Wiley Jackson, housing chairman of the Northern Dutchess chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a member of the Poughkeepsie Housing Committee, led a discussion on "Fair Housing in Poughkeepsie." The city was among the finalists for a federal "Model Cities" grant under the Johnson administration's "War on Poverty," and public housing and neighborhood improvement were key elements in its proposal.

In November 1967 Poughkeepsie was one of the 63 communities eligible for "Model Cities" grants.