Annual Ulster County Continuum of Care Meeting – Update on Local Homelessness


Ulster County Continuum of Care logoThe Ulster County Continuum of Care is hosting its Annual Meeting on Wednesday March 21st from 1:30-3:30 at the Kirkland 2 Main Street in Kingston. This meeting is open to the public. The group works to coordinate homeless resources and identify the needs of homeless individuals and families in Ulster County. The Ulster County Continuum of Care submits an application to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that brings over $1 million dollars annually to Ulster County homeless providers. Funding is determined on an annual basis and all parties serving the homeless are eligible to apply. 

The group is comprised of local government; non-profits; homeless housing and service providers; local elected officials; Veteran groups; faith based; for profit and educational representatives that assist the homeless; and The Continuum welcomes new members that are interested in understanding the local homeless issues and finding creative solutions to reduce homelessness in Ulster County.

At the Annual Meeting The Continuum will review the results of our annual HUD homeless Count, discuss our Strategic Plan to reduce homelessness and introduce our Coordinated Entry System as well as fill vacancies on the Board of Directors for the Ulster County Continuum of Care.

To register to attend or for more information please contact Kathy Germain, at RUPCO (845) 331-9860 or On-street or municipal parking available. 

All welcome. The Ulster County Continuum of Care represents a broad range of agencies working together to understand issues surrounding homelessness in the county with the goal of coordinating and maximizing homeless services that leads to a reduction in the number of homeless.  

This forum is open to the public; please share this post with others.
WHO:  Ulster County Continuum of Care (UCCofC) 
WHAT:  UCCofC Annual Meeting
WHERE:  The Kirkland, 2 Main Street, Kingston 12401

WHEN:  Wednesday March 21st, 1-3 p.m.
WHY:  To 
review the results of our annual HUD homeless Count, discuss our Strategic Plan to reduce homelessness and introduce our Coordinated Entry System as well as fill vacancies on the Board of Directors for the Ulster County Continuum of Care.
“Sowing Seeds” Art Exhibit hosted by Seed Song Farm at The Lace Mill

An art exhibition “Sowing Seeds: Cultivating Art & Agriculture,” hosted by Seed Song Farm, will take place at The Lace Mill, 165 Cornell St, Kingston from March 3-31, 2018. Teaching Art with Families on Saturday, March 10 from 11-12:30pm will be led by A. Kaminski and costs $15. A workshop led by Star Nigro titled, “ECO-Card Art” on March 24 from 11-1pm will delight all ages. Costs is $10; please RSVP to reserve a spot. A free closing reception is on Saturday, March 31 from 4-7pm, open to all ages and includes live music, performance and bilingual social justice storytelling. The entire exhibition will feature the works of Seed Song’s CSA members Star Nigo, Andrew Kaminski, Toni Weidenbacher, Grandpa Woodstock and Philip Gurrieri.

Through photography, mixed media, painting, the fiber arts, and sculpture, these artists will share inspired works from their farm experience. The show is sponsored by CSA member/photographer Tracy Stellingwerf, and curated by farmer coZmoz jaYa and artist Star Nigro.

Come learn what being part of a CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture) is about and meet your local farmers from Seed Song Farm & Center located in Kingston who will be present with their farm stand to share their CSA model, agro-ecologically-grown vegetables, farm products and their weekly farm pick-up program options and price ranges. They will gladly answer your questions about programs and events. Refreshments provided for free and live music will be presented by Sean Cortright and his band “The Turn-Ups,” composed of musicians from the farm community.

All ages are invited to this event and to add to the festivities attendants may enter a drawing to win a free 1- week CSA pickup. New CSA subscribers will receive a special earl-bird gift.

Free and open to the public; donations toward Seed Song Center’s community work gratefully accepted.

You’ll have the opportunity to join our CSA on the spot with the price range that suits your needs.

Free available parking on South Manor Avenue and Progress Street.

