University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) commemorated 30 years of affordable housing and neighborhood achievements on October 3rd, with a unique Bronx Celebration. Held at the historic Apple Bank Branch on the Grand Concourse, UNHP honored Dr. Brian Byrne, Vice President of Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, for his commitment to UNHP as a long-time board member and founding force of the organization’s mission.
Brian Byrne came to the Bronx in 1971 to do doctoral work in philosophy at Fordham University but was soon diverted into also helping found the Northwest Bronx community and Clergy Coalition. In 1979 he became Assistant to the President of Fordham for Urban Affairs and set about building better relationships between this traditional, liberal arts institution and its surrounding community. Examples of this effort included University sponsorship of a series of South Bronx planning forums, sponsorship of two housing projects for the elderly and handicapped and formation of an active community service program for Fordham students.
The University Neighborhood Housing Program was founded in 1983 as part of this effort initially using tax credit financing to rehabilitate four buildings in the Fordham Road corridor. Over the last 30 years Brian has remained an active member of the UNHP Board while the organization has evolved as an independent, non-profit flexible instrument using a variety of strategies to preserve affordable housing in the Bronx.
After twenty years as Vice-President for Administration at Fordham, he moved to Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus but never lost sight of his roots in the Bronx where he serves as a board member of a number of other community housing projects. A graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, he received his M.A., MBA and Ph.D. from Fordham and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. As Dr. Byrne, Brian has taught a wide variety of courses in philosophy, business ethics and urban studies at Fordham and other local colleges.
Crain’s NY featured Brian in an article about Fordham University’s Lincoln Center expansion.