Community Partner Award: Madeline Fletcher

Every year at Community Lunch, RUPCO honors a community partner doing great work in our neighborhoods. This year, we honored Madeline Fletcher, Executive Director at Newburgh Community Land Bank for her collaborative spirit in transforming Newburgh’s historic East End. Her ability to gather partners and facilitate change has been transformative.

Artist in Vacancy Exhibit Highlights Newburgh Architecture September 30

Artist in Vacancy Exhibit September 30Newburgh Community Land Bank presents two Artist-in-Vacancy exhibits this week. The first exhibition, organized by Laura Genes, involves work done on-site for the larger RUPCO project around 39 Johnston Street in Newburgh, NY by craftsmen at Affordable Housing Concepts. The architectural installation at 39A Johnston will showcase the new restoration work alongside original architectural details. In addition to highlighting the skilled work done by the workmen onsite, this presentation of the old and the new side-by-side hopes to spark conversation about the value of architectural character and the will necessary to upkeep it. 

Times Herald-Record reporter Leonard Sparks recently featured local craftsmen and the crew’s initiative to recreate and replicate moldings and interior finish trim in a make-shift woodworking studio at 39 Johnston. This exhibit is an opportunity to see the building under-construction and witness the handiwork of the craftsman helping to rebuild Newburgh.

The installation will be open for visitation from noon to 6pm on Saturday, September 30 and will be followed by a lecture by Andrew Linn of BLD, an architect and historian who will be presenting about the legacy of AJ Downing, a pioneer of American architecture. With the help of the Newburgh Community Land Bank, Andrew Linn, Jack Becker and Laura Genes have produced a text about Downing and how his works fit into a larger American canon. This essay has been formatted into a poster and will be available for guests to take home with them. 

The second Artist-in-Vancacy exhibit, GRNASFCK, by Coleen Tuite and Ian Quate will embrace 122/123 Lander from 1 to 6 p.m. on September 30. Click here for more on the artists and their outdoor installation. Come meet the artists over backyard BBQ. Both events are free and open to the public.

ABOUT THE VENUE, 39 JOHNSTON STREET, NEWBURGH: Former home to Newburgh photographer Jacob Ruben, and author of many historic Newburgh Postcards, was a vacant building for many years until the Newburgh Community Land Bank acquired the building from the City. After environmental rehabilitation and stabilization work, the building was transferred to RUPCO as part of a larger 15-property scatter site development utilizing Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and construction lending from Sterling National Bank, to restore the neighborhood in pockets. The effort will establish 45 new apartments for low-moderate income individuals and their families. The rehabilitation is currently underway, with the first series of homes available in Winter 2018 and the remainder rolling out through Summer 2018. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Laura Genes was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and educated in New York City. She studied architecture at the Cooper Union. Through the use of photography and installation, she describes a human element of the built environment, which is otherwise absent from technical plans and sections. By forcing the body back into structures, the permanence of both forms is put into question. The built form takes on the vulnerability of human-nature and the human body adopts the monumental qualities of a landmark. Both architecture and humans are made to perform in specific time-scales and lifespans; in the case of both, neglecting that destiny is the only way to carry-on. Laura makes work to ask: how can structures preserve our poetry and how can we lend our poetry to structures? Find out more about the exhibit here.

NRP: National Revitalization Program in Kingston, Newburgh, Middletown

We’re connecting homebuyers with SONYMA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program, a package of incentives to help owner‐occupant homebuyers purchase and renovate vacant homes in Kingston, Middletown and Newburgh.

