SONYMA Contractor Breakfast – January 28, 2019

Are you a contractor looking to expand your business in 2019?

Join RUPCO and SONYMA – State of New York Mortgage Agency for a free breakfast on January 28, 2019 and find out how you can connect with new clients.


Credit 101 Workshop , January 22

RUPCO & Citizens Bank present a series of FREE Credit 101 Workshops.

January 22, 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!

Flyer promoting a credit 101 workshop in kingston ny sponsored by rupco and citizens bank , showing an image of a pencil on a calculator, an image of the kirkland building in kingston ny

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.
RUPCO Partners with Local Banks on SmartMoveNY Loan Program

Young girl high-fiving an older man on a flyer that promotes SmartMovesNY loan program

RUPCO is partnering with Ulster Savings Bank and M&T Bank in accessing the SmartMove New York loan that helps first time homebuyers overcome the obstacles of downpayment and closing costs. We can help homebuyers secure this loan available through the Housing Development Fund (HDF). Participating homebuyers may be able to put down as little as 1% of the purchase price because of SmartMove New York’s low interest loans!

If you qualify for a SmartMove loan, you can also participate in the NY Statewide Downpayment Assistance Program and receive $10,000 in the form of a 30-year, 0% interest loan for downpayment/closing costs. Limited statewide funds remain, so be sure to apply soon to build an affordable, sustainable homeownership plan!

A SmartMove New York loan is a 3% (APR = 3.42% to 4.74%) second mortgage for up 20% of the home purchase price. There is an origination fee of 3.75% for SmartMove New York borrowers, paid at closing. SmartMove New York loans can be combined with RUPCO’s and HDF’s other downpayment assistance programs to increase your downpayment and cover closing costs. You must spend down to $25,000 in liquid assets before closing, which does not include retirement savings/401(k).

For more information about how RUPCO can assist you in your home purchase in Ulster, Orange, Greene and Sullivan Counties, click here to get started with our  Homeownership Center or call the office at (845) 331-9860.

Newburgh East End Apartments Accepting Rental Applications

Newburgh East End rental logoThe first series of apartments are coming online February 1 in Newburgh’s historic East End. Be the first to live in these newly renovated rentals in a five-block radius just off Broadway on Lander, First, South Miller, Dubois and Johnson. We’re bring 44 apartments to life and Safe Harbors is managing the resident end on our behalf. 

Complete your application through Safe Harbors of the Hudson’s website here or  call (845) 562-6940 ext. 141 for more information. You can also stop by their offices at  111 Broadway, Newburgh and fill out the paper application right there.  Apartments include a space for every sized household:
•  (1) studio apartment
•  (25) 1-bedroom apartments
•  (9) 2-bedroom apartments
•  (9) 3-bedroom apartments

Amenities include:
• Community room
• On-site laundry facility
• Police substation
• Each property is a smoke-free community
• No pets accepted

Income eligibility and certain preferences apply to most apartments. But you won’t know unless you apply today.

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.

ACCESS to Home Veteran Program

ACCESS to Home Veterans ProgramVeterans with a service-related disability may qualify for accessibility modifications in their homes or apartments through the Access to Home Veteran Program. RUPCO and the Ulster County Veteran Service Agency are ready to assist a minimum of 8 veteran households with this work. Accessibility modifications include:



  • Visual alarm systems for the hearing impaired
  • Roll-in showers with grab bars
  • High-rise toilets with grab bars
  • Roll-under countertops & sinks
  • Wheel chair ramps& vertical lifts
  • Interior& exteriorstair lifts
  • Automatic door openers
  • Front knob appliances
  • Automated faucets
  • Reclining liftchairs
  • Other accessibility needs

Call today for more information, RUPCO (845) 331-9860 or UCVSA (845) 340-3190.

Harold Renzo, Stuyvesant Resident Receives Community Inspiration Award

Harold Renzo, long-time resident at The Stuyvesant, has been a supportive neighbor, voice for those unable to speak, and a community icon known for his friendliness and determination. RUPCO honored Harold at Community Lunch on November 9, 2017 for his courage, inspiration and indomitable spirit with our first-ever Community Inspiration Award.

Artwork Inspired by Social Justice Issues focus of Lace Mill Art Exhibit

Lanette Hughes painting abstractOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and coincides with artwork focused on human rights, domestic violence, and world hunger. This is Lanette Hughes’s social activism movement in the form of an art show. This exhibit will take place in all three Lace Mill galleries, 165 Cornell Street, Kingston on October 7 from 3-8 p.m.

Hughes will show 30+ paintings reflecting social issues; all of which, upon their sale, will benefit local organizations that deal with human rights issues. Local nonprofits slated to receive artwork sales include Family of Woodstock, New Paltz, Kingston, Ellenville; the Darmstadt Shelter; Caring Hands Soup Kitchen; Clinton Avenue Methodist Church; MyKingstonKids; O+ Festival; Safe Harbors; and RUPCO. Global organizations include Women in Black and The Haitian People’s Project.

Hughes’ pieces directly relate to real life events. Her abstracts convey deeper messages without being overly explicit. Many pieces depict victims physically harmed, though the paintings don’t graphically portray clear wounds or detailed damage. Each portrayal speaks volumes about issues that are underneath the surface of so many lives — including her own — and nobody would know just by quick observation.

For example, “Human Beings are Not Created for Target Practice” has military undertones. The message conveys a simple thought: if military personnel were stripped of their uniforms, would enemies still shoot them? “Women Running” features women fleeing from human trafficking groups, a worldwide issue that defies ethnicity, gender, and age. Another piece portrays children affected by nerve gassing bundled in blankets; only their faces show, their bodies eerily shrouded mummification-style.

“My hope is that more artists will contribute (to the larger conversation), to include in their work social awareness for change,” says Hughes. “I’d like to see a whole day, week, or month, when artists everywhere do a whole show on a particular social issue.” She also hopes this art show stirs local activism by providing curiosity about what goes on behind the scenes in lives of our acquaintances, co-workers, family, and friends.

Throughout the exhibit’s run, speakers will talk about relevant issues that affect communities. Guy Kempe, Vice President of Community Development at RUPCO, will speak on “Housing, Creative Placemaking, & Community Development” on October 7 at 4:30 p.m. “Aligned with social justice, ‘creative placemaking’ is the proposition that arts and cultural expression, joined with housing, helps to energize community and revitalize disinvested places for minority and disenfranchised populations,” Kempe says. Poet Nancy Smith follows at 6 p.m. with readings from her works that concern human rights.

Filmmaker and veteran Marty Klein will talk about veterans’ issues on October 14, showing his film entitled, “Why Can’t We Serve.”

All artworks are for sale, with 75% of the proceeds donated to organizations that support social justice efforts. The artist retains 25% to cover material expenses associated with making the artwork. Painting prices are negotiable, with no reasonable offer refused. For more information, contact Lace Mill artist-resident Lanette Hughes at (845) 532-3538 or visit her Facebook page LK Hughes.