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/

+COVID19 Community Recovery

 

+Emergency Help in Ulster County

Project Resilience

Ulster County has announced Project Resilience, a community fund and local food distribution effort to support residents impacted by COVID-19. The County has secured over $2 million in funding, and will utilize UCAT and partner with non-profits and municipalities to deliver meals to local distribution centers. This new initiative will help residents in need and simultaneously provide support to small businesses. Ulster County is partnering with United Way and many other area organizations and businesses to mobilize food and services. https://ulstercountyny.gov/projectresilience.

+Food Resources

Kingston Food Security Hotline

For those within the  Kingston City School District call  (888) 316-0879  at any time to receive meals and groceries.

Kingston School District Meals

KCSD will provide families with free to-go breakfast and lunches Monday-Friday from 11am-1pm.  They will be distributing these meals at John F. Kennedy Elementary School and J. Watson Bailey Middle School.  Students who attend any KCSD school are welcome to stop by either of these two locations for breakfast and lunch items.  You may walk or use the drive-through curb side service.

KCSD Food Distribution Sites are being expanded again! To better serve the extended community, they will be offering the breakfast & lunch Go-Bags at the following locations and times:

Mondays – Fridays from 10:00am – 10:45am at:

  • J. Watson Bailey Middle School
  • John F. Kennedy Elementary School
  • George Washington Elementary School

Mondays – Fridays from 11:15am – 12:00pm at:

  • Meagher Administrative Building
  • Sawkill Manufactured Trailer Park (Sawkill Rd.)
  • Corner of Downs St. & Bruyn Ave. in Kingston

Mondays – Fridays from 12:30pm – 1:15pm at:

  • Robert Graves Elementary School
  • M. C. Miller Middle School
  • Stuyvesant Charter Apartments

*If you cannot make it to a food pick-up distribution location, please call the KCSD Food Hotline: 845-943-3938

Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative

888-316-0879

Prepared, microwave-ready meals are available for pick-up and delivery on weekdays for lunch and dinner. Call the Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative hotline for information about delivery and where to pick-up.

Ulster Community Action

– Kingston office: 70 Lindsley Ave.

845-338-8750 – Open Mon-Fri 8am-4pm

Mole Mole Restaurant –

Providing Free bagged lunches for students. Available Tues-Fri 1-3pm

Ulster County Residents: 

Request for Food Assistance 

Family of Woodstock/YMCA Meals

Prepared, microwave-ready meals are available for pick-up and delivery on weekdays for lunch and dinner. Call or text the Family of Woodstock 24/7 hotline for information about delivery and where to pick-up: (845) 679-2485

People’s Place

For those in need of food support on the weekdays, People’s Place is offering the following services:

  • The Community Cafe will be open from 8:30 am to 1 pm offering take out Continental breakfast and sandwiches for lunch.
  • The Food Pantry will operate in a modified version at regular hours (10 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday and Wednesday evening from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm)
  • The Bag Student Hunger Program which offers breakfast, lunch and snack items for school age children will begin on Monday, March 16 and run until school resumes. Distribution will follow the food pantry hours.

For more information please call 845-338-4030 or visit the People’s Place Facebook Page.

Salvation Army

Offering prepared lunch, pre-bagged groceries to anyone in need

M-F, 12   location: 35 Cedar St, Kingston (845) 331-1803 you do not need to call ahead.

UlsterCorps

Ulster County residents outside of Kingston should check with their local food pantry https://www.ulstercorps.org/agencies/food-pantries/, or school district for meals for students.

A map of all the food pantries in Ulster County can be found on the UlsterCorps website which Includes UCAT schedules.

Woodstock

The Table at Woodstock is offering meal and grocery pickup for Onteora School District residents in front of the Woodstock Reform Church on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 4-6 pm (or until they run out). Seniors and individuals in self-quarantine qualify for meal delivery. Those in need can contact [email protected] or message through Facebook.

Town of Woodstock residents are encouraged to register via the Town Supervisor’s Office for delivery, grocery boxes, and check-in calls. Volunteers and donations of funds or Hannaford gift cards are needed.

