National Thought Leaders Join International Author at FDR Library, April 30

In the book The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, author Richard Rothstein documents how American cities became racially divided as federal, state, and local governments systematically imposed residential segregation using tactics like:
  • Undisguised racial zoning
  • Public housing that segregated previously mixed communities
  • Subsidies for builders to create white-only suburbs
Following the author’s presentation, national and regional thought leaders address the prevailing atmosphere and possible solutions to end racial inequality and poverty in housing. The panel includes:
 

Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow, emeritus, at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Haas Institute at the University of California (Berkeley). He is the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America (2017). The book recovers a forgotten history of how federal, state, and local policy explicitly segregated metropolitan areas nationwide, creating racially homogeneous neighborhoods in patterns that violate the Constitution and require remediation. He is also the author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008) and Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (2004).

Maurice A. Jones took the helm as the fourth President & CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in September 2016. Immediately prior to joining LISC, he served as the secretary of commerce for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where he managed 13 state agencies focused on the economic needs in his native state. He previously served as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) overseeing operations for the agency and its 8,900 staff members. Prior to that, he was commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Social Services and deputy chief of staff to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. Trained as an attorney, Maurice worked during the Clinton Administration on legal, policy and program issues at the Treasury Department, where he also helped manage a then-new initiative called the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund—a federal program that has grown to be a critical supporter of nonprofits that leverage its capital to bolster their communities.

KT Tobin is Associate Director of the Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz, and is focused on projects about regional issues and concerns. Prior to returning to SUNY New Paltz in 2008, she was the Assistant Director at the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Tobin holds an M.S. in Social Research from CUNY Hunter and a Ph.D. in Sociology from SUNY Albany. Her dissertation research, titled “Gender: Impacts on Participation in Local Government,” studies elected women in the Mid-Hudson region. Tobin currently serves on the SUNY New Paltz Economic Impact research team. In the community, Tobin currently serves as Deputy Mayor of the Village of New Paltz, and served on the Village Affordable Housing Board.

Lorraine Y. Collins is Director of Public Policy and External Affairs at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. in New York. Lorraine is responsible for working with the office’s Executive Team and Program Leaders to build and effectively execute a public-policy strategy to address affordable housing and community development issues across the New York Market. Lorraine also oversees the Office’s advocacy and lobbying activities, as well as its communications function. Prior to joining Enterprise, Lorraine spent over a decade in NYS government working on affordable housing policy at NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) and the Division of Budget. Lorraine played a critical role in the State’s fair housing planning efforts by launching HCR’s Fair and Equitable Housing Office.  Additionally, at HCR Lorraine served as a Regional Director and Policy Advisor, leading efforts to address affordable housing and community development needs in areas such as health and housing, resilience, education, and employment inequalities. Lorraine also had a five-year career in the private sector, working as a financial analyst at Carrier Corporation. Lorraine received her BBA in Accounting from Howard University and her MBA and MPA from Syracuse University.

Moderator Rutledge Simmons is Executive Vice President, General Counsel/Secretary of NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit providing technical and financial assistance to a network of community development organizations. He has served as Chair of an ABA Committee on Community Economic Development, a member of the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, and on the boards of nonprofits combating homelessness. He is interested in new ways to foster comprehensive community development via social enterprises and public/private partnerships. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School.  

East End Apartments Receives 2019 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award

Preservation League of NYS recognizes eight best in the field of historic preservation

RUPCO’s East End Apartments of Historic Newburgh has been named one of this year’s Excellence in Historic Preservation award winners. Along with seven other honorees, the East End Apartments represents a shining example of historic preservation done well. The League’s statewide awards program has been honoring notable achievements in retaining, promoting, and reusing New York State’s irreplaceable architectural heritage since 1984.

WHAT: Preservation League of NYS “Excellence in Historic Preservation” awards ceremony
WHEN: Thursday, May 9, 2019, at 6:00 pm
WHERE: The historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street, New York, NY
More information about the event can found at preservenys.org/2019awards

The East End Apartments consists of 45 mixed-income apartments in 15 buildings in a 4-block radius within the second largest historic district in New York State. The buildings have been restored in a meaningful and sustainable way, maintaining the historic fabric of this architecturally significant area and reducing blight. This project serves as an example of what land banks can accomplish when dedicated to historic preservation. Once again, the RUPCO development serves as a model of how long-vacant buildings are brought back to life. This project has not only increased the availability of affordable housing, but it has also spurred economic investment in adjacent properties. 

 

“Preservation League staff refers to this project often as a statewide model of excellence, showcasing what can be accomplished when developers and land banks work together,” said Preservation League President Jay DiLorenzo. “The East End Apartments project is important at a local, state, and national level.”