For more information, please e-mail; call coZmoz jaYa at (845) 399-9388; or visit

Gift to City of Kingston hits it out of the Ballpark

RUPCO Subsidiary Builds Community with Offer of Barmann Park Donation

Neighborhood icon Barmann Park — with its baseball field, bleachers, playground, snack bar and throngs of spectators and players — have called the intersection of Clinton and Greenkill “home base” for decades. Since 1979, the City of Kingston has foot the bill: renting the property for $1 a year, paying the property taxes, maintaining fields, and holding insurance liability season after season to keep America’s greatest sport alive in Midtown.
However, the City hit a home run this week, when it officially learned the new property owner, RUPCO-subsidiary Prospect & Green, LLC, will donate the recreational park with its parking, playground, and amenities to the City. “We believe that a community’s greatest asset is its people. And when people love where they live, work and play, community is present,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “We have the opportunity to ensure this neighborhood landmark remains accessible to kids, adults and families. At The Metro, we honored nickname local children have called the baseball park area for years. The community benefit this property holds – engaging residents in America’s favorite past-time now and for future generations – will flourish under the City’s ownership. Presenting this Kingston treasure to the people of this city is an honor beyond words.”
RUPCO acquired the baseball park as part of its purchase of the former MetLife Building of Records at 2 South Prospect Street earlier this year. The Metro brings community wealth-building to midtown Kingston as RUPCO transform the 70,000-square-foot underutilized factory/warehouse into a film & technology hub including Maker Spaces and other creative uses. RUPCO will collaborate with Stockade Works, a nonprofit specializing in media attraction, production, and training based in the Hudson Valley spearheaded by actor-producer Mary Stuart Masterson.
The Metro will focus on activities that create jobs while producing materials and value-added products and services within the community. Along with Stockade Works, The Metro currently hosts private, local enterprises Chronogram and Steintex. “In addition to the already significant job creation and community development that will result from the establishment of The Metro, we will now be able to preserve this beautiful and much-needed greenspace in Midtown Kingston forever,” said Mayor Steve Noble. “This is a natural transition and will expand Kingston Parks and Recreation’s already impressive inventory of community assets.”
The $14-million development, slated for renovation in late 2018, will generate a short-term, local economic impact during construction and long-term economic impact through job creation. The Metro was named “signature priority project” by the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) in 2016 and 2017. Renovation, upgrades, and historic preservation will utilize a variety of funding sources including historic and new market tax credits. For more information, visit
Kingston City Almshouse placed on State and National Historic Registers

Kingston City Alms House

Nomination approved for City of Kingston’s first civic construction built in 1864; joins official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation

Kingston made History again on February 2, as State and National Registers of Historic Places officially added the City’s first civic building built in the mid-19th century to its lists of sties worthy of preservation. RUPCO submitted an application for historic designation of The Almshouse — 300 Flatbush Avenue, Kingston — at the request of both City and County agencies last year. The State Historic Preservation Office notified all parties last week that The Almshouse achieved that designation. Both state and national registers list buildings, structures, districts, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture of New York and the nation.

“The Kingston City Almshouse was on the agenda for consideration by the NYS Board for Historic Preservation on December 7, 2017,” explains Guy Kempe, Vice President of Community Development at RUPCO. “The nomination was recommended and advanced to the National Park Service for consideration. Both the State Historic Preservation Officer and National Park Service Keeper of the Register approved the Almshouse nomination to both Historic Registers. Our request is a win for historic preservation in a city and region known for its historic value. Thanks to all who contributed to the first step towards preservation of this historic structure for future generations.”

“Friends of Historic Kingston applauds this New York State and national recognition of the significance of this landmark building,” adds John Braunlein, President of the Board of Directors for the local historic preservation society, Friends of Historic Kingston. “The preservation of our historic buildings shape the future of our community. Our local architecture and honored historical traditions strengthen the vitality of our lives. We strongly believe that the Kingston City Alms House is an intrinsic part of our caring traditions and can continue to serve the citizens of our community.”

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. The Almshouse appointment was published on the weekly list of actions taken on properties, 1/26/2018 through 2/2/2018. Both the State and National Registers use the same eligibility criteria.

“The dual historic designation also allows us to bring state and federal monies to Kingston and Ulster County through historic tax credits,” adds Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “This funding will stimulate the local economy and create jobs, as we rehab the existing historic structure into 34 desperately needed, senior-living apartments with supportive services. This is a win for seniors, but more importantly, it’s a win for our community. We’re putting this property on the tax rolls for the first time ever since 1874, when it opened. It’s a win for our local businesses, as we’ll spend this outside funding in Ulster County during construction. It’s a win for regional tourism, as visitors have yet another iconic site to view at Landmark Place. And it’s a win for architectural aficionados as we preserve the vision of J.A. Wood.”

RUPCO has successfully worked under the guidance of the Department of the Interior on several occasions, having met the high water mark of historic preservation standards at the award-winning Lace Mill, The Kirkland, The Stuyvesant and Petit House. “RUPCO was founded as a rural preservation company and we excel at recapturing historic, underutilized buildings and repurposing them for contemporary use that benefits our community,” adds O’Connor. “Our mission is create homes, support people, and improve communities. Landmark Place meets those mandates.”