+Greene County

Community Action of Greene County NY – https://cagcny.org/

+Orange County

Corona Virus Resources in Orange County http://www.ouboces.org/Information.cfm?subpage=5179

LODGER At 188 Liberty Street in Newburgh is preparing and distributing 200 school-lunch-replacement meals for free Mondays through Wednesdays, from 10am to 1pm. Their staff are driving deliveries, and their efforts are being supported through donations from neighbors and local businesses.

+HVNY List of Farmers Markets and Food Pantries

https://hvny.info/info/farms-farmers-markets-food-pantries

+USDA Federal Resource Guide:

https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_COVID-19_Fed_Rural_Resource_Guide.pdf

+Farmers and Ranchers USDA’s COVID-19 Food Assistance Program
 

Agricultural producers can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. The application and a payment calculator are now available online, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff members are available via phone, fax and online tools to help producers complete applications. The agency set up a call center in order to simplify how they serve new customers across the nation.

Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion for vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs as a result of lower demand, surplus production, and disruptions to shipping patterns and the orderly marketing of commodities.

Producers can download the CFAP application and other eligibility forms from farmers.gov/cfap. 

Visit the Farmers.gov CFAP Website

+Healthcare/Insurance

NY State of Health and New York State Department of Financial Services Announce Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured New Yorkers, as Novel Coronavirus Cases Climb

.Go to NYStateofHealth.ny.gov/.

+Mental Health/Substance Use Help 

Governor Cuomo’s FREE Mental Health Hotline:  844.863.9314

SAMAHDI 27/7 Peer Hotline:

Kingston Frontline, Hotline providing free, confidential mental health services for Essential workers

O+ and Samadhi have launched Kingston Frontline, providing free, confidential mental health services for everyone who is essential, including healthcare, custodial, delivery, mail, transportation, farm, grocery, municipal, utility +domestic workers – also for the community organizers +volunteers who are keeping their neighbors fed + connecting them to vital services +housing. Essential workers can call 1-844-4FRTLN (1-844-437-6856) — to speak with a trained responder, who will connect them to appropriate resources, including licensed clinical therapists +support groups. 

Headspace Meditation + Mindfullness Resources Free for NYers

Headspace.com/ny

Hudson Valley Vets Peer Support Hotline

Veterans and Families of, a Peer-Support Hotline along with video conferencing is offered to meet needs during this difficult time. These peer support specialists have been in the military and understand the rigors of the military and military family life. Peer-Support Specialists aim to provide a “first contact resolution” by ensuring that your needs are addressed.

877.494.5199

https://hvcvr.org/peer-support-line/

+Ulster County COVID-19 Social Services Resources

covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/social-services-resources

The county’s webpage includes information on the Emergency HEAP Benefit. Questions regarding the HEAP program and other Social Services can be directed to the Ulster County Department of Social Services at 845-334-5436.

+New York State and National Domestic Violence Hotline numbers are:

  • New York State Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline (English & español/Multi-language accessibility): 1-800-942-6906 or 711 for Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • National Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
  • National Deaf Hotline Videophone 9am-5pm M-F 1-855-812-1001 or [email protected]

+Ulster County Crime Victims 24/7 Assistance Hotline

Domestic violence, assault, rape, elder abuse, cyber abuse, Human trafficking.

Call 845.340.3442

+Groceries/Pharmacies with Senior Shopping Hours, Delivery and Pickup

To assist all Seniors and those otherwise vulnerable, the Jewish Federation of Ulster County has compiled a comprehensive document of Please note that these hours and services are fluid and may change as the stores respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tJYEV17mjFiGvhwBzkmVvIarGbje-SP

+Kingston Restaurants Offering Online Ordering and Curbside Pick-Up/Delivery for Groceries

+HERZOG Home Center Offering Curbside Pick-Up (hardware)

Call 845-338-6300

+Hudson Valley Currents Digital Resistance Market

https://hudsonvalleycurrent.org/current-resilience-marketplace/

+Companies Hiring in and around Kingston/Ulster County

+COVID-19 Mobile Testing

Please refer to the Ulster County COVID-19 Mobile page for the testing process procedures as well as important phone numbers.

