East End Apartments LEED in Energy Efficiency
195 First Street, Newburgh, Preservation League NYS 2019 Excellence in Historic Preservaiton AwardAll 15 properties received energy-efficiency certification from The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S.Green Building Council (USGBC), the gold standard for buildings, homes, and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. RUPCO is a leading community developer of affordable housing and economic wealth-building opportunities in the Hudson Valley.
 
RUPCO achieved LEED certification for East End by implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
 
“Scattered-site re-development within a challenged urban core is fundamental to saving and preserving Place,” says Chuck Snyder, Director of Construction at RUPCO. “Historically accurate, LEED certified, safe, healthy, and secure housing, well-executed and managed, will serve this community through the balance of this millennium, by not only extending the useful life of these worthy structures, but also in preserving the fabric that has defined this Place for the past 150 years. The investment and effort expended are the long game. It is in stark contrast to the equity vacuum, disinvestment, and abandonment which has defined the prevailing attitude toward too many of our urban centers for the latter half of the 20th century.”
 
In 2018, RUPCO celebrated the opening of East End Apartments, a scatter site development of 45 rental homes for those of modest means in 15 historically renovated buildings in Newburgh’s historic district in a 4-block radius north of Broadway. RUPCO restored these once-abandoned,19th-century traditional row homes with historic preservation and energy efficiency in mind, paying attention to architectural details and NYS EnergyStar® For Homes and LEED for Homes standards.
 
“Achieving LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” says Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, RUPCO demonstrates its leadership through its LEED certification of East End.”
 

EAST END APARTMENTS epitomizes a tri-sector approach among several nonprofits, private investors, and government sectors to transform the Newburgh community through building rehabilitation and creation of integrated housing. East End Apartments includes 15 buildings with a mix of studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments for income-eligible individuals, working families, artists, homeless youth, and veterans in need. Apartments range in size from 482-1348 square feet. This multi-site development also includes 3,000 square feet of community space known as “The Hub” which hosts a community policing sub-station, studio/gallery space for artists, and meeting space for after-school activities. Safe Harbors of the Hudson serves as property manager. 

About USGBC:  The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) vision is that buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Its mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. 

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

RUPCO Receives Funding for Energy Square

RUPCO, the Hudson Valley’s leading housing advocate and community developer, received a highly competitive Unified Funding 2017 Early Round Award from New York State Homes & Community Renewal (HCR). RUPCO will receive an annual allocation of federal and NYS housing tax credits that will yield private investment of well over $11 million dollars along with $4,824,272 in grant sources designed to create affordable and middle-income housing and foster community development. The funding will enable RUPCO to build Energy Square, a 57-apartment, new construction development at 20 Cedar Street, Kingston. RUPCO was one of five organizations receiving funding through NYS HCR Early Awards program, which is designed to accelerate construction of shovel-ready developments. The projects must meet State housing goals, including the creation of mixed-income housing, proximity to public transportation, placement in strong school districts, or the provision of support services for formerly homeless individuals or those with special needs.

RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Today’s announcement builds on Governor Cuomo’s commitment to ensuring that working families, seniors, people with disabilities, and those who have experienced homelessness have high-quality, affordable, safe places to call home. Maintaining and expanding our affordable housing stock creates inclusive communities that are essential to growing New York State’s economy.”

“Energy Square is the second leg of a redevelopment trifecta that cuts across midtown – including The Lace Mill and The Metro – that we believe will be truly transformative for Kingston and the region,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “Once again, RUPCO’s vision calls for an innovative and adaptive reuse of a vacant, fallow property that will create mixed-income and mixed-use to couple residential living with a fabulous local nonprofit agency, the Center for Creative Education. Energy Square will be the first affordable housing project in the Hudson Valley to achieve net zero for living by combining an energy-efficient building envelope with geothermal ground source technology and enough solar panels to offset utility costs for residents. Energy Square creates jobs, eliminates blight, doubles the local tax contribution of the prior commercial use, and combats the feared onslaught of gentrification by converting non-residential, vacant property to mixed-income, rental housing that will remain affordable for the next half century! We look forward to an early spring construction start and delivering this exciting building project in the Fall of 2019.”

RUPCO secured ownership of the long-defunct Mid-City Lanes in September 2017 with NeighborWorks Capital provided financing for the $615,109 purchase. The site includes the vacant bowling alley and 1.5-acre property at 20 Cedar Street, Kingston. Dutton Architecture of Kingston, NY designed the multi-use complex to reflect the character of Midtown Kingston while providing innovative use of the small site for energy generation, outdoor residential space, and parking.

