On a hot summer night a small group of Fordham Bedford residents met to discuss the problem of housing deterioration in their Northwest Bronx neighborhood. Bronx housing was being destroyed at an alarming pace. Thousands of homes were lost to arson and the destruction was gaining a foothold in their community.
The issues were overwhelming. The City of New York was foreclosing on buildings due to unpaid taxes. Banks refused to make new mortgages. Tenants sought relief from dangerous conditions in Bronx Housing Court and administrators were appointed by the Court to run these buildings. Owners abandoned their neglected buildings. The people who met that summer began a community response to save their homes.
In 1980 they launched the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation. Volunteers managed several buildings. They enlisted the support of tenants and addressed emergency situations. When funding came from the Campaign for Human Development they hired building management staff. They bought deeds, signed building leases with the City and were appointed in Housing Court to run buildings.
The Housing Corporation brought government and private funds into its housing. It took on more buildings and gained expertise in renovating occupied apartments.
Today a well-established, non-profit organization supervises the operation of 130 buildings with more than 4000 affordable apartments throughout the Northwest Bronx. Our affiliates provide specialized housing for homeless families and services for young people, the elderly and immigrant populations. This site provides a look at our community and some of the work we do every day.
Community Background Today
The Bronx is the poorest urban county in the United States and we work in some of the poorest parts of the Bronx. FBHC provides the majority of its services in Bronx Community Boards 5, 6 and 7. These districts contain some of the lowest median incomes in NYC.
The people living in these districts often pay more than 50% of their income towards rent and their housing is too often in a state of disrepair. These are the circumstances that make our work to provide housing that is safe and affordable still critical needs as demand for and the cost of housing continues to rise.
More information on housing conditions and costs as well as information on health, education, incomes in the Bronx is available from the University Neighborhood Housing Program at unhp.org.