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.”

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

Photo by Anna Yatkevich

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.

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.

Ulster County Rental Assistance (Section 8) Wait List Opens March 1
Local residents struggling to make rent have an opportunity to tap into hope in the long-term. For the first time since 2016, RUPCO is opening the Wait List for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) in Ulster County. Starting March 1, the community developer will receive applications from those looking for rental assistance. Most rent voucher recipients are among the most vulnerable populations in our communities like seniors, the disabled, single parents with children, and working families.
 
Here are the links for the English application and for the Spanish application. If you need help filling out the forms, come by the Kingston office, Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. top 3 p.m. for assistance.
 
The HCV Program, commonly referred to as Section 8, provides rental support to people with low to moderate incomes, based on household size. The program is underwritten by the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department, and delivered through the New York State Homes and Community Development (NYS HCR). RUPCO oversees the voucher program in Ulster and Greene Counties, however, this application round is for lottery access to Ulster County voucher subsidies only. Anyone receiving a voucher will be required to live in Ulster County for the first 12-months of the subsidy cycle. The last time the Housing Choice Voucher Wait List was open in Ulster County was November 2016. Applicants placed on the list could wait one to three years for help with rent.
 
Applications are available Friday, March 1, 2019 through Monday, April 1, 2019. Interested applicants can download an application online from www.rupco.org or pick up a hard copy at RUPCO’s office; 289 Fair Street, Kingston, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
All applications must be completed, signed, and mailed or hand-delivered to the Kingston office. No faxed or emailed applications will be accepted. The application deadline is Monday, April 1 at 4:30 p.m. to 289 Fair Street, Kingston.
 
“The HCV Program provides rental assistance for very low-income families. Funding enables people with limited income to choose and lease safe, affordable, privately-owned rental housing,” says Vanessa Secore, RUPCO’s Director of Rental Assistance. “Ulster County individuals and families earning 50% or less of the area median income are eligible to apply. For a family of four to be eligible, their combined household income should total $39,600 (or less). For single people, the income threshold is $27,750. We encourage veterans and their families to apply, as well as people on the fence.” In 2016, RUPCO received over 1850 applications for the Ulster County Wait List.
 
This year, applications will again be entered into a random lottery drawing to be conducted after April 1. This lottery determines placement of applicants on the Wait List. ”All applications submitted by April 1 have an equal chance of being first on the list. That’s the beauty of the lottery,” adds Secore. “Make sure your application is complete. If you need help with the paperwork, come to the Kingston office (289 Fair Street) on Monday through Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. A Housing Choice Voucher Specialist will assist you. Bring proof of residency, something like utility bill that has the same address as the application or a driver’s license. And as a reminder to those applying, being placed on the Wait List doesn’t guarantee receiving a Housing Choice Voucher right away. Many applicants wait one to three years before receiving rental assistance. After April 1, all applicants will be notified by mail of their status.” RUPCO administers 1662 Housing Choice Vouchers in Ulster County.

Former Senator & RDAC Host Roundtable Discussion on Disabled Veterans Funds of $300k
At SUNY Orange’s Kaplan Hall, a unique collaboration of nonprofits, lenders, elected officials, and veterans’ organizations met to discuss available funding for disabled veterans. With the help of one of Senator Larkin’s last acts in office and New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Orange County Rural Development Advisory Corporation (RDAC) was awarded $300,000. These allocated funds allow disabled veterans to remain housed, avoid premature institutionalization, and/or return home from an institution.

“This grant opportunity is giving our heroes, over 22,000 in Orange County, a sense of security and stability in their homes by making them accessible to their needs,” stated RDAC Executive Director, Faith Moore. “Recipients of this grant funding can earn up to 120% Area Median Income and their disability does not have to be service related, allowing for a larger pool of applicants who may be in need.

“It is very important that we get the word out to the Orange County veterans community right now,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “We have no time to waste as this money must be spent by June this year. Disabled veterans all over Orange County who are in desperate need of improvements at home should have an opportunity to take advantage of this available funding. It is up to us as leaders of the veterans community to help RDAC get this much needed support to our veterans.”

For more information, contact RDAC Executive Director, Faith Moore (845) 713-4568 ext. 110.

We’re Hiring! Program Services Supervisor
Red Bubble Man holding a Hire Me SignThe Program Services Supervisor (PSS) manages a team of 4 to 8 Case Managers and other related staff.  The PSS is responsible for planning, coordinating, and monitoring the case load, benchmarks, case files, and any funding compliances for each of their assigned direct reports.  As needed, the PSS will provide consultation and coaching to Case Management staff who are managing the needs of their clients.  These needs may include but are not limited to: housing, education, substance abuse, career development, mental health, nutrition, transportation, entitlements, and any other assistance that may help with retaining their home.