RUPCO is advancing on its site plan review work with the Planning Board on February 20. The nonprofit plans to officially close on the property in March and place the property on the tax rolls for the first time ever. In line with the building’s historic purposes, RUPCO is repurposing the Kingston City Almshouse at 300 Flatbush Avenue, to create a senior-living campus called Landmark Place. The historic building will contain 34 apartments for seniors 55 and older needing assistance via supportive housing programs. A new residential building designed by local architect Scott Dutton will offer 32 one-bedroom apartments for seniors 55 and over, including a minimum of seven apartments dedicated to the frail elderly. “This will mark the first affordable housing for seniors in Kingston since 2001 when Brigham Center on O’Neill Street was built. It also answers Governor Cuomo’s call for permanent supportive housing to serve our vulnerable populations including frail and disabled seniors, veterans and other homeless individuals,” adds O’Connor. “Landmark Place fulfills this community’s need and is line with Kingston’s founding values of caring for and protecting our most vulnerable residents.”

Tannery Brook’s Forgotten History March 3 Saturday at The Lace Mill

 Emily Vail and Jiamin Chen will show “Fragmented & Forgotten: Tracing the Tannery Brook” in The Lace Mill’s East Gallery at 165 Cornell Street, Kingston, NY. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 5-8 PM, as part of Kingston’s First Saturday gallery openings. The exhibit will be on display March 3 through March 25. Original maps of the Tannery Brook, paired with historic maps, images, and text, will visualize changes in and around the stream over time.

The Tannery Brook is a small stream in Kingston. The brook flows out of the Twin Ponds, travels downhill along Linderman Avenue, crosses under Washington Avenue, skirts property lines between Washington Avenue and Green Street, and then vanishes beneath the parking lot behind the Ulster County Family Court building. It makes the rest of its journey underground, in a pipe, until it meets the Esopus Creek behind Kingston Plaza.

Although the Tannery Brook has worked hard for Kingston over the centuries – including powering mills, irrigating crops, and carrying away waste – it has been increasingly fragmented and forgotten. It hasn’t been forgotten by everyone, though; it continues to make its presence known through flooding, infrastructure failure, and other damage.

The Tannery Brook is a microcosm of the ways that we perceive and manage water in cities. Its history and present state can provide context for modern stream and urban water management, as we ask: What should we expect from a stream with such a long history of use? How can this history relate to future restoration projects?

With these questions in mind, Emily Vail and Jiamin Chen trace the Tannery Brook’s history from colonial settlement in the 1650s through today using historic maps, historic images, local history narratives, newspaper articles, and other original documents.

About Emily Vail:

Emily Vail is a graduate student at Cornell University in the field of Natural Resources. Since 2010, Emily has worked at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program , in collaboration with the NYS Water Resources Institute at Cornell University . She supports community-based watershed groups, municipalities, and other partners as they work to improve water quality in the Hudson Valley. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Vassar College . Emily also organizes Uptown Swing Kingston, a monthly night of hot jazz, dance, and swing, and directs the Uptown Lowdown vintage jazz dance troupe.


About Jiamin Chen:

Jiamin Chen is a graduate landscape architecture student from Cornell University . Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she has a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the University of British Columbia . She worked as a landscape designer on various municipal and governmental projects across many parts of Asia including China, Malaysia, Qatar and Myanmar. She returned to graduate school in pursuit of professional licensure, and her work as a graduate research assistant has taken her to various parts of upstate New York and this year, to Kingston. In her spare time, she is a passionate botanical artist, a houseplant collector and an avid traveler.

This work is supported by the NYS Water Resources Institute at Cornell University and the Hudson River Estuary Program of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation , with support from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund .

For more information, contact Emily Vail at .

ABOUT THE LACE MILL : A community block party in August 2016 celebrated the opening of 55 apartments of affordable living preferenced for artists, officially anchoring the City of Kingston’s artistic community at the north end of Cornell Street. In addition to residential space, The Lace Mill shares 8,000 square feet of public gallery space as cultural activity centers open to its residents, local community and visiting public audiences. The Lace Mill has received six prestigious awards for design and historic preservation including Preservation Action’s “Best of 2016” and NYSERDA’s Trailblazer Award for housing the City’s largest solar array (160Kw). Built in 1903, The US Lace Curtain Mill boasted a long history as a major 20th-century employer and fine lace fabricator. RUPCO purchased the vacant shell, boarded up for the better part of three decades, in December 2013, setting in motion adaptive reuse of the historic building with a vision for creative placemaking. For more information, visit .