Program features include:

* Up to $20,000 cash assistance to renovate a home that you purchase

* Access to financing additional improvements into your purchase mortgage for post-closing rehab

* NRP can be combined with other grants and assistance programs thereby maximizing your ability to make your new home safe, secure and energy-efficient

* SONYMA mortgages of 30 years, low interest, no “Borrower Points,” down payment assistance arranged through select banks (M&T Bank, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Mid-Hudson Valley Credit Union)

Eligible Properties

* Vacant properties in designated areas capable of housing 1 to 4 families

* Seller must be able to pass a clean title to the purchaser

Eligible Applicants:

* Applicant must occupy the property as the primary residence

* Eligibility is determined by income limits up to 125% of Area Median Income (which varies by county) or 150% on a case‐by‐case basis

* Good credit, stable employment and ability to make monthly mortgage payments

We’re ready to assist you with the purchase of a vacant home* located one of the eligible communities of Kingston, Middletown, Newburgh. For assistance in Middletown and Newburgh, call (845) 713-4568; for assistance in Kingston, call (845) 331-9860.

*Vacant simply means no one is living at the address . The property does not have to be abandoned to qualify.

Regional Economic Development Finds Local Pulse of Latino/Hispanic Business Needs

First local meeting of Regional Initiative exploring Latino/Hispanic Economic Development

Earlier this week, a small group met at The Kirkland to lay groundwork for a larger conversation around economic access and business building in our Spanish-speaking communities.

Community Capital NY (CCNY) and Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress (Pattern) are collaborating on an initiative to establish a road map for additional business resources and access to credit for new and existing Latino/Hispanic enterprise. The initiative focuses on the cities of Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh, Middletown and Port Jervis.

“Pattern & CCNY asked for our help in gathering the local perspective. We’ll hold business forums to collect community input. We invite Latino/Hispanic community members to come forward and share what business owners and entrepreneurs need to be successful. We’re asking simple questions like what’s needed, how’s credit working (or not), and what resources are out there to build opportunity,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “In the three relevant communities we serve — Newburgh, Kingston and Middletown — the Hispanic/Latino population is strong. Jobs and new business creation are top of mind for everyone, no matter color, race or culture. But we know access to resources is not equal. This initiative spearheaded by CCNY and Pattern will explore the current situation and make recommendations for our communities moving forward.” Community Capital and Pattern, with guidance from local advisory committees, will conduct local outreach to determine needs and barriers within the Latino/Hispanic business community. Based on this fact-finding research, the team will recommend best practices and develop a guide of local and regional resources available to the Latino/Hispanic business community.

Present at the Economic Development for Hispanic and Latino Businesses meet-up (pictured above) were Emily Hamilton (Deputy Director of Housing at Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress), David Sosa Rosa (Kingston business owner of La Roca Floral), Simone Obermaier (Senior Vice President of Lending at Community Capital New York), Hugo Jule (outreach coordinator at RUPCO’s Green Jobs | Green New York Program), Maru Gonzalez (Executive Assistant to the CEO) and Kevin O’Connor, both of RUPCO. The group identified first steps in gauging the climate of local Latino/Hispanic business, its networks and resource access. “We’ll hold a few more meetings here at The Kirkland, talk with more people with the help of pastors and the church community, to make people aware that this conversation is happening,” adds Maru Gonzalez. “To be a part of this local conversation, contact me at (845) 331-2140 and I’ll put you on our email list.” If you have questions about the broader Community Capital NY-Pattern for Progress initiative, contact Kim Jacobs (CCNY) at (914) 747-8020 or Joe Czajka (Pattern) at (845) 565-4900.

Collaboration Transforms Newburgh’s Historic East End

Newburgh Rebuilding Community One Home at a TimeCollaboration is key to the renewal of downtown Newburgh. To celebrate that collective vision, regional housing & community developer RUPCO, of Kingston, hosts a groundbreaking ceremony TODAY, Friday, April 7 at Safe Harbors Lobby at The Ritz, 107 Broadway, from 11a.m. to 1 p.m.

The groundbreaking ceremony officially recognizes the groundwork laid by the Newburgh Neighborhood CORe Revitalization community redevelopment discussions. The free, public event marks the construction launch at several properties, a scattered-site development symbolizing teamwork among RUPCO, NYS Homes & Community Renewal, Newburgh Community Land Bank, Safe Harbors of the Hudson, and other state and local partners. In the next 18 months, RUPCO plans to bring 45 affordable apartments online on five city blocks just off Broadway. The 15 buildings under historic redevelopment include homes located on Lander, South Miller, First, Johnston  and DuBois Streets. Click here for the walking tour map.

