On Saturday, October 20th, UNHP held its 2nd annual Bronxtober Fest – a daylong resource fair featuring 9 nonprofit experts, 4 NYC agencies, M&T Bank, and 23 student volunteers from Fordham University and Manhattan College. 87 Bronx residents attended the fair to get on-the-spot assistance and follow-up information. Thanks to our student volunteers, over 60 attendees enrolled in Housing Connect, NYC’s online affordable housing lottery.
Attendees had the opportunity to speak to legal representatives, bankers, counselors, advisers and program associates with public agencies and non-profit groups specializing in assistance to tenants, homeowners, small businesses, immigrants and first-time homebuyers. On-site NYC Housing Connect, NYC Rent Freeze, Ready to Rent financial coaching and eviction prevention assistance were popular and available throughout the day-long event. Special thanks to our neighborhood partner, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation for the use of Concourse House and technical assistance.
Participating Bronxtober Fest Groups
UNHP Northwest Bronx Resource Center: Event Sponsor – Housing Connect enrollment on site, reduced fare metro cards for seniors, schedule appointments for 1:1 financial coaching, homeowner assistance, eviction prevention, and the NYC Rent Freeze.
- NYC Department of Finance: The NYC Rent Freeze Program for seniors (62 and over) and people with disabilities and NYC homeowner tax discount programs
- NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD): Housing Connect Information table and housing lottery workshops
- NWBCCC: Weatherization Program – NYS Energy and Cost Saving Programs
- Catholic Charities: New Americans Hotline Counselor- Immigration and Refugee services
- NYC Commission on Human Rights: NYC Human Rights Law, legal protections on Fair Housing, Source of Income discrimination, the Fair Chance Act and credit history discrimination.
- Part of The Solution (POTS): SNAP, health insurance, food pantry, case management, employment, and immigration services.
- AAFE/Renaissance Economic Development Corp: First-time Homebuyer Programs and help for small businesses.
- Ariva: Ready to Rent- Financial Sessions for those enrolled in Housing Connect
- Larimar Community Center: Afterschool and summer camp programs, CPR training
- M&T Bank: Local Grand Concourse Branch - account, financial services, and homebuyer programs.
- NYC Tenant Support Unit: Eviction Prevention Assistance for NYC Tenants
- Legal Aid Society: Legal advice services for Homeowners, Renters, and Immigrants.
Last year, UNHP became an HPD Housing Ambassador and began offering assistance to Bronx residents who want to apply for the NYC affordable housing lottery. Multifamily buildings, whose construction is financed by city funds, select tenants through a lottery system. Due to the affordability crisis in NYC, UNHP has had a hard time keeping up with the demand for this service. Thanks to the help of 20 student volunteers from Fordham University and 3 Manhattan College students, we were able to assist over 60 Bronxites to enroll in the lottery at Bronxtober Fest.
It was an especially popular service as an affordable housing project for very low-income senior citizens was open. UNHP is happy to provide this service, but it by no means addresses the affordable housing crisis for Bronx residents – many people do not earn enough income to qualify for the lotteries, chances of getting selected are low and people we’ve seen who get notified have very high lottery numbers. UNHP works to provide additional affordable housing services to help people remain housed and afford their rents. NYC Tenant Support Unit offers eviction prevention services twice a month at the NWBRC and UNHP assists seniors and people with disabilities freeze their rents via SCRIE and DRIE every week at the NWBRC. UNHP also works as part of our mission to create affordable housing and fight to preserve rent-stabilized multifamily buildings in the Bronx for the low-income families who live there now.