March 2, 2023

40 and Still Fighting! UNHP’s 40th Anniversary


Norwood News Covers our 40 & Still Fighting Event!

2023 marks University Neighborhood Housing Program’s 40th anniversary year. Happily, the story of UNHP is still unfolding and we will play an essential role in addressing the serious problems that are still confronting the Bronx. The role our BIP database has played to highlight the number of families living in Signature Bank mortgaged properties and the need to preserve these multifamily properties as decent and affordable demonstrates our relevancy even after 40 years. UNHP is a very determined organization forged by the creativity and agility of the community leaders and groups that came together in the ‘70s and ‘80s to fight the devastation that was spreading in the Bronx. UNHP’s early staff and board came from those fights. The dedication, persistence, caring, and effectiveness that characterize UNHP are rooted in those years. And UNHP has been fortunate to maintain and grow a board, staff, and community members faithful to the group’s history and mission. The capacity and creativity of the organization and its staff has brought UNHP to this 40th year with 3 major functions—research and advocacy that has been utilized by community organizations, government, lenders, and bank regulators; a neighborhood resource center that has assisted thousands of Bronx residents over the past decade with housing and personal financial issues; and oversight of hundreds of affordable apartments owned by several non-profit, community-based housing organizations.

Throwback Blog Posts

UNHP is always working on something new to address longstanding issues around the condition and affordability of NYC multifamily rental housing, the preservation of Bronx community-controlled multifamily housing, the impact of redlining on our community, and the overall lack of resources and services; public, private, financial, legal, service, and housing in our Bronx community. For our 40th year, we shared our work through the years and the changes we are working to bring about.

1. UNHP Multifamily Buildings Ready to Enter the Solarverse! Our initial throwback blog post takes a look at our environmental work through the years to preserve our mission-driven portfolio of affordable multifamily rental properties in the Bronx. From creating a Green Loan Fund, and working proactively to utilize new technologies, UNHP has striven to conserve energy, reduce our carbon footprint, and lower the cost of water with an eye on the benefits of overall operating cost control on the preservation of affordability for our low-income tenants. 2023 brings an elusive goal in reach – thanks to a number of new initiatives we will be able to move forward with solar technology in our properties.

2. Asking the Banker is Not New for the Bronx On Thursday, January 26th UNHP hosted a lively bilingual Zoom connecting Bronx residents with Chase Bankers. As UNHP reflects on our 40th anniversary it struck us that UNHP and Bronx residents have been “asking the banker” for more than forty years. In this post, we look at how community reinvestment demands in 1988 created UNHP and decent affordable housing that continues to provide homes for low-income families today.

3. Housing Disconnect: Bronx Residents Want Affordable Housing Opportunities Right Away – AHORA! UNHP is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023 – what better time to return to our community-based roots and work with neighborhood residents to address our shared frustrations with the process of applying for, and getting an apartment through NYC Housing Connect? In this post, we share interviews with Bronx AHORA members, an organized group of Housing Connect users.

4. Remembering 1983 in the Bronx: Jim Buckley Interviews Brian Byrne and Jim Mitchell UNHP’s founding executive director looks back at our creation with the two people who were there at the beginning: Jim Mitchell then Director of BUILD and Brian Byrne a key player from Fordham University. Fordham played a key role in UNHP’s creation.

5. 40 Years of Highlights – UNHP Timeline Forty years is an accomplishment for any community organization and one that University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) does not take lightly. Check out the UNHP timeline with pictures and highlights of our history and accomplishments.

6. UNHP Honors its Board President Joe Muriana for our 40th Anniversary UNHP honors Joe Muriana for our 40th Anniversary! A Bronxite for the past 50 years, Fordham University administrator, adjunct professor, community organizer, executive director, and UNHP Board President, Joe has shared his skills, goodwill, and passion for the Bronx, its people, its educational institutions, housing, and businesses through his many years of dedicated service.