Ayanna Martine, a local singer and SUNY-Orange graduate, will kick off the festivities at 11 a.m. Representatives from partner agencies, as well as dignitaries from the NYS Assembly, NYS Attorney General’s Office, City of Newburgh, and NeighborWorks America will take the podium at 11:20 a.m. Light refreshments and a walking tour of the neighborhood round out the day’s events. The program outlines the many partners participating:
Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer, RUPCO
Catherine A. Maloney, Chairperson, RUPCO Board of Directors
Madeline Fletcher, Executive Director, Newburgh Community Land Bank
Lisa Silverstone, Executive Director, Safe Harbors of the Hudson
Darren Scott, Upstate East Director of Development, NYS Homes & Community Renewal
Chris Wheaton, on behalf of Frank Skartados, NYS Assemblyman, 10th District
Jill Faber, Assistant District Attorney in Charge, NYS Attorney General’s Office-Poughkeepsie
K. James Dittbrenner, Managing Director, Sterling National Bank
Judy Kennedy, Mayor, City of Newburgh
Michael Ciaravino, City Manager, City of Newburgh
Richard Carron, Chief of Police, City of Newburgh
Joe Donat, on behalf of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Karen Mejia, Councilmember, City of Newburgh
Joan Straussman, Regional Vice President, NeighborWorks America

39a Johnston Street, Newburgh

39a Johnston Street, Newburgh

“Reviving the City of Newburgh has to be a collaborative approach,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO (Kingston). “Newburgh’s time is now. We’re here to rebuild community one home at a time. With the help of our partners and local homeowners, together we can turn things around with housing as the keystone. Through this restoration work, we’re preserving the historic value of this neighborhood’s past and investing in this city’s future. These homes are proof of the momentum and imagination of what can be NEW-burgh.”

RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “The Newburgh CORe Neighborhood Revitalization Project is an important part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to investing in projects that breathe new life into distressed communities. We are excited about the potential this development has for revitalizing Newburgh, preserving pieces of the city’s history, and providing 45 quality homes for people who need them. Thank you to RUPCO and all the partners who are coming together to make this new development a reality.” For more on low income tax credits, check out this infographic.
 
“Safe Harbors of the Hudson is very excited to be part of the further development of Newburgh’s downtown and the revitalization its neighborhoods,” notes Lisa Silverstone, Executive Director at Safe Harbors of the Hudson, Newburgh. “We look forward to our partnership with RUPCO and expanding our innovative model of property management beyond the Cornerstone Residence.”

“Newburgh Community Land Bank is thrilled with the opportunities the RUPCO project will bring to the neighborhood and its residents,” says Madeline Fletcher, Executive Director at Newburgh Community Land Bank. “In collaboration with the other homeowners, Habitat for Humanity and other property purchasers, we are confident that this neighborhood will continue its transformation into a community of choice.”

ABOUT THE REDEVELOPMENT
Newburgh Community Land Bank facilitated the property transaction with assistance from NYS Homes & Community Renewal and the NYS Attorney General’s Office. RUPCO’s scatter-site development includes 15 buildings with a mix of 1 studio, 25 one-bedroom, 10 two-bedroom and 9 three-bedroom apartments for income-eligible individuals and working families. Apartments range in size from 482-1348 square feet. A Community policing sub-station will occupy 39B Johnston Street. Upon completion, Safe Harbors will serve as property manager. Seven apartments will be available to middle-income families. Seven apartments will be set-aside for persons, including veterans, who are homeless, and will include supportive services provided by RUPCO. Additionally, the project will provide a preference in renting apartments to up to twelve tenants who are involved in artistic and literary activities.