The primary goal of the Program Services Supervisor is to address issues that relate to the clients ability to remain successfully housed.  All work will be done in a manner that maintains a program culture that is client-centered, outcome-oriented, and dedicated to continuous improvement of quality of life for our clients.

Position Responsibilities:

  1. Implementation and development of programs, methods and procedures to provide quality service and referrals to ensure housing stability
  2. Provide direction to case management staff to keep them focused on meeting benchmarks and assisting clients with a wide variety of issues and needs
  3. Provide one-on-one direct case management as needed or required
  4. Management and supervision of work flow, problem solving, training and other activities necessary to achieve optimum program results and meet compliance requirements
  5. Creation of educational, wellness, vocational and social activities for tenant’s in RUPCO owned properties as indicated in grant or contract narratives. Additional activities as budget allows
  6. Management and implementation of all grants and contracts that are received by RUPCO that contain a support services component. Execute agreements, obligations and compliances for all services related awards as outlined and instructed by funding agencies.
  7. Development of referral network. Creation and maintenance of computer database, forms and other written materials for program services.  Make referrals and coordinate care plans with other service providers as needed.
  8. Accurate record retention for program participants and grant funding requirements
  9. Preparation and timely submission of required reports for internal RUPCO management and as well grant funders and regulatory agencies.
  • Assist with searching grants and funding opportunities that can provide for the growth of the Support Services Department.
  • Liaison with community partners and human services organizations. Attend meetings and trainings as needed or as applicable. Provide reports and presentations to community partners to further the agency mission and to spread the word about the programs and resources that RUPCO has to offer.     
  • Liaison for the emergency and rental assistance advisory council with responsibilities of scheduling bi-monthly meetings and keeping minutes.
  • Responsible to ensure confidentiality of all clients files within the department.
  • Responsible for follow-up to assure all data entry related to case management of clients is being entered into all applicable data bases.
  • Responsible to oversee that adequate monthly contacts are being made with clients by department staff and that input into all applicable data bases is being completed.
  • Responsible for timely return of phone calls as well as other follow up with clients and providers.
  • Some flexibility to work hours as business necessitates primarily to provide adequate supervision of staff, adhere to deadlines related to reporting, and to complete special projects as required.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Education and Experience:

  • BS degree in human service related field required
  • Master’s degree in Social Work is helpful
  • 3+ years of Case Management Experience
  • 3+ years of Supervisory Experience necessary
  • Must have good communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work with diverse groups
  • Must have patience, tolerance, compassion and ability to reach clients on a level that they can understand
  • Computer literacy and data base experience in Excel and Access helpful
  • Must have current driver’s license and reliable vehicle for travel

Please submit notice of interest for this position to skilpatrick@rupco.org. Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis untilthe position is filled. 

 

Ulster County Wait List is Open: Housing Choice Voucher Program Applications
Download-print -a-rental-assistance-application-in-English-here

Local residents struggling to make rent have an opportunity to tap into hope in the long-term. For the first time since 2016, RUPCO is opening the Wait List for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) in Ulster County. Starting March 1, the community developer will receive applications from those looking for rental assistance. Most rent voucher recipients are among the most vulnerable populations in our communities like seniors, the disabled, single parents with children, and working families.   Here are the links for the English application and for the Spanish application. If you need help filling out the forms, come by the Kingston office, Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for assistance.

The HCV Program, commonly referred to as Section 8, provides rental support to people with low to moderate incomes, based on household size. The program is underwritten by the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department, and delivered through the New York State Homes and Community Development (NYS HCR). RUPCO oversees the voucher program in Ulster and Greene Counties, however, this application round is for lottery access to Ulster County voucher subsidies only. Anyone receiving a voucher will be required to live in Ulster County for the first 12-months of the subsidy cycle.

Applications are available Friday, March 1, 2019 through Monday, April 1, 2019. Interested applicants can download an application online from www.rupco.org or pick up a hard copy at RUPCO’s office; 289 Fair Street, Kingston, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All applications must be completed, signed, and mailed or hand-delivered to the Kingston office. No faxed or emailed applications will be accepted. The application deadline is Monday, April 1 at 4:30 p.m. to 289 Fair Street, Kingston.  

This year, applications will again be entered into a random lottery drawing to be conducted after April 1. This lottery determines placement of applicants on the Wait List. All applications submitted by April 1 have an equal chance of being first on the list. Being placed on the Wait List doesn’t guarantee receiving a Housing Choice Voucher right away. Many applicants wait one to three years before receiving rental assistance. After April 1, all applicants will be notified by mail of their status. RUPCO administers 1662 Housing Choice Vouchers in Ulster County. The last time the Housing Choice Voucher Wait List was open in Ulster County was November 2016. 

RUPCO administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the NYS Homes and Community Renewal.

Credit 101 Workshop, March 28
RUPCO & Citizens Bank present a series of FREE Credit 101 Workshops.