“At a pivotal time in Newburgh’s history, when the seeds of revitalization are truly taking root, our East End Apartments collaboration has set a high bar for others to aspire to when restoring these abandoned properties,” said RUPCO Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Connor. “In a place where too much history has already been lost, we are proud to play a part in preserving the history while restoring housing opportunities in Newburgh’s East End.”

The thoughtful preservation combined with a strong community building component make this project truly special. The Preservation League team is so pleased that this effort will receive statewide recognition.

Funding sources for this project included federal and state historic tax credits, federal low-income housing tax credits, 9% LIHTC administered through the NYS Department of Housing and Community Renewal, NYS OTDA Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, County of Orange HOME funding, City of Newburgh CDBG grant, and a $125,000 Housing for Energy Award from TD Bank Charitable Trust. Raymond James, Sterling National Bank and The Community Preservation Corp. also provided funding and financial assistance.

The project team included RUPCO (developer), Newburgh Community Land Bank (collaborative partner), Coppola & Associates (architect), Affordable Housing Concepts (general contractor), Safe Harbors of the Hudson (managing agent), Bridges of New York (support services), and NYS Home & Community Renewal (primary funder).

2019 Awardees:

  • Graycliff – Isabelle Martin House | Derby, Erie County
  • Eastman Gardens | Rochester, Monroe County
  • NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project | NYC
  • Knickerbocker Club: Centennial Renewal | New York City
  • RUPCO East End Apartments of Historic Newburgh | Newburgh, Orange County
  • Walton & Willett Stone Store – Cahill Landing | Oswego, Oswego County
  • The News Apartments | Troy, Rensselaer County
  • Neumann House designed by Marcel Breuer | Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester County

As the Preservation League honors excellence in historic preservation, they will also look toward preservation’s future with the inaugural Zabar Family Scholarship. Following the Excellence award presentation, three current students will receive a scholarship of $1,000 each in support of their studies in historic preservation. They are Tabitha O’Connell (SUNY’s University at Buffalo), Camille Sasena (Pratt Institute), and Ryan Zeek (Columbia University).

About the Preservation League of New York State: Since its founding in 1974, the Preservation League has built a reputation for action and effectiveness. Our goal has been to preserve our historic buildings, districts and landscapes and to build a bette

New York, one community at a time. The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development and education programs across the state. Connect with us at facebook.com/preservenys, twitter.com/preservenys, and instagram.com/preservenys.

About RUPCO: RUPCO creates home, supports people, and improves communities across a broad spectrum of community development solutions including housing, historic preservation, and neighborhood revitalization in the Hudson Valley. RUPCO creates and maintains quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, inspiring understanding and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives, and championing pathways to opportunity. RUPCO is focused to deliver over $100 million in real estate development over the next 24 months including three prominent historic preservation developments: Landmark Place, The Metro, and Newburgh Progress. RUPCO’s historic preservation work has been recognized previously with its development of The Lace Mill (2016), The Kirkland (2009), The Stuvesant (1993), and now East End Apartments (2019). Established in 1981, and a NeighborWorks America chartered member since 1999, RUPCO ushers community wealth-building opportunities, much-needed housing, and strong strategic partnerships into communities eager for change. Along with its real estate development arm, RUPCO possesses a stable and diversified business model with additional impact arenas in property management, resident program services, rental assistance, and homeownership center. For more information, visit www.rupco.org, Facebook/RUPCO, Twitter.com/RUPCO_, and YouTube.com/c/rupcony.

The One-12 Project: A Community Unites Around One Senior to Create a Place to Call Home

Senior Marie Young needed a new home. A community answered the call, with RUPCO coordinated contractors, volunteers, municipal officials, and staff to remove a dilapidated, 1960s trailer and replace it with a new, energy-efficient, manufactured home.




With $10,000 for RUPCO’s Board of Director Excellence in Governance award and a matching grant from Ulster Savings Bank in honor of Lisa Schatzel (a RUPCO board member and USB mortgage lending officer), the pieces came together. With support from the community, individuals, local businesses, volunteer groups like Ulster YouthBuild, and Town Supervisor Joe Croce allowed clean-up, site prep, build-out and permitting fall into place. In just four months, a community united to support one of its own: a woman who wished to stay in her home where she has lived for decades.

Special thanks to all who helped make this Home possible for Marie Young.

Farr, O’Connor Speak at Business Alliance of Kingston Brown Bag Lunch, April 24

Business Alliance of Kingston hosts a Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, April 24 from noon to 1:15 pm at The Kirkland Senate Room, 2 Main Street, Kingston, NY. RSVP here https://conta.cc/2HUKZOi

At 12:15pm, Julia Farr from Kingston Land Trust shares the most recent progress with the African Burial Ground on Pine Street.

At 12:30pm,  RUPCO’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin O’Connor provides an overview of current projects in the City including The Metro, Energy Square, Landmark Place, and The Lace Mill. Question & answer to follow.