ABOUT THE PARTNERS

RUPCO, affordable housing advocate and innovative community developer in the Hudson Valley, is a charter member of NeighborWorks America, a national network of 240 housing and community development change agents. RUPCO affects the lives of over 8,000 people through its work with homelessness, rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, first-time homebuyers, home rehabilitation and energy efficiency and real estate development. RUPCO currently owns/manages 16 properties with 411 apartments providing homes to over 560 people. The majority of those residents represent our community’s most vulnerable populations: the elderly, seniors, disabled and working class families. Through its NeighborWorks America HomeOwnership Center, RUPCO helped 30 first-time homebuyers since January 1, 81 in 2016, and another 75 in 2015, to achieve their dreams of homeownership. Through its subsidiary, RDAC assists Orange County homeowners with a variety of homeownership, foreclosure and weatherization services. Over the last five years, RUPCO’s energy efficiency and weatherization program, Green Jobs | Green New York, has helped 2,409 homeowners complete energy audits; 523 of those families have conducted energy retrofits worth $5.8 million to the local economy, saving money and energy throughout its 10-county reach. With 65 employees working in five offices, RUPCO is spearheading $71-million worth of real estate development in the Hudson Valley, including Energy Square, Landmark Place, and The Metro in Kingston and the 15-property Newburgh effort. RUPCO most recently received Preservation Action’s “Best of 2016” award for its historic preservation work at The Lace Mill, a long-vacant curtain factory transformed into 55 apartments preferenced for artists in midtown Kingston. For more information, visit www.rupco.org.

NEWBURGH COMMUNITY LAND BANK (NCLB)
is a leader in New York State on the forefront of land banking strategies. The NCLB implements innovative strategies designed to return vacant and abandoned property to productive use and the City’s tax rolls. The Land Bank holds, maintains, rehabilitates, and disposes of these parcels in order to ensure that they help revitalize Newburgh’s neighborhoods and increase the City’s taxable property base. While NCLB works in all areas of the city, its initial work has focused on the East End Historic District north of Broadway with the highest concentration of vacant and abandoned properties (Liberty, Chambers, Lander, Johnston, South Miller, and Dubois Streets).
For more information, visit www.newburghcommunitylandbank.org.

SAFE HARBORS OF THE HUDSON
is a mixed-use, non-profit housing, arts and community building redevelopment project in the City of Newburgh. Safe Harbors purchased the Hotel Newburgh in 2002 and in 2004 was awarded $21 million in state, county and federal funds to create a vibrant affordable, supportive housing complex. Most recently, Safe Harbors has established two vibrant commercial spaces and a half-acre urban park along Broadway. Work began in early 2017 on the first phase of the redevelopment of Safe Harbors’ historic Ritz Theater into community performing arts space where the groundbreaking ceremony will take place. For more information, visit www.safe-harbors.org.

NEW YORK STATE HOMES AND COMMUNICTY RENEWAL’S (HCR) housing and community development agencies work to create, preserve and improve affordable homes and vibrant communities, in keeping with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s vision of a more inclusive, affordable, sustainable, and resilient New York. In 2016, HCR set a record for the third year in a row, financing the creation or preservation of more than 17,000 affordable homes and apartments, creating nearly 2,000 homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers, and was once again the #1 affordable housing bond issuer in the nation with $2.8 billion issued. HCR stands ready to make good on the Governor’s $10 billion 100,000 affordable units House NY 2020 commitment. For more information on HCR agencies, programs and initiatives, please visit www.nyshcr.org/.

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Newburgh Groundbreaking April 7

Newburgh Rebuilding Community One Home at a TimeJoin us on Friday, April 7 at 11 a.m. as we officially celebrate rebuilding community one home at a time. We’re working with Newburgh Community Land Bank, Safe Harbors of the Hudson, NYS Homes & Community Renewal, the City of Newburgh and key funders to resurrect 15 properties and 45 homes in a 4-block neighborhood nestled between Broadway and First, Miller and Lander Streets.