Long-time Rural LISC Partner RUPCO, Inc. will host more than 250 rural community development experts during the 2019 Rural LISC Annual Seminar June 4-7 in Monticello, New York. RUPCO will highlight their affordable housing and economic development projects, showcasing best practices in bringing opportunity to America’s rural areas.
“RUPCO is one of our truly outstanding Rural LISC partners,” said LISC Vice President and Rural LISC Director Suzanne Anarde. “Their innovative and ‘outside the box’ efforts in affordable housing and economic development over many years have brought numerous impactful opportunities to Kingston and the neighboring Hudson River Valley, and we are honored to showcase RUPCO’s outcomes on their own turf, so that our network of rural partners can see their remarkable efforts directly.”
“As the LISC conference co-host, we’re eager to share with our peers the community development projects we’ve furthered here in the Hudson Valley,” said RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor. “On June 6, RUPCO is leading a bus tour with over 250 people to 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. We’re proud to highlight the region, our partners and community impact. The opportunity to share and dialogue about our collaborative work in housing and community development has always been at the heart of why being a member of Rural LISC is so important.”
One of the stops on the Seminar tour, The Lace Mill, is a former manufacturing site repurposed to artist housing. The United States Lace Curtain Mills in Kingston once thrummed with industry, employing hundreds of workers and fueling life in Kingston and the surrounding area. But with deindustrialization, Kingston has suffered population loss and disinvestment for the better part of a century, and the 1903 brick building had been boarded up and largely abandoned for decades.
Now, the old factory building has come back to life with a new purpose. Conceived as both a housing complex and an economic development engine, the $18-million project is coming into its own as a center of cultural and economic activity as well as providing affordable housing for the Hudson River Valley’s burgeoning arts community. The Lace Mill houses 55 affordable rental units, all home to artists, with several gallery spaces, work studios and sculpture gardens. Other amenities include state-of-the-art thermal heating and cooling, solar panels on the roof and energy-efficient lighting.
Rural LISC supported the Lace Mill project with more than $10 million in equity from LISC’s affiliate, the National Equity Fund, which included federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, federal historic tax credits and New York State historic tax credits. LISC also provided $45,500 in grants for predevelopment, capacity building, and arts and culture related development. A creative placemaking grant through LISC also supported the salary for a “community animator” who helps The Lace Mill to be self-governing and publicizes the arts and educational events to the larger community.
According to Kingston residents and the developers of the project, The Lace Mill has already had a profound impact on wellbeing in the Midtown district of Kingston, by sparking more tourism and inspiring galleries and restaurants to open in nearby vacant buildings. RUPCO conducted a survey in 2016 that showed dramatic improvements in the local area. As Guy Kempe, RUPCO’s vice president of community development, said, “Residents and visitors now recognize Midtown as a good community to live in.”
ABOUT RURAL LISC
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 www.lisc.org/rural.
RUPCO creates homes, 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. For more information, visit www.rupco.org