Applications will enter a lottery on January 3, 2020 for tenant review and selection for RUPCO’s Energy Square’s 56 affordable rental apartments in the 5-story building. There will be 2 studios, 44 one-bedroom, 6 two-bedroom, and 4 three-bedroom apartments. Two apartments will be reserved for homeless adults and another 7 apartments will be set aside for homeless young adults with services funded through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, which provides operational funding to providers for the development and operation of supportive housing for New Yorkers identified as homeless with special needs or other life challenges. Supportive services will be provided by Family of Woodstock and the Center for Creative Education (CCE). Utilities which include heat, hot water and electricity will be free to residents. Amenities include energy star appliances, laundry on premise, community room with WIFI, green rooftop with outdoor pavilion, on-site parking, and a live-in superintendent.

Energy Square was born when CCE approached RUPCO looking for space to grow. CCE’s mission is to enrich the social and cultural awareness of youth and community through arts, wellness and education. They will provide comprehensive community-based art and workforce development job training for young adults ages 18 to 25. CCE will also share the street-level commercial space with their two tenants: a retail market and a café, which be open to the public. The café will also work in conjunction with their workforce development job training center.

Energy Square is a unique, sustainable and exciting development that breathes life into an outdated property and makes it possible for people of all ages and income levels to call one of Kingston’s most vibrant city neighborhoods home. Rents which include utilities for free, (heat, hot water and electricity) range from $441-$1,428. These homes are affordable to residents with earnings below Ulster County’s area median income.

Energy Square meets a “net-zero for living” standard which combines geothermal and solar power sources and energy efficient features to make it HCR’s first affordable housing development in the Hudson Valley that produces as much energy as it uses.

Energy Square is constructed on the 1.3-acre site of the former Mid City Lanes bowling alley at 20 Cedar Street. Its location is in the heart of Kingston’s Midtown district within walking distance to jobs, healthcare, library, retail, and restaurants.

 

Contact:

Julee Whalin,

Communications Manager

RUPCO

845.331.2140 x 276

[email protected]

 

Want Equality? Start with Providing Housing That People Can Afford

red house, two green houses sitting on a $100 billUpwards of $22 TRILLION!

That’s what some experts estimate we’ve spent since LBJ launched his Great Society in 1964 in an attempt to eliminate poverty and racial injustice in America. Yet, little has changed.

More than 50 years later, 46.5 million Americans live in poverty — 16.1 million of them are children.  Millions more live on the edge, one job loss or one illness from an impoverished existence.

What went wrong?

Among other things, “Our housing policies…for decades have simply created islands of poor and low-income families, who for all intends and purposes, have been ignored and cut off from mainstream society,” says a paper recently published by the NHP Foundation, a national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in New York City.

It goes on to say that these “housing policies have forced entire generations of Americans into neighborhoods—whether labeled public housing, low-income housing, or undercapitalized affordable housing—offering little supportive educational or social services.  The result has been chronic unemployment, ever-increasing crime rates, drugs, gangs, domestic violence, child abuse, high rates of incarceration, and premature deaths. “

The sad news is that these dire social issues will only become worse, more widespread, intractable, and irreversible as the crisis of unaffordable housing continues to spread from poor, underclass households to those earning average median incomes—and above.

According to an NYU Furman Center and Capital One study, households with incomes of 80 percent to 120 percent of area median income also are struggling to find affordable rental units in all 50 states.  Like many low- and moderate-income families, these households are forced to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on housing.

The government considers a family “cost burdened” if its housing costs are more than 30 percent of its income.  Yet, according to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing—which leaves little left over to purchase necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care, let alone save for things like education, retirement or unexpected expenses.

If housing policies remain as they are and wages stay stagnant, that number is expected to grow to nearly 15 million within a decade, according to a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners.

More than 55 percent of American adults—approximately 138 million—are struggling financially, according to the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, many still reeling from financial losses suffered as a result of the Great Recession.

The pressure on local communities and nonprofit housing groups to create enough affordable housing to meet demand is enormous—and this at a time when many foundations and government agencies are shifting their focus from housing to social justice and equality issues.

Studies show, however, that where and how people live are good predictors of their life outcomes.  If social justice and equality are our desired goals, providing quality, safe housing that people can comfortably afford should be our top priority.

The low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program has been an extremely effective tool, but has fallen far short of demand.  According to the National Council of State Housing Agencies, the LIHTC has provided financing for the development or preservation of nearly 2.8 million units.  But to meet demand a whopping 8.2 million more units are needed.

So what’s to be done?

The NHP Foundation recommends building support among public and private-sector leaders to increase funding and re-engage the philanthropic community to help nonprofit affordable housing developers provide services that improve the quality of tenants’ lives.

Perhaps the most important recommendation put forth by the Foundation is to get everyone “to see this housing crisis for what it is—i.e. a root cause of social inequality.”

To paraphrase Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning Washington think tank, we need to stop treating poor people as liabilities to be managed, and begin to see them as assets to be developed.

In short, rather than isolate entire segments of our population in dilapidated, rundown tenements that are Petri dishes for antisocial behavior, a good place to start is with providing people with quality, safe housing where they can thrive, have opportunities to succeed and feel that they are a part of the mainstream of our society.

Larry Checco headshotGuest blogger Larry Checco is president of Checco Communications in Silver Spring, MD. Larry is a nationally sought-after speaker on branding and leadership, and serves as a consultant to both large and small organizations, companies, foundations and government agencies. In addition, Larry is a faculty member of the NeighborWorks® Training Institute and an adjunct at Southern New Hampshire University. Larry has authored several books including Branding for Success: A Roadmap for Raising the Visibility and Value of Your Nonprofit Organization, and Aha! Moments in Brand Management: Commonsense Insights to a Stronger, Healthier Brand.

Contents Copyrighted © 2016 by Larry Checco.  All Rights Reserved. Reprinted by permission.