https://covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/mobile-testing/

+United Way of Ulster County

Offers a comprehensive guide to health and human services offered in Ulster County and beyond. 845-331-4199
Hudson Valley Region Hotline: dial 211.
Website: https://www.ulsterunitedway.org/

+Childcare for Essential Workers

Childcare for Toddlers and Infants: Call Childcare Connections: 845-331-7080

Emergency Childcare Service for Essential Workers: The YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County provides childcare for first responders, emergency personnel and essential workers who do not have the option to work from home. Childcare locations:

  • Ellenville Elementary School – 28 Maple Avenue, Ellenville
  • Marbletown Elementary School – 12 Pine Bush Road, Stone Ridge
  • New Paltz (Lenape Elementary School) – 1 Eugene L Brown Drive, New Paltz
  • Kingston YMCA – 507 Broadway, Kingston (Pine Grove Entrance)
    • Hours: 8 am – 4 pm. Please pack a lunch plus two snacks and a coat for outdoors.
    • Registration is required and offered online or call 845-338-3810 x112 or email [email protected]

+Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Relief Fund

https://www.restaurantworkerscf.org/covid19faq

+Service Worker Fund Listing

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qy2GfF2Xhc3PYFZy-kThxNxYHigaoDy_lyvrQyUqGuI/edit

+ TheSecretCity Guide to Resources for Artists

https://thesecretcity.org/blog/

+COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources

https://covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com/

+WAAM Woodstock NY Artists COVID-19 Resources

https://bit.ly/3eNVvEf

+Arts MidHudson COVID-19 Resources

https://artsmidhudson.org/covid19-resources/

+Sweet Relief Fund for career musicians facing illness, disability, or age-related problems

https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html

+COVID-19 Scam Alerts:

The Federal Trade Commission and AARP have lots of info and shareable content about health and financial scams related to COVID-19.

+Price Gouging Reporting

New Yorkers are urged to call 1-800-697-1220 or complete the consumer complaint form to report unfair price increases of products such as household cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer amid the COVID-19 outbreak. File a Complaint.

+Immigration Services Portal

https://www.informedimmigrant.com/guides/coronavirus/

+Resources for Tenants and Landlords

https://rupco.org/wp-content/uploads/COVID-19-Resources-NYSLAP.pdf

+The COVID-19 Tenant Protection Unit of Ulster County

.The COVID-19 Tenant Protection Unit, staffed by members of the Ulster County Public Defender’s Office, will assure that tenants’ rights are being protected through Governor Andrew Cuomo “New York on Pause” order, which put all commercial or residential eviction under a 90-day moratorium.

To make a tenant complaint, please visit: covid19.ulstercountyny.gov/covid-19-tenants-protection-unit-form/

+Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) COVID-19 Helpful Links and FAQs

https://hcr.ny.gov/covid-19-helpful-links-and-faqs

+Small Business Administration Payroll Protection Program

https://bit.ly/34fV54F

+Parks and Recreation

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice social distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. [Visit Website]

  • Kaaterskill Falls: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the temporary closure of Kaaterskill Falls, the viewing platform, and connecting trails beginning Monday, April 6. The Kaaterskill Wild Forest will remain open to the public. The closure of the Kaaterskill Falls site is part of DEC’s statewide efforts to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 by encouraging New Yorkers to safely and responsibly recreate locally.

+Call for Donations/Volunteers

Want to help? Donate to the Feeding local families gofundme, donate to People’s Place, or join the Covid-19 Volunteer Support Team. and UlsterCorps

+Assemblymember Brian Cahill’s COVID-19 FAQs

+Office of US Congressman Antonio Delgado

State Senator Jen Metzger’s COVID-19 Resource Guide

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1h07Dr6JZae45A82trHJTMQhP8hxSd_NlPl5ZVtm3Eug/edit

+The Kingston Land Trust Land Matching Portal

The Land Matching Portal is a webpage where folks can find land in their neighborhood to use for free to grow food on.