Bring your own lunch.  Beverages and desserts provided. Parking available On-street or in the municipal lot next door.

 

First-time Homebuyer Informational Session , April 17
Ready to buy your first home, but don’t know where to start?

This in-person, hour-long First-time Homebuyer Informational Session outlines the RUPCO HomeOwnership Center’s Homebuyer Program and the path to homeownership.

Call 845-331-9860 or email dfnostrand@rupco.org to register today!

Walk-ins welcome!

The Kirkland, 2 Main Street, Kingston NY 12401

Judge Overturns Kingston Planning Department Decision on Landmark Place
This week, RUPCO received notice of Judge Mott’s decision to overturn the City of Kingston’s Planning Board’s denial of RUPCO’s application for site plan approval and special use permit for Landmark Place. “Judge Mott’s carefully reasoned decision found that the Planning Board’s action to deny our site plan and special use permit was arbitrary and capricious, in contradiction of its own prior environmental findings,” RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor said.

RUPCO’s proposal for Landmark Place is to create 66 supportive and affordable homes for seniors age 55 and over. RUPCO has set lofty goals for Landmark Place. “It will create significant jobs during construction and operation, contribute to the local tax base and preserve an important & inaugural part of our City’s history while contributing to the health, stability and well-being of our elders,” said O’Connor. “More than ever, people are waking up locally to the fact that it is important to have local ownership and good stewards of our rental housing with management that is responsive to the residents and community at large. More than ever, people are experiencing firsthand the upset that occurs when housing becomes unaffordable, unsafe or both. Now is the time for this community to embrace Landmark Place as a new community asset, creating a well-designed, well-staffed and managed senior community that will provide safe, accessible and affordable homes for our elders for the next half century.”

Rebecca Martin, KingstonCitizens.org commented: “I am pleased that RUPCO rightfully prevailed in the recent court case for the Alms House. The project, the first rental housing for senior citizens built in the City of Kingston since 2009, is one that our community sorely needs. It will provide 66 affordable, permanent rental housing units to those 55 years or older, and who in some cases are vulnerable including veterans and frail or disabled seniors. To know that this historic landmark will be brought back for this purpose is deeply gratifying.”

The property was listed on the State and National Register of Historic Place in February 2018. RUPCO intends to use private equity, debt, Low Income and Historic Tax Credits to complete construction and enjoys a commitment for operating support from the NY’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (ESSHI) program.

Rennie Scott-Childress, Majority Leader, Common Council said: “There is a clear need in Kingston for housing for elderly folks who are housing insecure. The Court’s decision today will enable RUPCO to build safe, affordable housing for scores of them at Landmark Place.“

O’Connor concluded, “We now look forward to the Planning Board completing its job by granting site plan approval and issuing the special use permit for Landmark Place subject only to reasonable conditions normally imposed.”

WOMAN: A Group Show at The Lace Mill, April 6-27
WOMAN-LaceMill-April6-27Lace Mill resident-artist Lanette Hughes curates a group show of over 20 local artists – WOMAN – at The Lace Mill Galleries, April 6 through 27. 

On April 6 (First Saturday), WOMAN holds an opening reception from 3p-9p. Meet the artists, view their art, and enjoy a variety of entertainment including:
5p Poetry & Readings
6p Zelda’s Happening
7p Performance Art
8p Participatory Drumming

Light refreshments served. All are welcome. Free and open to the public. On-street parking on South Manor Avenue, Prospect and Cornell Streets. Freewill donations accepted at the door benefit The Lace Mill Arts Council and future showings.

Concert & Conversation with Jazz Contra Bassist Michael Bisio, March 31
B&W image of Michael Bisio playing the contra bass

Concert & Conversation with Michael Bisio, March 31

Jazz Live at The Kirkland Benefits Emergency Assistance Fund

RUPCO hosts its third fundraising event, Concert & Conversation with Michael Bisio, on March 31. Bisio, accomplished contra bassist and composer known worldwide and Lace Mill resident-musician, performs at The Kirkland, 2 Main Street, Kingston from 4-5:30 p.m. Doors open at 3:45 p.m. Proceeds benefit RUPCO’s Emergency Assistance Fund which helps over 50 families each year avoid homelessness.

Suggested donation is $10 at the door. Admission covers the event and light snacks and nonalcoholic beverages and; a cash bar features Newburgh Brewing Company Cream ale and wine. Bisio’s CD, Travel Music, is available for purchase at $20. This event is open to the public with limited seating. Parking is available on-street or in the County municipal lot on Main Street.