ABOUT RUPCO : RUPCO, affordable housing advocate and innovative community developer in the Hudson Valley, is a charter member of NeighborWorks America, a national network of 245 housing and community development change agents. 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. RUPCO connects nearly 2000 families, over 800 landlords and rental assistance through the NYS Home and Community Renewal and Housing Choice Voucher Program. 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. RUPCO is also improving local communities through estate development in the Hudson Valley including The Metro, Energy Square, Landmark Place (all in Kingston) and Newburgh’s Historic East End. For more information, visit


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

NRP: National Revitalization Program in Kingston, Newburgh, Middletown

We’re connecting homebuyers with SONYMA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program, a package of incentives to help owner‐occupant homebuyers purchase and renovate vacant homes in Kingston, Middletown and Newburgh.

Program features include:

* Up to $20,000 cash assistance to renovate a home that you purchase

* Access to financing additional improvements into your purchase mortgage for post-closing rehab

* NRP can be combined with other grants and assistance programs thereby maximizing your ability to make your new home safe, secure and energy-efficient

* SONYMA mortgages of 30 years, low interest, no “Borrower Points,” down payment assistance arranged through select banks (M&T Bank, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Mid-Hudson Valley Credit Union)

Eligible Properties

* Vacant properties in designated areas capable of housing 1 to 4 families

* Seller must be able to pass a clean title to the purchaser

Eligible Applicants:

* Applicant must occupy the property as the primary residence

* Eligibility is determined by income limits up to 125% of Area Median Income (which varies by county) or 150% on a case‐by‐case basis

* Good credit, stable employment and ability to make monthly mortgage payments

We’re ready to assist you with the purchase of a vacant home* located one of the eligible communities of Kingston, Middletown, Newburgh. For assistance in Middletown and Newburgh, call (845) 713-4568; for assistance in Kingston, call (845) 331-9860.

*Vacant simply means no one is living at the address . The property does not have to be abandoned to qualify.

Regional Economic Development Finds Local Pulse of Latino/Hispanic Business Needs

First local meeting of Regional Initiative exploring Latino/Hispanic Economic Development

Earlier this week, a small group met at The Kirkland to lay groundwork for a larger conversation around economic access and business building in our Spanish-speaking communities.

Community Capital NY (CCNY) and Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress (Pattern) are collaborating on an initiative to establish a road map for additional business resources and access to credit for new and existing Latino/Hispanic enterprise. The initiative focuses on the cities of Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh, Middletown and Port Jervis.

“Pattern & CCNY asked for our help in gathering the local perspective. We’ll hold business forums to collect community input. We invite Latino/Hispanic community members to come forward and share what business owners and entrepreneurs need to be successful. We’re asking simple questions like what’s needed, how’s credit working (or not), and what resources are out there to build opportunity,” notes Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “In the three relevant communities we serve — Newburgh, Kingston and Middletown — the Hispanic/Latino population is strong. Jobs and new business creation are top of mind for everyone, no matter color, race or culture. But we know access to resources is not equal. This initiative spearheaded by CCNY and Pattern will explore the current situation and make recommendations for our communities moving forward.” Community Capital and Pattern, with guidance from local advisory committees, will conduct local outreach to determine needs and barriers within the Latino/Hispanic business community. Based on this fact-finding research, the team will recommend best practices and develop a guide of local and regional resources available to the Latino/Hispanic business community.

Present at the Economic Development for Hispanic and Latino Businesses meet-up (pictured above) were Emily Hamilton (Deputy Director of Housing at Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress), David Sosa Rosa (Kingston business owner of La Roca Floral), Simone Obermaier (Senior Vice President of Lending at Community Capital New York), Hugo Jule (outreach coordinator at RUPCO’s Green Jobs | Green New York Program), Maru Gonzalez (Executive Assistant to the CEO) and Kevin O’Connor, both of RUPCO. The group identified first steps in gauging the climate of local Latino/Hispanic business, its networks and resource access. “We’ll hold a few more meetings here at The Kirkland, talk with more people with the help of pastors and the church community, to make people aware that this conversation is happening,” adds Maru Gonzalez. “To be a part of this local conversation, contact me at (845) 331-2140 and I’ll put you on our email list.” If you have questions about the broader Community Capital NY-Pattern for Progress initiative, contact Kim Jacobs (CCNY) at (914) 747-8020 or Joe Czajka (Pattern) at (845) 565-4900.