+More information

More information can be found at the Ulster County Dept of Health website under Community Resources. https://ulstercountyny.gov/coronavirus

+Spanish

Kingston School District

A partir del Miercoles Marzo 18, (KCSD) el distrito escolar de la ciudad de Kingston proporcionará familias con desayuno y almuerzo para llevar gratis de Lunes a Viernes de 11am-1pm. Van a distribuir estas comidas en la escuela primaria de John F.Kennedy y la escuela secundaria de Jay Watson Bailey. Todo estudiante que asiste en cualquier escuela del distrito de Kingston estan bienvenidos a venir a cualquiera de esto dos locales para recoger productos de desayuno y almuerzo. Pueden caminar ó manejar al servicio de la curva de la acera.

Comidas listas para comer

Comidas listas para comer o que se prepara usando la microondas Listas para recoger y entregadas durante la semana para almuerzos y cenas. Para mas información sobre la localización de la entrega de la comida, pueden llamar ó dejar un mensaje por texto a la line directa de Family of Woodstock abierto 24 horas todos los día: (845) 679-2485.

People’s Place

Para aquellos que necesitan ayuda alimentaria durante la semana, People to People está ofreciendo los siguientes servicios:

  • The Community Café abierto de 8:30am-1pm está ofreciendo comida para llevar:desayuno continental y sandwiches para el almuerzo.
  • La Despensa de Alimentos operará en una manera modificada a horas regulares (10 am -1 pm Lunes a Viernes y Miércoles en la noche de 5:30 pm a 7:30 pm).
  •  El Bag Student Hunger Program (El programa de la bolsa de ambre estudiantil) ofrece desayuno, almuerzo y meriendas para niños de edad escolar. Comienza Lunes Marzo 16 hasta que las esculas vuelvan a abrir. La distribución seguirá las horas de La Despensa de Alimentos.

Para mas información, por favor llame 845-338-4030 ó visite la página de People’s Place en Facebook.

¿Quieres ayudar?

Done a las familias locales de alimentación gofundme , done a People’s Place o únase al equipo de apoyo voluntario Covid-19 .

Alivio Financiero

Kingston se enfrenta a desafíos económicos sin precedentes a raíz de la pandemia de COVID-19 y muchos de nuestros vecinos se encontrarán en lugares de dificultades verdaderas en las próximas semanas y meses. Para ayudar a aliviar algo de este estrés, Radio Kingston’s Community Fund está ofreciendo una mayor capacidad para apoyar a los Kingstonianos durante este momento de gran interrupción.

Residentes dentro del Distrito Escolar de la Ciudad de Kingston que necesiten asistencia financiera podrán por una vez recibir apoyo financiero por única vez a través del Fondo Comunitario. La información para el fondo será a través de Family of Woodstock por teléfono y por mensaje electrónico. Las solicitudes de asistencia comenzarán a procesarse el lunes 23 de marzo. Para mas información visit: radiokingston.org/community-fund

Este es un momento para apoyar nuestro bienestar colectivo y ayudarnos mutuamente a navegar juntos por el camino. Necesitamos su ayuda para satisfacer las necesidades de nuestra comunidad. Por favor considere donar al Fondo de la Comunidad para que este recurso siga fluyendo: bit.ly/knycommunityfund

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

 

One Step Behind

 

Although I’ve never been homeless, it feels like I don’t have a home. All my life, I’ve struggled to find and accept one. To me, a home is a place where you feel content and secure. I’m so close to finding this sanctuary that it pains me, but I’m not there yet. I think that if it weren’t for my troubled childhood, I would be able to find a place to call my own.

Growing up with two alcoholic parents doesn’t exactly set you up for success. I did have a perfect childhood, until my parents split up. After the divorce, my sister and I started living with our mother. This is when her alcoholism truly took control of her life, and ours. We would come home from school not knowing whether or not she would be intoxicated. At eight, I started to become traumatized by her instability and behavioral antics. We were too young to realize what was going on, but this had become our new life. Because of her alcoholism, I was forced to become an adult and take care of her while I raised my sister as well as myself. This life had broken any and all the memories I had of a home. Ten years later, I had a second chance of finding a place to call my own.

