Saturday, April 8, 2017

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Newburgh, RUPCO launch another major center city housing rehab venture

One of the properties to be rehabbed

NEWBURGH – In the next 18 months, RUPCO plans to bring 45 affordable apartments online on five city blocks just off Broadway in Newburgh. 

The Kingston-based agency will be working with the Newburgh Community Land Bank, Safe Harbors of the Hudson, New York State Homes & Community Renewal, the City of Newburgh and key funders to resurrect 15 properties and 47 homes in a four-block neighborhood nestled between Broadway and First, Miller and Lander.

It's another venture in broadening the scope of RUPCO, which had its beginning in Kingston under the original name Rural Ulster Preservation Company.  RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor said Newburgh is a logical move for them.

“We do certain things well,” O’Connor said.  “We like to work with communities rather than in communities.  We don’t just have a product that we roll out.  We think that we’re pretty adept at helping our communities identify a need than bringing in some resources.  So, we thought we could break the barriers and work in the Hudson River Valley, and, we have done that and we’re going to continue to look for opportunities so we can make an impact.”

Mayor Judy Kennedy said this fulfills a key goal she has for the city.

“This has been a project that I have promoted, that I actually asked for before it got started,” Kennedy said.  “I couldn’t be more pleased because this is a definitive model of affordable housing that I have been asking for and promoting because it helps restore our neighborhoods.”

That’s what appealed to Councilwoman Karen Mejia, who said “our heart is one” as she spoke of a city full of “nuggets.”

“I think when you drive around our city, you see that a lot of our housing is not in the strongest status that they could be, thus representing some of our families and I think today’s presentation of the work that’s coming is exactly that,” Mejia said.  “RUPCO is going to be breathing life back into building that have been vacant and taken over by Mother Nature for decades, and that’s sort of an important nugget that we have to focus on and I’m so thrilled about it.”


O'Connor: "... work with comunities rather than
in communities"

Mejia: "Our heart is one"

About 75 people attended the formal project announcement at the Safe Harbors facility on lower Broadway, in the heart of the target area.  Safe Harbors Executive Director Lisa Silverstone said among the beneficiaries of the project will be the homeless, veterans, low-income working adults and artists.

 


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