“Located in the heart of our Midtown community, Energy Square will offer high quality housing for various income levels, as well as innovative programming and resources for youth and adults,” said Mayor Steve Noble. “I appreciate RUPCO’s vision for this project, which strengthens the revitalization efforts we have underway in Midtown and compliments our community’s commitment to sustainability and green building. With the burgeoning Midtown Arts District, the upcoming Broadway Streetscape Project, and key investments in business, healthcare and educational facilities along the corridor- and with Energy Square right in the center of it all- we have the opportunity to support our existing residents and attract new residents and businesses to Midtown. I look forward to seeing this project move forward and welcoming the first residents of Energy Square to their new home in 2019!”

The co-location of a community-based arts education program with other commercial and community-serving enterprises will anchor 10,000-square-feet of commercial-civic space that occupies much of the emerging design’s first floor. The upper floors of the varied, 5-story construction will deliver 57 affordable rental apartments, to be constructed, owned and managed by RUPCO, a trusted community partner with a proven track record for delivering high-quality affordable housing in the Hudson Valley. Nine units will be offered “near market rate” to drive a greater income mix to Midtown.

Center for Creative Education is excited to hear that RUPCO has been awarded the funding needed to move the E2 project forward! The new facility will allow CCE to house our growing programs in Arts, wellness and cultural education for children, youth and adults,” adds Bryant “Drew” Andrews, Executive Director at Center for Creative Education. “We look forward to collaborating with RUPCO on community driven projects and programs being offered at the new site. Energy Square will provide additional multi-income housing, businesses, job opportunities and community programming and will be a great benefit to Midtown and Kingston as a whole!”

Troy, NY-based general contractor U.W. Marx will oversee construction, the first new construction in Midtown in decades. According to the Association of Home Builders report, The Local Economic Impact of a Typical Affordable Housing Tax Credit Project” (September 2005), a 100-unit, $20-million housing construction will generate nearly $8-million in local income, $1.8-million in local business owners’ income, $6-million in local wages & salaries, $742,000 in local taxes and support 149 local jobs. Energy Square’s 57 units will have an adjusted economic impact, but brings outside money for construction and new resident disposable incomes to the area, both welcome prospects for local business owners. Long-term job creation projects 35 new positions created with the introduction of new housing to Kingston.

Energy Square will target mixed incomes. Nine apartments will serve middle-income families or individuals with incomes up to 90% of the area median income (AMI) or $70,650 for a family of 4. Other apartments will target residents earning 60%, 50% and 30% of AMI. Rents are dependent on income. One-bedroom apartments will range from $411 to $883; two-bedrooms will range from $883 to $1,237; and three-bedroom apartments will range from $1,020 to $1,428.

“Energy Square poses a fabulous opportunity to Kingston’s young adults as well,” adds O’Connor. “We’ve added a comprehensive workforce development plan for the recruitment, training and hiring of low-income residents from the surrounding neighborhoods. The plan includes the participation of UW Marx, sub-contractors, Ulster YouthBuild and Ulster County’s Office of Employment & Training/Workforce Development that will deliver a program of recruitment, mentoring and job training for a minimum of 12 low-income residents, age 17 to 30 from surrounding neighborhoods in the City of Kingston.” Additionally, seven apartments are targeted to house at-risk young people, ages 18 to 24. Kingston’s future depends on young people and their entrepreneurial spirits.”

Energy Square will be the first Net-Zero-for-Living, mixed-use residential building in Kingston. This innovation places Kingston as a regional leader demonstrating energy-independence can be done well and cost-effectively in city centers. The E2 housing proposal has already won NYSERDA support in the form of a $1-million Cleaner Greener Communities Grant. Net-Zero-for-Living is the high water mark for energy efficiency and green building, where 100% energy consumed on-site is generated on-site. Energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, energy-efficient building envelope, and other innovative energy-saving approaches will help negate residential energy use.

“I applaud everyone involved in this project, which underscores the value of public-private partnerships in advancing clean energy technologies throughout the housing stock across the state. Governor Cuomo is committed to ensuring the availability of housing that is energy efficient, making it a win-win for the residents who will reap the benefits of these upgrades and our environment,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA.

Energy Square adds innovative accommodations to Kingston’s available housing stock, and addresses the City’s deficit of affordable housing, an identified need in the Tri-County Housing Report. “We’re creating a dynamic, vibrant, safe neighborhood by bringing density – PEOPLE, their families and their spending dollars – to Midtown,” says O’Connor. “We see the future growth spurred by Kingston’s growing healthcare corridor and newly designated Midtown Arts District. We see Kingston’s reputation synonymous with inspiration, innovation, and techno-preneurship.”

