Unique national effort unites America on the essential roles home and housing play in creating thriving lives, families, communities and a stronger nation

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2013
Contact: Joan Lawrence-Bauer
845-331-2140 x 263

Kingston, NY — 03/15/2013 — RUPCO, one of the area’s premier housing agencies, was part of a coast-to-coast coalition that launched a unique national initiative called Home Matters™ in Washington, DC this week. The effort aims to unite America around the essential role home plays as the bedrock for thriving lives, families, communities and a stronger nation.

Home Matters emerged from a growing coalition of housing and community development organizations across the country whose leaders believe that the importance of home, as a core building block for America, is not sufficiently recognized. The coalition includes regional and local organizations providing housing and related services in 26 states – from California to Vermont, Florida to Washington – as well as national entities like the National NeighborWorks® Association, Citi Community Development, and Wells Fargo.

As it grows, Home Matters will go beyond housing and illuminate the connections between stable housing and other important facets of American life such as:

  • Individual Success: Home recharges adults and children alike for the day ahead.
  • Education: Children in stable homes learn and achieve more in school.
  • Health: Healthy habits take root more easily in stable affordable homes.
  • Public Safety: Stable homes make communities safer.
  • A Strong Economy: Homes that are affordable are crucial to a vibrant job-generating economy.

The launch took place on Capitol Hill with hundreds of leaders of housing and community development organizations gathered from all over the nation. Kevin O’Connor, CEO attended the launch on behalf RUPCO and was joined during the day by Congressman Chris Gibson. Launch events included a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and a gathering at the U.S. Senate with Members of Congress.

“Home is fundamental to the strength of our nation,” said NNA Executive Director Dave Brown. “It’s at the core of having strong families, schools, neighborhoods, and an effective workforce for the 21st century. That’s why it’s so important that its role be understood.”

In raising public awareness of the importance of home, Home Matters will do the following: educate, highlighting the benefits of home; collaborate, bringing disparate organizations and industries together; engage, rallying local leaders and mobilizing the public; advocate, encouraging policymakers to protect and support home and related initiatives; support, raising funds and increasing investments to sustain the work that makes home a reality for more Americans; and, celebrate, promoting and honoring the extraordinary impact of home.

“For more than thirty years RUPCO has delivered on its mission of creating homes, supporting people and improving communities,” Said O’Connor, “We’re excited to see these issues as part of a national dialogue.” O’Connor indicated that Home Matters have both structured and unstructured activities. “On the one hand, it will be an effective campaign carried on at the highest levels of government. On the other hand, it will be a grass roots effort by local communities, to harness the stories of home that people are eager to share.”

O’Connor urged local residents to contact his agency and share stories in a very simple way. “They can go on our website or Facebook page and just finish a single sentence. “Home Matters because…” We will then share those stories in both social and traditional media, creating a patchwork quilt, so to speak of who we are and what’s important to us.” More information on Home Matters is available at www.HomeMattersAmerica.com.

RUPCO is a 30 year old non-profit organization that provides affordable housing, rental assistance, property management and green energy solutions to the Hudson Valley region. The agency builds new affordable housing, helps to promote and preserve homeownership and housing stock in each community, manages dwelling spaces and helps people pay rent. More information on RUPCO is available at www.rupco.org.

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