March 28, 2019
5:30-7:00 pm

The Kirkland Building
2 Main Street
Kingston, NY 12401

This workshop will provide valuable information on important aspects of your credit making it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

Tips will include

  • Understanding your credit report
  • Improving your credit
  • Reducing your monthly debts

Find out how RUPCO programs can help you reach your goals.

REGISTER TODAY!

RUPCO Expands Executive Leadership; Adds Chief Strategy Officer

Ernesto Vigoreaux of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY adds Depth and Experience to Nonprofit’s Real Estate Development Team

RUPCO appointed Ernesto J. Vigoreaux to a newly created position of Chief Strategy Officer earlier this month. Vigoreaux will oversee RUPCO’s real estate development activities; evaluate and assist with mergers and acquisitions; lobby government and regulatory bodies for support; and execute and implement RUPCO’s strategic plan. He brings over 20 years of affordable housing and community economic development experience from his work in Los Angeles, New York City, and the Midwest.
 
“We are thrilled to have Ernesto join our leadership team at RUPCO,” said Kevin O’Connor, CEO. “Ernesto has significant experience in developing over $400 million of real estate and he will now oversee RUPCO’s expanding real estate development portfolio across the Hudson River Valley. Ernesto brings broad experience, having served large and culturally diverse nonprofits, wearing many hats including Chief Operating Officer. In addition to his real estate development experience, Ernesto has played critical roles in developing social enterprises, supportive housing for persons with special needs, lending programs in the nonprofit sector, and has experience working on both coasts and middle America too! I am excited for the opportunity to work -with Ernesto as RUPCO implements a new five-year strategic plan and we embark on many impactful projects and programs.”
 
Prior to joining RUPCO, Vigoreaux was Chief Development Officer with Asian Americans For Equality’s (AAFE) Hardesty Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, an affiliate in Kansas City, MO. He oversaw the redevelopment of a 20-acre, formerly vacant brownfield military site known as the Kansas City Quartermaster Depot. Over the course of three years, AAFE planned adaptive re-use for the campus as a community economic development project that would clean the brownfield contamination; create opportunities for local ownership to rehab its 1.2 million square feet of building space; and transform the site into a place for small business retail and entrepreneurship, community services, education, and jobs. As Chief Operating Officer of AAFE, also a NeighborWorks America organization, Vigoreaux was responsible for operational management, as well as negotiating joint-venture partnerships such as One Flushing, a $110 million mixed-use project with Monadnock Development to construct 231 apartments of affordable housing, with community facility space, commercial retail, and underground parking in Flushing, Queens. He led the development of two EB-5 regional centers in New York City and Kansas City, to solicit foreign investments into CDC-led, mission-driven projects requiring an infusion of private equity.
 
“I am excited to join the dynamic team at RUPCO and hope that my unique experiences and perspectives of working on innovative projects with various multi-ethnic and low-income community partners may meaningfully contribute to RUPCO’s transformational work as it continues to expand affordable housing, homeownership, and economic opportunities throughout the Hudson River Valley and its growing diverse population,” notes Vigoreaux. “My development philosophy is centered on equity and inclusion, employing thoughtful strategy, collaboration, creativity and partnerships in order to redirect the necessary capital investments and funding resources to places that need it most for the greatest impact.”
 
Prior to AAFE, Vigoreaux served as Director of Housing Development for Comunilife, Inc. in Manhattan, one of the largest NYC HRA partner agencies and provider of supportive housing and health care services for low-income New Yorkers. While there, he developed Prospect Macy, a 60-unit supportive residence for seniors and persons with HIV/AIDS. Another notable project included over 50 apartments of congregate and transitional housing for persons living with mental illness and HIV/AIDS and a community healthcare center known as the Vida Guidance Center in the Bronx. Prior to joining Comunilife, Vigoreaux was a consultant with the Hudson Planning Group in Manhattan’s Financial District, where he provided project management, real estate development and construction consulting services to various nonprofits citywide developing supportive and affordable housing for persons with HIV/AIDS. He has also consulted for the National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development, providing fundraising and annual conference planning support. Previously, as Director of Housing Development with Housing Options and Geriatric Association Resources (HOGAR), he oversaw the development of over 60 units of permanent and transitional housing for persons with HIV/AIDS and severe and persistent mental illness in the South Bronx.
 
Vigoreaux began his career in 1998 as Director of Housing Development for the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC) in Los Angeles, where he worked on affordable housing development; helped victims of human trafficking; and assisted in the creation of Thai Town in East Hollywood, a place-making neighborhood revitalization initiative that promoted tourism, while also providing a voice of representation for the Thai community.
 
Vigoreaux has served on the Board of Asian Americans for Equality and the Puerto Rican Alliance of Los Angeles. He earned his Master of Urban Planning degree with a specialization in community development from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University Los Angeles. He is also a graduate of NeighborWorks America’s Achieving Excellence Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, (Westchester County, NY) with his wife and two children.