When I was eighteen, I moved in with a friend and his family. They accepted me and treat me like their own. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me and am eternally grateful, but even with all their support and love, I can’t help but to hesitate about calling their house my home. The constant tension within the house triggers something within me, making it difficult to relax there. because of the tension, I still return not knowing what I’m coming back to. This instability brings me back to when I was with my mother. They truly try to make me as comfortable as possible, but I’m still stuck in the past.

The closest thing to home I’ve ever had was my dorm at SUNY Geneseo. It was just me and my cat. I had my own space. The major difference was that the dorm was “mine.” I didn’t have to be anxious about what I would come back to. I had a safe space. This fall I will start an intercultural and interpersonal communications degree at SUNY New Paltz. I will once again be dorming and to me that means I’ll have a temporary home. I understand that home is what you make of it, but I just can’t adapt to living with others yet. I think that in order for me to let go of my past, I need to live on my own for the time being.

Home matters to me, as it should to everyone. Although I’m not quite there yet, I believe that my home is out there waiting for me. I’m not sure how I’ll get there, but I know I will. In the end everything works out, I’m just one step behind. 

-Heather Trimboli                                                                                                                                                                           

 

In Support of Veterans…and Landmark Place

American Flag by Sarah Carlson, Lace Mill artistFifty years ago, I was drafted into the United States Army along with thousands of other Americans.  Though I was drafted into the Army, I’m proud of my service to my country. I spent 12 months with the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam.  When I returned, I took full advantage of the GI Bill to complete my college degrees and advance my education.

After 40 years of working and having a wonderful family with my wife, Valerie, I began to have emotional problems related to my military experience.  For 10 years, I have been going to the VA Clinic in Kingston and the VA Hospital in Albany. With the help of the Ulster County Veterans Service Agency and the great support of people I know in Kingston, I find myself lucky compared to most veterans I meet. My medical condition is not good presently, partially related to my exposure to Agent Orange. For many years I went to consultations with the Veterans Service Agency at the Alms House (soon to be Landmark Place), which is now being considered for low-income housing by RUPCO.

Many times I had asked, “Where in Kingston or Ulster County are there apartments or living areas for Veterans?”  I was told the closest one is in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After speaking with RUPCO about this, I learned that if the Alms House is used by RUPCO, 10 apartments will be made available to veterans.  I think this is a good idea, and I know there is a controversy, but it’s the first time I’ve heard that any housing would be made available to consider Veterans in Kingston or Ulster County. Something tangible and realistic could be done for homeless veterans.  Many need a place to live. Very few are loved.

Dennis Connors, Kingston NY

Artwork by Sarah Carlson, Lace Mill resident
Guy Kempe elected to the Board of Directors of NYS Rural Housing Coalition

RUPCO’s Vice President of Community Development Guy Kempe has been elected as Hudson Valley Representative on the board of directors of NYS Rural Housing Coalition. The NYS Rural Housing Coalition, Inc. is a network of rural housing professionals who work toward a common goal: to design, develop, finance, build and manage affordable housing to meet the diverse needs of rural New Yorkers Members share their knowledge and expertise to attain this goal. 

Mr. Kempe completed his undergraduate education at Bard College, attended graduate level courses at the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Oxford University, and began an MFA at the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts. Guy has been VP of Community Development since March of 2012 and oversees a staff of three and a current development pipeline worth $100million.

 

For nearly 40 years, the Rural Housing Coalition has brought together affordable housing professionals who work to address the affordable housing crisis, to promote healthy homes and to create vibrant local economies in rural parts of New York. “It’s a pleasure for me to join the board in this important work.”

Why the “Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018” won’t work for most vulnerable

U.S. Capitol Building, Washington DCAt RUPCO, we certainly hope this legislation will not pass. The Housing Choice and Project Based Voucher programs, formerly known as Section 8, provide affordable housing to the most vulnerable people in our society. By statute, the program is limited to serving households earning less than 50% of the area median income (AMI) but 75% of the assistance must go to households earning less than 30% AMI. In Ulster County, those incomes limits are based on household size as follows:

Income Qualifications for Ulster County HUD Rental Assistance in Ulster County

Income               1 Person      2 Person     3 Person      4 Person      5 Person      6 Person     7 Person     8 Person
30% of Median  $16,650        $19,000        $21,400        $25,100        $29,420        $33,740        $38,060        $42,380
50% of Median  $27,750        $31,700        $35,650        $39,600        $42,800        $45,950        $49,150        $52,300

• A single person earning 30% AMI or $16,550, paying 30% of their income, would currently pay $416 per month toward their rent and utilities. If this figure was increased to 35% of their income, the rent their payment would increase to $485.