RUPCO’s PILOT starts at $82,000 with annual escalators. The bowling alley tax bill was $37,000. RUPCO, a tax-exempt 501(c)3, pays nearly $271,500 each year in city, county and school taxes despite its nonprofit status. In 2016-2017, RUPCO paid $215,477.64 in combined taxes for six Kingston properties.

“We see the City of Kingston as an innovator in community development through affordable housing, energy efficiency, technology and creativity,” continued O’Connor. “The vitality of Kingston depends on people, and people need a place to live. Rental apartments are one piece of the housing solution we bring to compliment homeownership. Renters save money, some buy houses. When they fall in love with Kingston’s Midtown, they’re bound to stay.”

RUPCO is a charter member of NeighborWorks America, a national network of 245 housing and community developers. Since 2005, NeighborWorks has awarded RUPCO “Exemplary” organizational health status following its annual review of RUPCO’s fiduciary practices, program services, and accountability. An effective change agent, RUPCO affects the lives of over 8,000 people through its work with homelessness, rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, first-time homebuyers, home rehabilitation, energy efficiency and real estate development. Most recently, RUPCO closed on The Metro at 2 South Prospect Avenue, Kingston, a community wealth-building development plan in partnership with Stockade Works to bring job training, Film/TV opportunities, and maker’s space to the area. With 58 employees working in 6 offices, RUPCO is spearheading $71-million worth of real estate development in the Hudson Valley, including Energy Square, Landmark Place, and The Metro in Kingston and the 15-property neighborhood revitalization in Newburgh’s historic East End. RUPCO most recently received national recognition by accepting Preservation Action’s “Best of 2016” award for its historic preservation work at The Lace Mill, a long-vacant curtain factory transformed into 55 apartments preferenced for artists in midtown Kingston.

RUPCO currently owns/manages 16 properties with 411 apartments providing homes to over 560 people. The majority of those residents represent our community’s most vulnerable populations: the elderly, seniors, disabled and working class families. Through its NeighborWorks America HomeOwnership Center, RUPCO helped nearly 100 families in 2017 achieve their dreams of homeownership. RUPCO’s vision to create strong, vibrant and diverse communities with opportunity and a home for everyone by spearheading programs in rental assistance, foreclosure prevention, home rehab and sustainability, supportive housing and community wealth-building. For more information, visit www.rupco.org.
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Taking the Energy Journey Together

In the last six years, homeowners – with the help of our Green Jobs | Green New York Program — have saved energy, LOTS of energy, and lived in a more comfortable-safer home. Together, we figure we’ve conserved the equivalent of driving 40,644,873 miles in an average car – just by working with you, Mid-Hudson Valley residents! Thank you for your eagerness to lower your utility costs, save energy, and make a positive impact on our planet.

The First GJGNY Team

Under contract to NYSERDA since 2011, RUPCO has promoted energy efficiency and sustainability through the Green Jobs Green NY program (GJGNY) in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region. Unfortunately, as of November 27, 2017, our NYSERDA contract and the GJGNY program ends. We’re honored to have worked with homeowners, financial providers and the most professional NYSERSDA Home Performance, Building Performance Institute certified contractors in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region! We also want to give credit and thanks to NYSERDA for allowing us to serve the region. We hope that the RUPCO GJGNY team provided you with the professional level of service you expected. Because of you, our program was by far the most successful Community-based Organization in the state.

In the Beginning

Our first NYSERDA team training took place over six years ago — November 30, 2011 — in Albany. It was very clear that we had a lot of work to do. With a robust outreach plan, we began connecting with you: potential partners, homeowners in need, and contractors willing to take on the task of weatherization and energy efficiency.

By February 2012, we officially launched RUPCO’s GJGNY Outreach Program. Over 170 people received that announcement, that we were ready to get down to energy-saving business. Our first presentation was, rightly so, before the RUPCO staff of 33. During these first months, we generated 325 referrals and held or attended 6 meetings and 8 public events.

Fast-forward to today and here’s a snapshot of how we’ve worked together since then:

  • Referred over 7600 people into the program
  • Facilitated over 2650 energy audits
  • Orchestrated over 670 retrofits, referred 355 to the EmPower program
  • Answered your questions at 1,343 public meetings, events, and presentations
  • Offered concrete answers that inspired you to participate
  • Provided access to solutions, grants and expertise to get you started with energy conservation and production

Translating our combined impact into Kilowatt hours (Kwh) and Metric Megaton BTU (MMbtu) reductions, we can honestly say we’ve helped local residents save A LOT of money and energy.