Survey Teams Canvas Midtown Kingston for Community Impact Measurement Study
Map of area to be surveyed in midtown KingstonCollaborative effort collects resident perspective and photo documentation of neighborhood changes, marking a moment in time for future comparison.
Over the next two weeks, neighborhood youth are capturing a moment in time throughout two Census tracts in midtown Kingston. Local students and residents have been hired to conduct a Community Impact Measurement survey, or CIM, designed to capture the experience of neighborhood residents. The CIM is a collaborative effort among RUPCO, City of Kingston, Family of Woodstock, Midtown Rising and Hone Strategic to scientifically document the neighborhood revitalization taking place in Kingston. The survey will provide valuable input for the City and inform future community and economic development.
“This collaborative approach to gathering community input is an effective way to ensure our local Midtown residents are heard,” says City of Kingston Mayor, Steve Noble. “This survey is an important step towards addressing the needs of our community and measuring the impact of these efforts. I look forward to working with our community partners to review the results of the survey and identify areas of progress and opportunities for change.”
“Over this past week, we trained 20 young people and residents in the survey-taking methodology at the Everett Hodge Center on Franklin Street,” notes Guy Kempe, Vice President of Community Development at RUPCO. “In teams of two, they will take these techniques out to their neighborhoods, engaging City of Kingston residents for their take on what’s happening in Kingston. The confidential survey has 33 questions and will take about five minutes. We hope residents will give these young people from our community
the time they need to collect this valuable data and community perspective.”
“My firm is very pleased to be coordinating these surveys, which will help us support and guide planning and development in Midtown Kingston,” says Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Ulster County Legislator and Principal of Hone Strategic, a Kingston-based urban planning firm.  “Our pro-bono work with the great organizations involved in Midtown is intended to engage many residents and stakeholders in this process. We look forward to helping Kingston plan for an inclusive, thriving future in this beautiful part of the city.”
As an incentive to participate in the survey, residents will receive complimentary tickets to an Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) film screening. “We’re thankful to UPAC for their generous ticket donations to “The Birds” on October 28 and “A Christmas Story” on December 16,” adds Kempe. “Additionally, all survey participants will be entered into a raffle to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Masters of Illusion: Believe the Impossible! on October 2.” Surveyors will conduct door-to-door interviews between August 15 and 26 across 17 segmented areas between Clinton, Foxhall, Albany and Greenkill Avenues and Cornell Street. (See map)
“The information that this project will collect is invaluable to our efforts to address fair housing, ensure safe and healthy neighborhoods and keep our focus on what is important to the citizens of Midtown,” says Brenna Robinson, director at the City of Kingston’s Office of Economic & Community Development. “It will greatly inform our upcoming Assessment of Fair Housing Plan to be submitted to the US Department of Housing & Urban Development in 2018 and will help us to continue to allocate our annual Community Development Block Grant Entitlement awards effectively, as well as help the City to be successful in accessing other funding opportunities to support our community development efforts.”
To further document Kingston’s change, the CIM survey is followed by a photo study of the two neighborhoods, documenting buildings, properties, vacant lots and historic structures. “This part of the study holds enormous impact because of the visual comparison made after data collection,” continues Kempe. “A photo is worth a thousand words. When you see where Kingston neighborhoods were two years ago, and the improvement that has happened since our last study, you can’t deny that change is happening here in Kingston. The proof is in the pictures.” For more information on the survey project, contact CIM Team Leader Michaela Sweeney, at (845) 443-1172, 9am to 7pm.
The current Community Impact Measurement survey compliments a baseline CIM conducted in August 2013. Then and now, funding to conduct the residential surveys and photo documentation was provided by NeighborWorks America. Since 2013, RUPCO, the Hudson Valley’s premier developer and operator of affordable housing, has targeted its community development focus on Midtown Kingston with the factory-to-rental-apartments conversion of The Lace Mill on Cornell Street, a successful example of creative placemaking. RUPCO then followed with a proposal to develop a mixed-income, mixed-use newly constructed building, E2: Energy Square at the shuttered Midtown Bowling on the corner of Iwo Jima and Cedar Streets. A third initiative in midtown – to transform the MetLife building on South Prospect Street toward the arts and small, local manufacturing of specialty and entrepreneurial products – furthers RUPCO’s vison for strong vibrant and diverse communities with a home and opportunity for everyone through community wealth building.