Community development success stories from around the country are available December 12. The new book, “NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network,” highlights innovative solutions to community development and housing challenges from the NeighborWorks America (NWA) network of local nonprofits. RUPCO is one of 140 organizations featured from the NWA membership.
“We actually have two stories in #OurNWBook,” says Kevin O’Connor, chief executive officer at RUPCO. “The first is about the collaborative nature The Lace Mill and how the community influenced our design and living dynamic there.” The story also includes comment from local photographer Rubi Rose, one of the Lace Mill’s 55 resident-artists and can be found in the “Place-based Investments” section of the book.
“The second story focuses on RUPCO’s energy efficiency program, Green Jobs | Green New York (GJGNY),” adds O’Connor. “We’ve extended specific effort to connect with the Latino community, as many of these families can benefit most from the energy audit and weatherization services.” In the last five years, GJGNY has helped 2409 families in 10 counties with free and low-cost home energy assessments and helped homeowners minimize utility bills through home energy savings recommendations. The monetary impact of this energy-saving work totals over $5.3 million. This story is listed in the section “Affordable Homes.”
RUPCO is a member of the NeighborWorks network—more than 245 nonprofit organizations based in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The network was founded and is supported by NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. As a member of the NeighborWorks network, RUPCO has been rigorously assessed for high standards of performance and operation. In 2016, RUPCO received “exemplary” status for its performance in five areas. NWA awarded RUPCO chartered member status in 1998 and audits the community developer every three years to ensure the excellence of the network.
“Community-based nonprofits are creating economic opportunity for more Americans through cross-sector collaborations, complementary investments and collective problem-solving,” says Paul Weech, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America (NWA). “This book will allow us to share what works, as well as what doesn’t work – an important part of innovation.”
essays inside “NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network” demonstrate how housing can be a platform for advancing health, education, workforce development, and youth leadership. Featured success stories illustrate how to facilitate affordable housing, whether owned or rented; supportive housing for senior citizens or the disabled; engage residents of varying ages, cultures and races; revitalize declining neighborhoods; and measure outcomes. Policymakers at the local and state levels, funders, and journalists will find it a rich source of ideas related to community development trends, challenges, and solutions.
“RUPCO is offering the book as part of our year-end fundraising appeal,” notes O’Connor. “For a donation of $50 or more, you receive NeighborWorks Works; a signed limited edition print “Give Housing a Voice” by local artist Stephen Hargash; and the satisfaction knowing your donation makes home matter here in the Hudson Valley.”