November 17, 2014

Piggy Banks, Credit Reports and a Commitment for Savings at West Farms Square


West Farms Social Services joined forces with University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) to host a well- attended Credit and Savings Extravaganza at the West Farms Square affordable housing development on Wednesday, November 5th from 1 to 7pm. Thirty-four West Farms tenants (and a few from neighboring buildings) attended the fair, and twenty people participated in the afternoon credit workshop. Thirty-four credit reports were printed that day or on the days preceding the Extravaganza in the West Farms computer lab.

Nikki, on left, signs up workshop attendees to get a credit report print-out analysis. Jumelia, on right, leads a mini presentation on credit and savings to 20 participants.

The West Farms Credit and Savings Extravaganza provided a day-long resource fair with opportunities for learning about credit and savings building, obtaining a credit report and analysis from a trained financial coach, one-on-one assistance and follow up about healthcare and public benefits. Twelve people participated in a session with the financial coach and thirteen people scheduled a follow-up appointment on site at West Farms for 11/26/14.

Financial Coach, Brian Bier, helps a West Farms resident understand their Credit Report.

Shyla Espejo, the Tenant Resource Coordinator from Fordham Bedford Community Services provided information about rental assistance programs, and Govind Shantharamrom from SeedCo assisted attendees with healthcare questions and follow-up. Brian Bier, UNHP’s financial coach via The Financial Clinic, reviewed credit reports and scheduled follow-up meetings with interested attendees.

SeedCo representative, Govind, assists a West Farms resident navigate the healthcare information in hand.

In addition to fitness and bingo sessions for older residents, West Farms Social Services, led by MSW Norsy Jimenez, runs an afterschool program for about 20 school-age children. UNHP’s Jumelia Abrahamson led a savings workshop for the nine children in the afterschool program prior to the Credit and Savings Extravaganza. After the workshop, the kids painted and decorated piggy banks to collect their future savings.

Jumelia shares the value of saving with the West Farms after school program children. After the presentation, each child decorated and painted a piggy bank to store their future savings.

UNHP looks forward to working with our partners, and West farms Social Services to increase the availability for financial resources in the West Farms community. A tax day run by Ariva, a Getting Ahead Workshop run by Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners and on-site financial coaching are in the future for West Farms Square.

Lunch and raffles were part of the day-long Credit & Savings event.

About West Farms

Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) and University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) acquired West Farms, an eight building, 526 unit Section 8 affordable housing complex in 2011.  Built in 1973, FBHC and UNHP oversaw the two year construction period that resulted in new playgrounds, improved common areas, new kitchens and bathrooms for residents and a multitude of energy saving improvements. The renovated community rooms and new computer lab provide the spaces for the many programs for youths and seniors in the development. Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation provides the on-going management of the property and Fordham Bedford Community Services oversees the on-site social services.