Kathy Germain, Vice President of Housing Services for RUPCO’s NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center (HOC) in Kingston, was appointed to the HOC National NeighborWorks® Advisory Committee representing the Northeast Region. RUPCO is a charter member of NeighborWorks® America (NWA), a national advocate and clearinghouse for the affordable housing industry dedicated to creating living solutions for families and populations in need. Germain joins the 15-member group that helps NeighborWorks® America meet its strategic plan goals. “By helping to build and sustain a network of excellence, we’re promoting innovation,” notes Germain.
“To be recognized by the national headquarters for this regional position is a testament to Kathy’s success at RUPCO overseeing our HomeOwnership Center and its departmental staff of 10,” says Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO’s Executive Director. “Kathy’s presence on the committee and her passion for placing local people into homes for the first time, while assisting many others get to that point, will translate directly into regional impact. We’re proud of her recognition and involvement with NeighborWorks® America, one of our key partners in the affordable housing arena.” NWA awarded RUPCO a $100,000 grant last year to fund its operational expenses and to administrate the nonprofit’s HomeOwnership Center.
“At RUPCO, we create housing, support people and improve communities. I’m humbled to be recognized and selected for this regional committee,” added Germain. “The affordable housing industry has dedicated, smart people working every day to help future homeowners achieve their dreams. I’m honored to be a part of this regional discussion and raising the bar on creative-placemaking for seniors, families and those challenged financially, physically and mentally. I see huge growth for housing in these specialty sectors and I hope someday we can establish a statewide housing counseling coalition. Then, we’ll really impact Kingston and the surrounding community.”
Germain has overseen RUPCO’s HomeOwnership Center for seven years. She has also served as board member for the New York State Coalition for Excellence in Homebuyer Education. Past committee positions included NeighborWorks® Alliance of New York Education Committee Chair, Project Lead for Ulster County Continuum of Care, and the Ulster County Workforce Investment Board Youth Council.
In 2013, RUPCO’s HomeOwnership Center helped 62 families buy their first homes with $360,000 in grants. This work alone generated nearly $8 million in new mortgages with local banking institutions. The HOC also invested $860,000 in 94 home repair projects last year; local contractors completed that work with local material supply vendors, another economic plus. Through its rental assistance programs, RUPCO also kept 242 people from becoming homeless and helped 1,769 households of 4,343 people to pay their rent. This effort delivered over $14 million to local landlords. “Housing is an economic driver on many levels,” notes Germain. “But the real impacts are the stability of home life, jobs and security. It’s hard to put a dollar figure on that, but you see the community resonate with that stability. Well housed residents across the board make for stronger, vibrant communities and local economies.”
RUPCO is the region’s leading provider and advocate of quality, affordable housing and community development programs aimed to provide opportunity and revitalize communities. RUPCO owns/manages 374 housing units, from supportive housing to town home ownership association units, and helps nearly 2000 people a year pay their rent through its Housing Choice Voucher program. A reputable historic and rural preservation company, RUPCO’s projects are award winning including The Stuyvesant which was named Residence of the Year by the Supportive Housing Network of New York. RUPCO is currently developing The Lace Mill in midtown Kingston for artists’ loft rental housing. Additionally, the agency works in the greenest and most sustainable ways possible and is one of 17 agencies nationwide certified by HUD as a green agency. It administrates NYSERDA home energy audits through its Green Jobs, Green New York program. And RUPCO is among just 16 organizations certified by NeighborWorks America® to earn a green designation for its work. For more information visit www.rupco.org or call 845-331-2140.
# # #