November 30, 2016

Over 60 Bronx Tenants Seek Assistance at UNHP Housing Resource Fair


At a time of record NYC homelessness, Bronx tenants are feeling the pressure of rising rents and fixed or stagnant incomes. Many need assistance to fight eviction, tenant harassment, and to receive basic housing services like heat and hot water. Others are seeking an apartment or subsidies that would help make their apartments more affordable for their families. UNHP organized the Bronx Tenant Housing Resource Fair and materials to assist Bronx residents seeking to remain housed, find another apartment or connect to services.

UNHP and 10 organizations provided information on eviction prevention and housing services at the UNHP Tenant Housing Resource Fair on November 30th. The Fair was attended by 64 Bronx tenants who joined the workshops and met with representatives from the groups for help.

On Wednesday, November 30th, UNHP organized a Tenant Housing Fair with the assistance of 10 partners, providing information and assistance with eviction prevention, legal services, rental subsidies and other services to help Bronxites remain in their apartments and understand their rights, available resources and the limited opportunities for new affordable housing.

The UNHP Tenant Housing Fair ran from 5:30pm to 8:30pm and representatives hosted tables for individual help and gave an introduction to attendees about their services. Two brief workshops were offered; one on Tenant Rights and Eviction Prevention Resources led by The Legal Aid SocietyNYC Tenant Support Unit and HomeBase, and another on Finding, Qualifying and Applying for Affordable Housing led by Jumelia Abrahamson of UNHP and Gerard from Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation.

Two workshops, held in the Concourse House chapel, covered a range of issues facing Bronx tenants. The first workshop was offered by NYC Tenants Services Unit, Home Base and The Legal Aid Society on Tenant Rights and Eviction Prevention Services. The second workshop was led by UNHP and Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation about Finding, Qualifying for and Applying for Affordable Housing.

The attendees were able to attend and ask questions at both workshops as well as get on-the spot-help at the tables with partner groups. A satisfactory credit report and savings for security are usually required as part of a new apartment application. The UNHP Financial Coach, Alma Rojas, via The Financial Clinic, provided credit scores to 17 of the participants and scheduled 13 people for follow-up assistance at the NWBRC. UNHP also provided information on the NYC Rent Freeze Program and made appointments for 16 people for SCRIE/DRIE applications and Housing Connect sign-ups. In preparation for the event, a UNHP IPED intern investigated the application process for local nonprofit housing developers and private managers. The UNHP Bronx Affordable Housing Providers & Private Managers listing and Bronx Senior Citizen Housing Providers List were made available to attendees. Other non-profit and city agencies also provided both direct help and access for follow-up services, including legal assistance, benefits help, assistance with rent arrears, eviction prevention services such as one shot deals and rental subsidies, and information about NYC housing lotteries.

The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, The Financial Clinic, POTS,and NYC Tenant Services Unit were among the 10 groups that answered questions and provided help to the attendees at the UNHP Tenants Housing Fair.

Attendees expressed satisfaction with the Fair. 19 people took an exit survey and 100% found the fair helpful, 80% of those surveyed found the services at the fair very useful and 93% found the help they were looking for. Attendees were interested in more in-depth information and most attendees were interested in searching for a new affordable apartment. While most found the Fair to be helpful, not everyone received the answers they were seeking. Long waiting lists for affordable apartments, ineligibility for rent subsidies, and problems with the quality of their living conditions are parts of the NYC housing crisis for low-income families and are not easy to resolve.

UNHP joined the 10 other groups to provide credit scores and appointments for coaching, for the NYC Rent Freeze and Housing Connect accounts. 17 people got their credit scores at the Fair, 13 people made follow up coaching appointments, and 16 people signed up for help with SCRIE/DRIE and Housing Connect.

Thank you to all the groups that came to UNHP’s Tenants Housing Resource Fair (listing of organizations and services are below). We are grateful for your partnership and look forward to working with you in the future to assist northwest Bronx residents. Thank you as well to the over 60 Bronx tenants who braved the rain and came seeking help to remain in their apartments or seek a more affordable alternative. Thank you to Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation for your participation and use of the space as well as Fordham Bedford Community Services at Refuge House. Thank you to Citi for their support of our work to offer housing services, such as NYC Rent freeze, Credit Repair and Housing Connect at the Northwest Bronx Resource Center.

University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) Northwest Bronx Resource Center

Free Financial Services, Credit Repair, SCRIE/DRIE Application, Housing Connect, Tax Preparation. *by appointment only*

2751 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10468 – (718) 933-2539

For guides, affordable housing property listings and more visit our publications page on our website.

  1. Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC)Improving Bronx neighborhoods by providing community run housing that is safe, sound and affordable.*Currently not accepting applications*

  2. The Financial Clinic1:1 Financial Coaching at the Northwest Bronx Resource Center

    2715 Bainbridge Avenue *by appointment only* – (718) 933-2539 to make an appointment

  3. POTS (Part of the Solution)A single stop organization that offers meals, a food pantry, SNAP & health insurance enrollment, case management and housing and immigration legal services.

    Legal Open Intake Monday, Thursday and Friday 9:00-11:30AM for housing and public benefits cases

    2759 Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458 – 718-220-4892

  4. West Bronx Housing & Neighborhood Resource CenterHelp with Tenant/Landlord Disputes, SCRIE/DRIE, Section 8, Navigating Housing Court, Medicare/Medicaid, Eviction Prevention and Immigration.

    Call for information and assistance.

    220 East 202nd Street Bronx, NY 10453 – 718-798-0929

  5. The Legal Aid SocietyFree legal assistance on housing, immigration, criminal and civil cases. Call 212-577-3300 for information and to see if you qualify.

    Bronx Neighborhood Office – 260 E. 161st Street, Bronx, New York 10451

    Tel.: (718) 991-4600

    Bronx Housing Court Office, 1118 Grand Concourse (at 166th Street) Bronx, NY 10451

    Tel.: (718) 681-8712

  6. Homebase – HELP USACase Management, Legal Assistance, One-shot deals and other financial help for rent arrears, housing placement help, employment services and housing subsidy applications.

    Homebase 1 – 775 Crotona Park North Bronx, NY – (718) 299-8473 (CD 3 & 6)

    Homebase II – 1780 Grand Concourse, Lower Level 1 Bronx, NY – (347) 266-4540 (CD 5, 7, & 8)

  7. Senator Gustavo Rivera’s OfficeThe Senator’s office offers free legal services, housing help and other services by schedule and during walk-in hours.

    2432 Grand Concourse, Suite 506 Bronx, NY 10458 – (718) 933-2034

  8. Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy CoalitionCommunity Organizers – Assistance organizing your building to fight for services and against harassment, legal services.

    103 East 196th Street Bronx, NY 10468 – (718) 584-0515

  9. NYC Tenant Support UnitCreated by Mayor DiBlasio to provide assistance to tenants at risk of harassment or displacement; In addition to legal referrals, TSU helps tenants by connecting them to other vital City services, such as HomeBase and HRA Job Centers, and enrolling eligible tenants in SCRIE/DRIE Rent Freeze.

    Call 311 for legal and other tenant help.

  10. Mayor’s Community Affairs UnitThe Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU) is the connection between City Hall and New York City residents throughout the five boroughs.

    Residents can call 311.

Thank you to NYS Senator Gustavo Rivera for his and his staff participation at the Fair. The Senator’s Office provides a wide array of constituent services. Assemblyman Victor Pichardo also stopped by the event and his office provides constituent services as well.