University Neighborhood Housing Program

Dear friend,


What a year it's been already - and it only looks like it will get busier in the second half. Unfortunately, the avalanche of news coverage that comes with a presidential election will probably not highlight the good things that are happening in the Bronx or the real causes of some of the problems we are trying to address. I think that this disconnect makes our work and our collaborations with other groups even more important. We will go about our work and keep the faith that this good work will make a difference in our lives, our neighbors' lives and in our neighborhoods.

I hope you will join us at our September 12th Bronx Ale House fundraiser to celebrate this good work. Ticket and sponsorship forms are included below. First, some highlights from the last few months:

Over $1.5 Million in Fee-Free Refunds!
The numbers are in and they confirm that the 2012 UNHP Free Tax Preparation Program was a record breaking success! Working with our partners, Fordham Bedford Community Services and Ariva as well as 46 volunteers primarily from Manhattan College and Fordham University, UNHP providing free tax prep at a local Citibank branch. UNHP provided free tax preparation services to 1,251 low income households.

UNHP tax clients received $1,536,063 in fee-free refunds and an average Earned Income Tax Credit refund of $1,901. Over half of our clients earned less than $10,000 last year and 30% of our clients earned between $10,000 and $30,000. Tax refunds comprise a significant portion of many local families' annual earnings.

UNHP provided 15 tax days at our site office and 10 mobile dates at local senior housing projects and other sites including our local Citibank branch as pictured in this photo.

Launching the Northwest Bronx Resource Center
UNHP reached out to the large number of local residents utilizing the free tax preparation program to promote our financial education, small business and homeowner help services. We worked successfully with other experienced non profits to provide 42 foreclosure prevention counseling sessions to local homeowners, a range of financial literacy services to 162 people and assistance to 147 neighborhood residents through our neighborhood resource fairs. Building on our work to connect local residents with the financial services they need, UNHP opened the Northwest Bronx Resource Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 19th.

Clients meet with a financial coach at the Northwest Bronx Resource Center.Pictured at right, Esbelin Guzman and Julio Almonte meet with a financial coach at our Resource Center. The couple, who also had their taxes prepared by UNHP, both spoke at the ribbon cutting. Julio said, "I had been looking for a free location to file my taxes and was very pleased not only to find the services of UNHP, but to have the process explained to us." Esbelin added, "We were also both able to attend the financial education classes and now our finances are more organized and we are saving regularly."

UNHP is working in collaboration with The Parodneck Foundation to provide foreclosure prevention counseling; with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners and The Financial Clinic for group financial workshops and individual coaching; with Ariva and Fordham Bedford Community Services for tax preparation; and Project Enterprise to help current and potential small business owners with support and micro-lending. The center is located at Refuge House where Fordham Bedford Community Services already provides tutoring, summer programs for youth, immigration services and assistance to daycare providers.

Coverage of the Northwest Bronx Resource Center launch can be found in both the online and print versions of the Norwood News.

Three Playgrounds at West Farms Arrive in Time for Summer
New playgrounds at West Farms.
Air-conditioned community rooms for summer youth programs as well as outdoor playgrounds equipped with in-ground water features were completed just in time for our latest heat wave at the West Farms renovation project. Working with Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, the renovation of the eight building, 526 unit Section 8 affordable housing complex, is on schedule to be completed by the fall. Renovations include new bathrooms, kitchens, energy efficient lighting and appliances, state-of-the-art high efficiency boilers and many improvements to the exterior and common areas.

Celebrate with us at the Bronx Ale House!
UNHP Bronx Ale House Fundraiser Pint GlassThis productive spring and summer calls for a celebration and we would like to invite you to attend UNHP's 2012 Bronx Ale House Fundraiser on Wednesday, September 12th starting at 4:30 pm. Tickets are $20 and include food and one free drink.

If you are interested in becoming an event sponsor, there is still time to make sure your name gets etched on the pint glasses we will be distributing that evening. The deadline to be listed as a sponsor is August 15.

The Bronx Ale House is located at 216 West 238th Street in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. You can purchase tickets or become a sponsor using this form.

Thank you for your interest and partnership in our work to preserve and create affordable housing and increase resources to the Northwest Bronx. We hope to see you at the Ale House!


Jim Buckley

University Neighborhood Housing Program
2751 Grand Concourse | Bronx NY 10468
Tel: 718-933-3101 | Fax: 718-933-3624 |