  • Total Kilowatt Hours saved = 4,818,737 Kwh
  • Carbon Dioxide Equivalent = 3,733 tons (as of 12/9/16)
  • Total Therms of natural gas saved = 2,538,637
  • Natural Gas Carbon Dioxide Equivalent = 14,837 tons (as of 12/9/16)

Together we’ve saved 40-million+ car-driving miles of energy collectively – impressive!

Helping Shape Future Programs

Homeowners were just one part of the solution. Our RUPCO GJGNY team collaborated with various NYSERDA working groups and advisory councils. Together, we helped shape, create and design the next iteration of energy-efficiency community outreach – CEEP, Community Energy Engagement Program. Although the GJGNY Team was not awarded the new contract, and we’ll be stepping out of the sustainability arena for now, we know the Mid-Hudson Region is in good energy-saving hands. Sustainability and energy-efficiency remain prominent features of RUPCO’s strategic plan and long-term vision. We are committed to helping homeowners and renters keep housing costs affordable, particularly when it comes to energy use.

As we close down our website and Facebook Page this week, we invite you to Stay Engaged with Energy-efficiency by taking one of four actions:

If you are a customer of NYSERDA or are interested in NYSERDA programs, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, or EmPower New York please contact NYSERDA directly at:

Matthew Houle  [email protected]
 518-862-1090 Ext: 3286 | 1-877-NYSMART | Fax: 518-862-1091
17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-6399

We’re honored to have been a part of your energy journey and hope you will remain committed to the groundwork we’ve laid down together.

Most sincerely,

The GJGNY Team – Michael, Mike, Hugo, Nick, and Guy

RUPCO Strives to Better Engage Latino Community

Pictured l-r: James Kopp, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Hannah Karp, Hugo JuleOn October 21st, RUPCO Outreach Coordinators Hugo Jule and James Kopp and Executive Assistant to the CEO Maru Gonzalez attended the 3rd Annual Hudson Valley Latino Forum held at Dutchess County Community College in Poughkeepsie.

Nearly 300 participants — including NYS Secretary of State, NYS Comptroller, State Assembly and County legislature members, City Mayor, Governor’s office, Empire State Development, Federal and State Agencies — came out to share perspective and service information. Organizations from Long Island to Albany and more that 25 sponsors, including RUPCO GJGNY, contributed their ideas on how to improve the quality of life of all residents in the Hudson Valley. 

Several round table discussions addressed health, media, community, education, politics, business and arts. James sat in on the media and politics sessions; Hugo attended the community and business sessions; and Maru attended the politics and community sessions. During the business session, Hugo explained how saving energy can improve business profit, as well as save money at home. Hannah Karp from Solarize Hudson Valley tabled next to RUPCO so that energy efficiency and renewable energy were on display together.

“One concern expressed at the forum was the difficulty that agencies have in bringing services to the Latino community,” notes Hugo. “This is due, in part, to the different immigration situations that residents may be dealing with. There needs to be a consistent, trustworthy presence of agencies in the community. Moving forward, the RUPCO GJGNY team will continue to work with the community leaders who work with the Hispanic population in the Hudson Valley so they may all benefit from the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.”

RUPCO is also working to provide better service connections to the Latino community with its first-time homebuyer program and foreclosure prevention services. RUPCO recently launched a Spanish home buyer education orientation series and several energy-efficiency videos spoken in, or translated overdub, into Spanish.

Pictured l-r: James Kopp, NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Hannah Karp, Hugo Jule

Outreach Coordinator: Green Jobs | Green New York

RUPCO's Green Jobs | Green New York logoThis position was filled as of January 2016.

RUPCO’s Green Jobs | Green New York (GJGNY) Program is looking for a flexible person to educate homeowners, community leaders, businesses and those interested in energy alternatives. The Outreach Coordinator shares the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable resources with these audiences and increases participation in the NYSERDA and GJGNY programs.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Developing GJGNY promotion methods
  • Providing information and assistance to residential customers and businesses
  • Working with community planners
  • Maintaining database of partnerships and projects
  • Meeting program deadlines
  • Planning events to include extensive travel, media relations and participation in evening and weekend events.