7. Talking about the Bronx, Buildings & Community Development with UNHP Board members, John Reilly & Joe Muriana Long-time UNHP Board members, John M. Reilly and Joseph P. Muriana share their conversation focused on Bronx community development and their work as valued community partners and members of the UNHP Board.

8. UNHP Building Indicator Database Plays Role in Preserving Bronx Buildings Mortgaged by Signature Bank UNHP’s BIP is a database of over 70,000 NYC Multifamily Properties and is a tool of the UNHP Multifamily Research and Action Center to identify and address distressed buildings in the Bronx and NYC.  More than a decade old, the BIP has been continually updated by UNHP, and its data circulated to multifamily lenders, community organizations, regulators, and housing agencies.  In 2023 the BIP has been utilized by regulators and legislators to look at the Signature Bank portfolio.

UNHP’s 40 & Still Fighting Fiesta! (and Fundraiser)

2023 is UNHP’s 40th anniversary and we were fortunate to celebrate in a variety of ways: special blog posts, interviews, an in-person party, and more. Our 40 & Still Fighting Fiesta, an in-person gathering on April 27th at Serviam Hall from 5 to 9 pm, was filled with Bronx beats and brews, Caribbean food from Ms. Viviennes, and Lloyd’s Carrot Cake: a best of the Bronx event!

Thank you to Our Sponsors

Ruby Sponsor $10,000

  • Apple Bank
  • Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation
  • M&T Bank
  • New York Community Bank, a division of Flagstar Bank, N.A.

Decades Sponsor $5,000

  • Amalgamated Bank
  • BNY Mellon
  • BUILD, Inc
  • Dougert Management
  • Hayes Family Charitable Fund
  • HSBC Bank USA
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Lemle & Wolff Companies
  • Sycamore Birch Management Corporation
  • Valley Bank
  • Webster Bank
  • William & Eileen Kreussling Charitable Foundation
  • WMW Realty Management

Affordable Housing Supporter $3,000

  • Jim Buckley and Joan Gasser
  • Community Preservation Corporation
  • Dime Community Bank
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • Esquire Bank
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Popular Bank
  • TRYAX Realty Management
  • Santander Bank
  • WithumSmith+Brown, PC

Research and Action Supporter $2,000

  • In memory of Theresa Liu-Avitabile
  • Bank United
  • Brian J. Byrne & Jean McBride-Byrne
  • Emigrant Bank
  • Highbridge CDC
  • Phipps Houses
  • John Van Bomel, Esq

Bronx Service Supporter $1,500

  • Benchmark Title Agency
  • Nancy Dillon & Edward O’Brien
  • Denis Sullivan & Patricia Haran
  • VaNessa LaNier
  • Joe Muriana and Annelen Madigan
  • Part of the Solution (POTS)
  • Ridgewood Savings Bank
  • Henry Schwalbenberg
  • Skyline 1 LLC
  • Spring Bank

Views NWBX Supporter $800

  • Denis & Peggy Boyle
  • The Bronx Design Group
  • The Bronx Pro Group
  • Brown & Brown
  • The Clarke Family
  • Alfred & Patricia Drummond
  • Sandra Erickson Real Estate, Inc
  • Fordham University
  • Roger & Geri Hayes
  • Johanna C. Kletter
  • The Mitchell Family
  • Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC)
  • Sklar & Sandler, LLP
  • Spanarkel Browne & Associates – Merrill Lynch
  • USA East Province of the Society of Jesus
  • Workforce Housing Group

Community Contributor $300-$700

  • La Familia Abrahamson
  • Linda Blackstock
  • Diana Breen
  • Mark Bourbeau
  • Capital Appraisal Services
  • Dailey Walker Strategies
  • The Conley Family
  • Forsyth Street Affordable Housing
  • Oda C. Friedheim
  • John Reilly & Lois Harr
  • Mike Lappin, Lappin Associates
  • LES People’s Federal Credit Union
  • The Heng Ly Family
  • The Jost Family
  • O’Toole & O’Leary Family
  • Chris Planicka
  • The Strojan Family
  • Roxanna Chowdry-Velasquez