The Color of Law, April 30

Color of Law invitationJoin us in the Milstein Auditorium at the historic Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum for a conversation addressing housing equity, wealth, segratation, and public policy.  Author Richard Rothstein shares his perspective from his research and book, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segrated America.” A panel of national and regional stakeholders follows; a book-signing wine & Cheese reception ends the evening.

Tickets cost $25, or $50 with an author-autographed book

Sponsorships are available now through March 31.

Agenda for Tuesday April 30, 2019 2 – 6:30 p.m.
2:00p Welcome: Kevin O’Connor, CEO, RUPCO Inc.,
2:15p Public Policy, FDR, and The Law 
2:30p Presentation of “The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein
3:40p Panel Discussion: Policy Impacts of Inequity on Communities of Color
Richard Rothstein, Author, Color of Law
Maurice Jones, President & CEO, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Kt Tobin, PhD, Deputy Director, Benjamin Center, SUNY New Paltz
Lorraine Collins, Director of Public Policy and External Affairs, New York, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
5:00 Book-Signing Wine & Cheese Reception

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley.

Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the U.S. and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems – it corrupts our criminal justice system, exacerbates economic inequality, and produces large academic gaps between white and African American schoolchildren. We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregat neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto—the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights. The Color of Law demonstrates, however, that residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-twentieth century that openly subsidized whites-only suburbanization in which African Americans were prohibited from participating. Only after learning the history of this policy can we be prepared to undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape.

Richard Rothstein’s book, the Color of Law, published in 2017, is subtitled “A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.” In his book, Rothstein lays out the systemic discrimination embedded in the policies of our federal government, largely commencing with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal programs that created de jure segregation. Chief among these New Deal measures was the creation of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in 1934, largely to insure bank mortgages. The FHA Underwriting Manual, first issued in 1935, contained a “whites only” requirement and the following language: “If a neighborhood is to retain stability it is necessary that properties shall continue to be occupied by the same social and racial classes.” In 1944, FDR created the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to serve the returning WWII veterans. The VA would provide many services including making mortgages to returning vets. The VA adopted the FHA Underwriting Manual. Officially codified in the federal government, racial discrimination in homeownership and public housing became the law of the land.

For many of us in the non-profit housing sector, the book was a revelation and a conundrum – how much of this forgotten history did we know? If we didn’t know it as well as we should, then surely our colleagues working in government, the private and non-profit sectors, didn’t either. Still today, the effects of these federal policies are widespread and endemic. The resulting disparity in homeownership rates was a key factor in wealth inequality that developed in America throughout the 20th Century. The median net worth of whites typically averages over ten times the net worth for Blacks or Hispanics and much of this inequality stems from federal discriminatory housing policy. According to the Pew Research Center, the variance was 13x greater in 2013 as the median net worth for Whites was $141,000 compared to Blacks at $11,000.

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.
Donate 2018

Thank you for making “Home” a reality for over 8,000 people throughout the Hudson Valley. 

Together, we’re Building for Everyone. 

Your donation today helps create homes, support people and improve communities in 2019.  Your Building for Everyone Gift invests in our community’s future and affects our most vulnerable neighbors: seniors, people with special needs, veterans, and working families. Making “Home” a reality for one person changes the course of that person’s life…people like James, Harold, Youko and Kazuma.

Join us in making real change in 2019 by Building for Everyone — creating homes, supporting people and improving communities. Invest in our community today by donating what you can — $25, $100, $500 or more!  Your gift this year genuinely impacts people’s daily lives right here in the Hudson Valley. Every gift counts – no matter what the amount – towards making “Home” a reality for one person.  Imagine what we can do together to impact the lives of 8,000!

Your Building for Everyone donation:

  • Ensures critically needed senior and supportive services that allow people to live independently
  • Fortifies the Emergency Assistance Funding that connects families with one-time assistance for utility payments, rent and security deposits, thus pro-actively preventing homelessness
  • Extends instruction via Financial Capabilities and Foreclosure Prevention programs that empower family finance decision-making
  • Provides guidance through RUPCO’s First-time Homebuyer Education Program which inspired over 600 people to begin the process; 102 of them became first-time homebuyers and achieved their Dreams of HomeOwnership
  • Spearheads ambitious community development solutions like
    • Energy Square: a Net-Zero-for-Living mixed-use complex in Kingston
    • East End: Newly renovated apartments in Newburgh’s historic district
    • Landmark Place: Affordable senior housing with support services for many in Kingston
    • The Metro: A film & TV technology hub in partnership with Stockade Works, surrounded by other creative, community wealth-building entrepreneurs at the center of Kingston’s Midtown Arts District

DONATE ONLINE (this button takes you to the PayPal site but you do not need a PayPal account. Simply select the “Credit card option” in the grey box)

CALL BY PHONE with your credit card (845) 331-2140 ext.276
MAIL A CHECK to RUPCO,  Attn: Annual Appeal 2018, 289 Fair Street,  Kingston, NY 12401
Have a question? Call or email Tara Collins (845) 331-2140, ext. 276.

After you’ve made your donation, go online to our Facebook | RUPCOTwitter or Instagram account and post your #UNselfie – THANK YOU!


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.

Made in Kingston Returns to The Metro on December 6
Made in Kingston arts market December 6 at The Metro, 2 S. Prospect Ave.Local arts businesses, makers, artists, and creators return to The Metro, 2 S. Propect Avenue, Kingston  on Thursday, December 6 for an expo of all things made in Kingston. The sixth annual Made In Kingston is co-sponsored by the City of Kingston, Kingston Midtown Arts District, Arts Mid Hudson, Business Alliance of Kingston, and RUPCO. 

This year’s event returns to the spacious & heated space at The Metro, (on the corner of Greenkill Avenue, opposite the Boys and Girls Club).

RUPCO closed on the 70,000-square-foot underutilized, near-vacant factory/warehouse last year and is donating the space for this special event. RUPCO is proposing The Metro as a film and technology hub to include maker spaces and other creative uses.

“We are thrilled to host Made in Kingston for the third time in one of our buildings and bringing together area makers under one roof,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Operating Officer at RUPCO. “This talent gathering event is what The Metro is all about: creating entrepreneurial space for peopleto create, make and sell what inspires their lives. Artisan and maker-based efforts like this build our local economy. Creative production, job training, and pathways to equity help our neighbors make sustainable livings close to home.”

Made in Kingston opens its doors to the public  an hour earlier this year, at 3 pm, and stays open for shopping and browsing until 8:30 pm. In addition to more than four dozen local artists, the evening will feature local food, beverages and musical entertainment. For artists’ online registration click here.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Kingston eateries: Peace Nation, PAKT, Ruby Mae Soul Food, Tubby’s, Keegan Ales, and Jane’s Ice Cream.

For further information, call 845-331-2238 or visit and In Kingston.

Lace Mill Holiday Show & Silent Auction, December 1-27
Lace Mill Holiday show & SIlent Auction, December 1-27The Lace Mill Arts Council presents the Holiday Art Show and Silent Auction featuring inspired creations from Lace Mill artists and guests. Works include paintings, drawings, sculptures, and jewelry, all available for sale.

A Silent Auction from December 1 through December 27 benefits the Lace Mill Arts Council and its 2019 exhibit schedule.

Artist Opening Reception will be held Saturday December 1 from 5-9 pm. Meet the artists, your neighbors, and members of the surrounding community.

The Lace Mill is located at 165 Cornell Street, Kingston. Gallery hours are Friday through Monday, noon-5 pm or by appointment; call 845-481-5402.

Non-resident parking available on South Manor, Prospect, Cornell Streets. All are welcome.