Rural LISC brings together 250+ rural community development experts June 4-7, 2019

May 28, 2019

Scoping out the site at Bethel Woods Museum (l-r): Maru Gonzalez & Kevin O’Connor, RUPCO; Suzanne Anarde,  Sue Felzke & Murat Unal, Rural LISC

The nation’s top rural development leaders are joining forces in Monticello, New York next month as part of an integrated effort to revitalize America’s small towns, including addressing ways to catalyze economic opportunities through affordable housing, economic and workforce development, community safety, healthcare and more.   

Hosted by longtime Rural LISC partner RUPCO, the event will bring more than 250 rural experts together to explore new ways to foster economic and community development in rural areas across the country. “We are excited to bring our partners as well as other rural funders and stakeholders together in Monticello,” said LISC Vice President and Rural LISC Director Suzanne Anarde. “Our annual Seminar is our premier Rural LISC event, bringing representatives from our 89 community-based partners together with rural experts in the field to network, dialogue and learn from each other – as well as take innovative practices back to their communities. This year we are honored to be hosted by RUPCO, Inc. – a true trailblazer and leader in the rural community development field.”

“We are thrilled to welcome our colleagues from across the country to the beautiful Hudson Valley to share and learn about the best and most innovative practices in housing, community and economic development,”  said RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor. “In particular, we are looking forward to culminating the three-day conference with an event at Bethel Woods, the site of the original Woodstock concert that occurred 50 years ago this summer.”

Highlights include:

Economic impact: With more than 250 representatives from community-based nonprofits, foundations, investors and municipal agencies coming together to strategize on generating opportunity in disinvested rural communities – while staying and touring for the three days in the rural Catskills and Hudson River Valley – Rural LISC and its partners will pour more than $500,000 in direct tourism dollars, including travel, lodging, meals and supplies into the local economy.

Disaster Recovery and Resilience Training: Rural LISC is debuting its inaugural Disaster Recovery and Resilience training series. This hands-on training session will kick off a one-year Rural LISC curriculum in disaster recovery and resiliency, which will increase the capacity of rural community-based organization partners to respond to natural disasters in the communities they serve.

RUPCO Tour: Partner RUPCO will host a tour of their work, highlighting best practices in affordable housing, economic development and more. Conference groups will visit The Lace Mill, The Metro and Energy Square in Kingston; Newburgh Progress and key properties recently funded by Governor Cuomo’s Affordable Housing initiative; and Woodstock Commons, the intergenerational campus for seniors, artists and working families.

Launched in 1995, Rural LISC is the rural component of the largest community development support organization in the country, called LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation). For 24 years, Rural LISC has partnered with rural communities, helping to forge innovative solutions that lead to prosperity and opportunity. Rural LISC’s investments in rural America have totaled $1.25 billion in grants, equity and low-cost loan funds. Rural LISC has leveraged this investment resulting in $3.3 billion from public and private sources, to produce 35,000 affordable homes and apartments, create 4 million square feet of commercial and community space, assist 700 businesses, create 12,000 jobs and support 20 early childhood centers. By generating resources and investing in the grassroots efforts of its 89 partner community-based organizations, Rural LISC is committed to making rural communities good places to live, work, do business and raise children. Learn more at

RUPCO creates home, supports people, and improves communities across a broad spectrum of community development solutions including housing, historic preservation, and neighborhood revitalization in the Hudson Valley. RUPCO creates and maintains quality, sustainable housing and rental opportunities, inspiring understanding and acceptance of affordable housing initiatives, and championing pathways to opportunity. RUPCO is focused to deliver over $100 million in real estate development over the next 24 months including three prominent historic preservation developments: Landmark Place supportive senior housing), The Metro (community wealth building), and Newburgh Progress (community development). RUPCO’s historic preservation work has been most recently recognized with its development of East End Apartments (2019 Preservation League of NYS Excellence in Historic Preservation Award). Other award-winning developments include The Lace Mill (2016), The Kirkland (2009), The Stuyvesant (1993). Along with its real estate development arm, RUPCO possesses a stable and diversified business model with additional impact arenas in property management, resident program services, rental assistance, and homebuyer education. RUPCO currently owns/manages 23 developments on behalf of 700 residents in 588 apartments. Through rental assistance and the Housing Choice Voucher Program, nearly 2000 families, seniors and the disabled are living in safe, affordable homes in Greene and Ulster Counties. RUPCO’s HomeOwnership Center helps over 100 people each year achieve their dreams of homeownership. The HOC works with municipalities to deliver Community Development Block Grants and with homeowners on rehabs and accessibility modifications. It also provides similar homebuyer and homeowner services through its subsidiary holding, Orange County RDAC. Established in 1981, and a NeighborWorks America chartered member since 1999, RUPCO ushers community wealth-building opportunities, much-needed housing, and strong strategic partnerships into communities eager for change. RUPCO’s community development is Building for Everyone, impacting the lives of over 8500 Hudson Valley residents each day.