UHAB is a nearly 50 year old community based organization working for resident-controlled housing across New York City and beyond. Our work spans affordable services for low-income housing co-ops, climate justice, homeownership loans, tenant organizing, co-op development, and advisement and technical assistance to residents and the organizations that serve them across the country.
We work with rent-stabilized tenants and affordable HDFC co-ops.
HDFCs are a community response to redlining.
The map to the left overlays redlined neighborhoods from the 1930s with current-day HDFC co-ops. HDFCs are located primarily in formerly redlined communities of color, showing their roots in the self-help housing movement.
Redlined neighborhoods like the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn, and Harlem were the main targets of disinvestment, landlord abandonment, and white flight leading up to NYC’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s. These neighborhoods are precisely where residents and community leaders supported one another through homesteading or fixing up and eventually securing legal ownership of their buildings. Tenants organized and used sweat equity—the contribution of labor in lieu of money—to carve opportunity out of crisis.