Position Requirements:

  • Excellent public speaking and written communication skills
  • Clean driver’s license

Educational Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred in marketing, communications, business, environmental science, architecture, planning OR
  • Associates degree plus five years relevant experience.  or related disciplineMaintain a clean and safe
  • BPI Certification referred

Salary: Commensurate with experience; full-time position with benefits

Application Deadline:  Friday, December 4, 2016

Submit notification of interest by email: Guy Kempe, Vice President of Community Development

RUPCO Green Team Reaches Milestone

graph of NYS CBO energy retrofits through February 2015With the dawn of spring right around the corner, the timing’s perfect for a fresh update on RUPCO Green Team. Despite the long winter., we have not been hibernating!

For Best Performance by a CBO in NYS, the award goes to….

RUPCO brought awareness of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (HPwES) to roughly 4470 people interested in various energy-efficiency programs. Of that auspicious total,

  • 2009 people applied to the program
  • 1335 received a free or reduced-cost Home Energy Assessment or Audit
  • 327 people had their homes retrofitted to be more energy efficient

More importantly, the RUPCO Green Team reached an impressive milestone. Over the last 14 months, 203 people received retrofits!  This is by far the best performance by a NYSERDA-contractor to date. Currently, the RUPCO Green Team is the highest performing Community Based Organization (CBO) in the State. Looking at the chart above, it’s apparent the RUPCO Green Team is helping Hudson Valley residents save energy every day.  With 185 retrofits on the books through February 28, 2015, RUPCO completed 131 and 54 are approved and in the pipeline. Our nearest competition in the Energy Saving race booked just 111 … Go RUPCO Green Team!

Our goal is to reach 311 retrofits by November 30th, 2015. We’re well on our way to that goal, but our Outreach Coordinators need your help. We’re here to help you understand, apply, enroll and receive energy-efficiency improvements on your home this year. Help put us over the top by contacting the RUCPO Green Team today! We need just 108 retrofits more this year.

NYSERDA Extends Contracts through July 2016

The Green Team continues its advocacy of improving the NYSERDA Programs; we rally hard. We’re also advocating to extend the term that these programs will be available to the public.

After a few meetings (including the last one with the Governor’s office), NYSERDA has agreed to extend the length of the contracts for each CBO. RUPCO Green Jobs | GreenNew York gets to continue our programs through July 2016. Thanks to the hard work of the statewide network of CBO’s, we’re moving forward and bringing these programs to the underserved areas of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region. Now we can spend less time worrying about when program funding streams will end or if we have enough time to help those in need. instead, we’re dedicating more time to the actual work that remains, and we’re focused on accomplishing way more than is required.

Funding for Research on What Works

RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York also recently secured additional funding ($99,000) thru NYSERDA PON 2686 with Energize New York (ENY)/Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), partners at Bard College Center for Environmental Policy (BCEP) and Central Hudson for a 3-year study. The research goal is collaborative and direct: “Utilizing a range of behavioral strategies, support services, trusted source messaging, community-based marketing and online tools ro overcome known barriers to action, the program has delivered impressive measurable results.”

To achieve the goals of PON 2686, the EIC will partner with Central Hudson for the energy data components, the Bard Center for Environmental Policy for the experimental design and research components, and RUPCO for a portion of the direct homeowner support elements. This homeowner work is largely what we are currently doing as it relates to collecting and reporting Home Performance data. Advancing our partnerships in the region has been one of the ways RUPCO has achieved its reputable success over the past three years. ENY has been a part of our program planning from the start of our first NYSERDA contract. Both of our organizations are finding unique ways to work together in Westchester County and beyond.

Solar_panels_on_house_roof_winter_viewBring Solar Energy to the Hudson Valley

Lastly, RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York has built a new partnership with two local organizations that will make solar energy more prevalent and affordable in the Hudson Valley: Solarize Hudson Valley.

Congratulations to Catskill Mountainkeeper and Sustainable Hudson Valley for winning NYSERDA funding for a Solarize campaign in the Hudson Valley.  Solarize is a proven strategy that makes it easier and more affordable for households to employ solar energy by scaling up local markets significantly wherever it has been used. The State funding contract is currently moving through the channels, but residential financing for the Solarize Hudson Valley Campaign will be available through two NYSERDA Residential Loans Options. These loans can be used for both the HPwES program as well as the NY Sun Initiative program. Having these loans in place are simply the best options for customers interested in home energy efficiency and solar installs. Without these loans, it would much more difficult to acquire both.

Join us in celebrating these accomplishments! Because of your interest and engagement, RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York is making energy-efficiency a household word, changing one home at a time.

Michael D’Arcy is RUPCO Green Jobs | Green New York NYSERDA Outreach Coordinator and Regional Energy Coach. Call Michael with your questions about solar and energy at (845) 705-7883 or email [email protected].