• A senior or disabled person living on the average Social Security Disability Income of $1,197 per month would see their monthly rent go up by $35 that pays for critically needed prescription drugs.

• A single Mom with two kids earning 50% AMI would see their rent payment go from $890 a month to $1,040, an increase of $150 every month. That is equivalent to a car payment to get to work, or a week’s worth of food for her children taken off the table or a big hit to a Mom’s ability to pay for child care.

Today, less than 1 in 4 low- and extremely low-income households in America that desperately need rental assistance receive it. Forty percent (40%) of homeless families are working and people receiving rental assistance that are not elderly or disabled are working too. The proposed changes in the Making Affordable Housing Work Act completely miss the mark and, if passed, would only serve to exacerbate the burdens and struggles of America’s most vulnerable households including seniors, the disabled, and working poor. Given the recent tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy – on top of the already regressive tax breaks provided to high income homeowners for mortgage interest, points and real estate taxes –the question becomes why supports for the bottom end of the income spectrum are being targeted.

RUPCO has been a leader in New York State in moving families through Section 8’s Family Self Sufficiency program and the Section 8 to Homeownership program. We also understand the struggle that those in the middle class face today and we urge consideration for programs that lift all boats by creating affordable housing, producing jobs and provide affordable, quality education, healthcare and access to healthy food. We urge considerations of programs that do not target the lowest income households for cuts but rather provide more opportunity such as the proposed Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act, recently passed by the House.

The House of Representatives passed the “Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018” (H.R. 5793) by a vote of 368-19 on July 10. Representatives Duffy (R-WI) and Cleaver (D-MO) of the House Financial Services Committee introduced the bill, which aims to further improve voucher mobility and help more Housing Choice Voucher households move to communities of their choice, such as areas with access to jobs with decent pay, good schools, transportation, and healthcare. The demonstration will enable HUD and public housing agencies to develop new models for improving voucher mobility as well as provide counseling to help voucher households move to areas of opportunity. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration in committee. NLIHC supports H.R. 5793.  Learn more about the bill at: https://bit.ly/2umUyMN

Additionally, here are links to two of our most important annual housing reports that demonstrate the affordable housing crisis that exists today across our Country:

Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, RUPCO

The Gift of Home

red toothbrush in frosted cup attached to lime green tile wall with white groutHeather Free knows what it’s like to be homeless. Employed full-time in the Human Services industry, Heather worked closely with those needing supportive services. A college graduate with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, she is an accomplished violinist, mother of two, and blogger. However, a series of events — car accident, adverse medication reaction, a fiance’s cold feet, loss of insurance and then her job — put Heather on the other side of the Human Services table.

As a homeless single mom, she did what was best and sent her daughter to live with her father. She struggled to get well, both mentally and physically, while living nearly a year out of her handbag, sleeping on friends’ sofas or living room floors; one time, she slept under a bush behind a convenience store. “I couldn’t get the help I needed and I knew how the system works,” she said. “Homelessness is a full-time job. There are no hobbies when you’re homeless: there’s no thriving, just surviving.” She posted her plight online and so began a social media chain reaction that put Heather in touch with Property Manager, Tasyka DeRosalia. With a stroke of luck, Heather was housed within a week. 

While homeless, Heather traveled with her toothbrush in a Ziploc baggie, stashed consistently in her purse. No matter where she slept, she kept a simple routine: wake up, brush teeth, start day, hold onto hope, navigate homelessness. Two weeks after moving  into her apartment, she searched her handbag for the Ziploc’d toothbrush. Nothing. Frantically, she emptied the bag and then retraced her steps.

She found it…right where it’s supposed to be…in her bathroom toothbrush stand. She knew then she was home. The gift of Home offers peace of mind, reliability, safety, and security. A toothbrush in its place is why Home Matters.