Bisio has over 100 recordings in his discography, 24 of these are split evenly between leader/co-leader, 10 document his extraordinary association with modern piano icon Matthew Shipp. Michael has been called a poet, a wonder, and one of the most virtuosic and imaginative performers on the double bass. Nate Chinen in the New York Times writes : “The physicality of Mr. Bisio’s bass playing puts him in touch with numerous predecessors in the avant-garde, but his expressive touch is distinctive;…” As a composer Michael has been awarded nine grants and an Artist Trust Fellowship. With over one hundred works of various forms and lengths, Michael has composed music for all the ensembles under his leadership and many of his associates. These pieces have been performed in clubs, concert venues, and festivals. They have been broadcast over assorted media. Most have been recorded, some were composed for films and theater, one found its way to animation. For more about Michael Bisio, visit www.michaelbisio.com.

ABOUT THE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND: RUPCO’s Emergency Assistance Fund, partially funded with support from United Way of Ulster County and Bruderhof Communities, routinely exhausts its funding by midyear. This fundraising event will help local families in jeopardy of losing their homes a safety next to bridge a financial gap that might otherwise leave them without heat, evicted or homeless. In 2019, through its Program Services Department, RUPCO distributed over $43,000 to Ulster County families in need. On average, RUPCO receives 10-15 requests each week for assistance with back-rent, security deposits, and move-in expenses to help people move out of emergency housing sites into permanent housing. For more information or to donate, visit www.RUPCO.org/donate

ABOUT THE LACE MILL:  In 2015, RUPCO renovated The Lace Mill, a century-old lace curtain manufacturing facility, which is now home to over 100 people in 55 apartments preferenced for artists.  RUPCO work here — Creative Placemaking — establishes a place for the arts to grow and flourish, followed quickly by the surrounding community. The Lace Mill is an integral part in Kingston’s ongoing urban revitalization, located within the City of Kingston’s Midtown Arts District. The Lace Mill Arts Council hosts numerous art shows and performances each month in over 8,000 square feet of gallery space in its East, West and Main Galleries. These shows are free, open to the public, and often include meet-the-artist receptions and community-inspired collaborations. For more information, visit www.thelacemill.com.

Photo by Anna Yatkevich

RUPCO Expands Senior Leadership with Addition of Vice President of Portfolio Management
Jake Michels of Poughkeepsie, NY adds Depth and Experience to Real Estate Asset Oversight

RUPCO, a Hudson Valley (NY) community developer and chartered member of NeighborWorks America, promoted Jake Michels to the newly created position of Vice President of Portfolio Management this month. Michels joins the nonprofit’s Executive Council and will handle responsibilities involving RUPCO’s property portfolio, communications and fundraising, and real estate development pipeline.  

Michels has been with RUPCO since August 2017, originally as Director of Property Management, with a later promotion to Assistant Vice President for Operations. Jake brings over five years of housing management experience and a proven track record of increasing efficiency to support portfolio expansion.

“I am excited to be here, to be a part of RUPCO’s mission and creating homes for those in need. Since coming to RUPCO in 2017, we have improved processes within the property management department while investing in the development of our staff. Developing a “team first” mentality is something that has been a focus of mine since I started. I look forward to helping our communications and real estate departments achieve similar efficiencies this year,” states Michels. Property management oversees building maintenance, tenant relations, and leasing. His personal philosophy on stable housing influences his work approach. “Home Matters because it’s the foundation of our lives. Stable housing allows you to progress in all other areas, and allows you to progress as an individual.”

“Jake brings a fresh perspective and his work has traversed the nonprofit and private sectors,” says Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “Jake’s ability to navigate partnerships, streamline processes, and manage people will serve the agency well as we grow our portfolio and prepare for new ventures throughout the Hudson River Valley.”

RUPCO currently owns/manages 22 properties with 586 apartments providing homes to 762 people. The majority of those residents represent the area’s most vulnerable populations: the elderly, seniors, disabled and working class families. In its $90-million real estate development pipeline, RUPCO currently plans to add another 185 apartments in 25 buildings in 4 communities, including commercial space for rent.

Masters at The Lace Mill, March 2-24
Art show, Masters at The Lace Mill, March 2 through 24

Artist-resident James Martin curates this show, Masters at The Lace Mill, with nine nationally recognized artists in one exciting arts exhibit. See the varied medium artworks of Claudia Engell, Ron DeNitto, Staats Fasoldt, Aaron Lockhart, Marsha Massih, Vince Natale, Kazuma Oshita, James Ransome, and John A. Varriano

East, West and Main Galleries will run from March 2 through 24.

Meet the Masters at a free, public opening reception on Saturday March 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Stop in  to enjoy fine wine among the region’s finest art: watercolor, oils, graphite pencil, illustrations, paintings, collages.

Freewill donations accepted to support The Lace Mill Arts Council and artist travel expenses. Free, on-street parking is available on South Manor, Propsect and Cornell Streets. Please refrain from parking in The Lace Mill resident parking lot. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, visit the Facebook Masters at The Lace Mill event page, thelacemill.com, or email lacemillarts@gmail.com