June 22, 2019

Trifecta has UNHP Buzzing!


The view down Kingsland Plaza onto West Tremont Avenue never looked so good! The crowd of tenants, KingBee fans, passersby, and partners look on as KingBee gets ready to unveil his bee-utiful mural on the site of one of UNHP’s affordable housing buildings

UNHP is still buzzed from our Reclaiming Our Community Thru Affordable Housing, Art and Services Day on June 19th. The trifecta of events started with a lunch and training for superintendents about the services we offer for tenants, then a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the brilliant honeycomb mural created for UNHP by noted artist, The Royal KingBee and finally a well-attended Community Resource Fair for tenants, homeowners, and senior citizens.

All three events took place at 45-67 West Tremont Avenue, a building that was once abandoned and vacant. The building was reclaimed and renovated using the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in 1990 with UNHP as part of its ownership structure and oversight. Today, 45-67 West Tremont Avenue provides affordable rental homes to 51 low-income families. UNHP Director of Finance and Real Estate, Johanna C. Kletter and Asset Manager, Brendan Mitchell work with our management partner, Dougert Management to ensure that the properties are well maintained and upgraded as needed. Fifteen years after the initial gut renovation, the building was improved with significant energy efficiency upgrades including a new boiler, windows, and roof. When the property became a target for unwanted graffiti, UNHP sought out and engaged the renowned Bronx Artist The Royal KingBee to create murals for the properties in his iconic Bee-utiful style. The local paper, The Norwood News was on hand to capture the mural reveal and interviewed the artist as well as some of the people, past and present, who are part of the building’s transformation story. Read the Norwood News article here.

Extensive outreach by UNHP resulted in a large turnout for the Community Resource Fair. Attendees checked in with Laura, our Housing and Financial Services Advocate and were directed to the appropriate table for financial, legal and housing services.

Reclaiming our Community thru Affordable Housing, Art and Services, highlighted the spectacular KingBee mural, UNHP’s commitment to create and preserve affordable housing for Bronx residents and our work to bring resources to the community. UNHP and our partners, NYC Legal Aid SocietyNYC Department of FinancePOTSChaseCapital OneAmalgamated BankAriva Ready to RentHuman Rights Commission and NWBCCC Weatherization Assistance were available to offer a range of services and information to the over 60 Bronx residents who attended the Community Resource Fair. UNHP was lucky enough to have two gifted photographers at the event; amateur Yoelvis Marte and professional photographer Dana Ullman – so we will let the pictures tell this trifecta story.

The day started with a quick staff meeting and a luncheon for our community development partners and the superintendents of UNHP properties. Jumelia Abrahamson, Director of the Northwest Bronx Resource Center provided an information session about the available free resources for neighborhood residents and UNHP tenants at the Center.

Nine public, non-profit and corporate partners (pictured above) were on hand to offer on-the-spot legal, financial and housing services and follow-up. UNHP also offered Housing Connect enrollment on site for NYC’s affordable housing lottery. UNHP returned to this location on the following day to complete enrollment for interested tenants.

The day was a joyful and purpose-filled one. A day where we took time to have some fun, celebrate our history and then jump right back into our mission-driven work to create and preserve affordable housing and bring needed resources to our northwest Bronx community. UNHP invites you to check out our social media platforms, FacebookInstagram and Twitter for more photos and quotes from KingBee fans and neighborhood residents. Reclaiming our Community thru Affordable Housing, Art and Services was generously sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Who is the KingBee without his Queen Bee? Alfredo Bennett and his lovely mother added to the fun and celebration of the day!