Agency Earns Green Organizational Accreditation

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2013
Contact: Joan Lawrence-Bauer
845-331-2140 x 263

Kingston, NY — 08/29/2013 — RUPCO, the region’s leading provider and advocate of quality, sustainable housing and community development services, became one of just 17 organizations nationwide to earn full Green Organizational Accreditation from HUD, according to an announcement made last week. It was the second such national designation the agency has received in the last year, and was earned by implementation of the best practices in HUD’s accreditation criteria and documentation of all actions taken to make the agency operation and programs more sustainable.

According to RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor, the SPI-HUD Green Organizational Accreditation is part of HUD’s Affordable Green Initiative, launched in 2012 as a new, pilot program to support HUD grantees and affordable housing organizations in achieving portfolio-wide improvements. The vision of the initiative is to enable organizations to institutionalize sustainability and achieve higher levels of performance of the management of their housing portfolios. Comprehensive support through training, technical assistance and accreditation is completely subsidized by HUD and free to all participants.

“We are very proud to have earned this designation,” said O’Connor. “The work was rigorous and our COO, Kathleen Leahy, has spent the better part of a year focused on RUPCO’s green initiatives. Her leadership in this area keeps green operation at the top of every staffer’s mind, every working day.” O Connor went on to add that, “the designation indicates that we don’t just talk about being green, we implement it every day, in everything we do.” The vision of this initiative is to enable organizations to institutionalize sustainability and achieve higher levels of performance of the management of their housing portfolios.

“None of this is easy, but it’s important,” said O’Connor. “There may be a little more upfront cost in designing and constructing the housing we build and manage, but we believe that in the long run, the cost savings will more than offset the initial costs.” He went on to point out that living and working in the northeast generates very high energy costs. “In properties that are not green and sustainable, the costs are higher and very often, the residents aren’t even comfortable in their homes.”

Congressman Chris Gibson also commented on the federal designation. “We are really proud to have an organization like RUPCO in our district,” he said. “They not only do great work, but they do it well and sustainably making their operation and their properties an asset to all of us.”

Accreditation differentiates organizations that seek to implement green building and operational best practices, build capacity of staff, track and measure building performance effectively over time, realize significant improvements in health and energy efficiency, and achieve exemplary cost savings. In December, RUPCO was earned Green Designation honors from the national NeighborWorks® America organization.

RUPCO’s mission is to create homes, support people and improve communities. For more than 30 years the 501-c-3 not-for-profit agency, has led the region in creating and maintaining quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, inspiring understanding and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives, fostering community development and revitalization, and providing opportunity to people to improve their living standards. More information on RUPCO is available at www.rupco.org or by calling 845-331-2140.

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