HDFCs are a community response to redlining.
For decades, community controlled resources have provided some of the most stable and accessible opportunities in New York City for affordable housing. We used a historic redlining map (pictured to the right) to highlight how HDFC co-ops and the tenants who steered them played in a vital role in preserving their redlined neighborhoods.
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.
Housing is a Human Right
For nearly 50 years, UHAB has been fighting for better affordable housing. We know that with the right resources and support, people have the power and knowledge to make their own housing decisions. We believe in community controlled housing.