He Was Thriving in New York’s Art Scene. The Virus Changed Everything.

The New York Times, May 20, 2020HOPE member Najee Wilson is featured in the Times’ Quarantine Diaries series, where he mentions his participation in Housing Organizers for People Empowerment (HOPE): “Najee paid his bills in April with his stimulus check. In May, it was his unemployment check and some help from family that got him through. He is overwhelmed by the thought of being jobless in June. He and some neighbors are organizing a rent strike.” Watch Video.

Bringing Solar Power to New York’s Affordable Apartment Buildings

Next City, March 3, 2020 – “Solar Uptown Now was UHAB’s first big foray into solar, and UHAB’s credibility with the resident-owners of HDFC buildings was a key to moving the project forward. The 13 buildings participating in Solar Uptown Now could save nearly $2 million in energy costs over the 25-year life of the panels.” Read More

Co-op Collectibles

Urban Omnibus, January 8, 2020 – “Since the early 1970s, the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) has played an important role in creating and preserving permanently affordable housing in New York City … But UHAB’s mark can be measured in smaller ways as well.” Read More.

Press Release: Seabury Cooperative receives financing to preserve and improve their property

Connecticut Green Bank, August 13, 2019 – “‘Creating and preserving cooperative housing like Seabury is our mission’ said Andrew Reicher, Executive Director of UHAB. ‘We are excited that our training, technical assistance and bridge lending could help preserve this important affordable housing resource in New Haven.'” Read full Press Release here.

New York City’s affordable HDFC co-ops, explained

Curbed, March 25, 2020 – “Lewis searched for listings through the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, which is known for HDFC assistance; its resources include a “market and match” program with unit listings and a list of HDFC-oriented attorneys. She also took a HDFC homebuying class with the organization. ‘It was a way to learn more about these types of properties,’ Lewis says.” Read more.

Bill: Make Landlords Give Tenants First Shot to Buy Buildings

The Real Deal, January 31, 2020 – “In New York, groups including the Community Service Society, the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, the New Economy Project and tenant coalition Housing Justice For All are pushing for the state to dedicate revenue to finance and provide supportive services for such purchases.” Read More.

Building For Us: Stories Of Homesteading And Cooperative Housing

Next City, July 9, 2019 – “Groups like UHAB have been a lifeline, offering technical assistance and help finding loans and grants to co-ops like 645 Barretto Street. This helps stabilize co-ops so that low- and moderate-income owners can stay in their homes.” Read more.

CityLab University: Shared-Equity Homeownership 

CityLab, April 29, 2019 – “In 1978 alone, 11,000 buildings in New York City were converted to limited equity co-ops through these programs, according to Andy Reicher, executive director of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), which supports limited-equity co-ops.” Read more.

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Rent-stabilized tenants accuse Crown Heights landlord of harassment, neglect

Brooklyn Daily Eagle – February 22, 2019 – “Conditions inside the buildings include inadequate heat and hot water during the winter, mold, water leaks, mice and roaches, missing window guards, uncapped radiator valves and broken front doors and intercoms, according to Urban Homesteading Assistance and Brooklyn Legal Services’ Tenants Rights Coalition.” Read More.

Here’s a smart solar installation program for affordable housing you should copy

Solar Builder – December 6, 2018 – “Our joint partnership through SUN has provided education, free technical assistance, and financing options for HDFC co-ops, empowering residents to make informed decisions about if and how to use renewable energy for themselves,” said Sasha Hill, UHAB Project Associate. “When residents get power to make decisions, you can expect outcomes like this: a focus on continued affordability and sustainability for the future.” Read More.

Financing the Future of Cooperative Low-Income Housing

Next City – November 27, 2018 – “‘It’s about economies of scale,’ says Andy Reicher, who runs the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, a New York City nonprofit that has provided property management training to co-op members since the 1970s. ‘It’s difficult for a lot of lenders to make much smaller loans of under a million dollars, [typically] a few hundred thousand dollars, that oftentimes limited-equity co-ops need.'” Read More.

Go Solar Helps Buildings Plug Into Sun For Power

The Villager – November 16, 2018 – “This October, Pfandler’s building at E. Second St. and Avenue C finally was finally able to plug into sun power through the Co-ops Go Solar campaign. The effort is a partnership between two nonprofits, the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board and Solar One, to provide housing development fund corporation (H.D.F.C.) cooperatives with technical assistance to retrofit buildings with solar panels.” Read More.

Harnessing The Sun to Power Equitable Development in NYC

Next City – November 7, 2018 – “Solar One recently launched the “Co-ops Go Solar” campaign in partnership with the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, a nonprofit that supports residents to form and maintain co-op buildings. The campaign provides free technical assistance, cost estimates, roof inspections, financial incentives and funding options to install solar panels on limited-equity cooperatives — a particular form of co-op subsidized by the city to make homeownership available for low-income households. Co-ops that sign-on join a purchasing group to negotiate for lower prices.” Read More.

The State of Shared-Equity Homeownership

Shelterforce – May 7, 2018 – “Alexander Roesch of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, which is the biggest affordable co-op developer in New York City, says that since 2005, UHAB has developed 54 limited-equity co-ops encompassing 1,425 co-op units. However, relatively few new shared-equity cooperatives have been created in places where co-ops were growing in the 1960s and ’70s. And the new units that have been created have typically been through converting existing buildings into shared equity co-ops.” Read More

Affordable Solar Comes to Affordable Co-ops

Habitat Magazine – April 4, 2018 –  “’In the fall of 2016 we hosted a series of training sessions for shareholders and board members through UHAB (Urban Homesteading Assistance Board),’ Heckler recalls. ‘One session was about energy efficiency. Two technical consultants came to a training session, and they talked our building through what it would look like to do this project. It seemed feasible for us to go solar.’ Income from the co-op’s flip tax was crucial.” Read More.

Housing Brass Tacks: Limited-Equity Co-ops

Urban Omnibus – January 10, 2018 – “UHAB’s executive director, Andrew Reicher, took us through the benefits and structure of limited-equity co-ops and the group’s evolving work to organize New Yorkers for an affordable city.” Read More.

Council, administration strike accord on predatory equity bill

POLITICO – November 29, 2017 – “‘This issue has been the bane of organizers and advocates and tenants across the city for over a decade now,’ said Kerri White, the Director of Organizing and Policy at Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, a nonprofit that organizes and supports tenants. ‘From an advocate’s perspective, we’ve seen clearly the connection between harassment and physical conditions problems in buildings tied to how owners are purchasing properties, especially in rent stabilized properties,’ she said. Predatory equity grew out of the recent housing boom and bust in the city. While the housing crash’s effect on single family homes was well documented, the effects on apartment buildings were less publicized and continue long after the recession.” Read More.

First Citywide Community Land Trust Announced for NYC

Next City – October 24, 2017-  Interboro CLT partners include the Center for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYCN), Habitat for Humanity New York City (Habitat NYC), Mutual Housing Association of NY (MHANY), and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB). They hope the new CLT can help address the widening economic inequality that threatens the economic and racial diversity of the city.

Tenants Catch a Break

The Indypendent – August 20, 2017 – “’Construction as harassment’ involves the demolition and renovation of vacant apartments in a manner intended to ‘make life miserable for the tenants they’re trying to move out,’ explains Kerri White, director of organizing and policy at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board. It’s a ‘double bonus’ for unscrupulous landlords, because they can add the cost of the renovations to the rent on vacant apartments, and if any tenants move out after their ceiling collapses or they spend a month without cooking gas, the owner can renovate their apartments and charge more.” Read More.
 

Investors Move Quietly in East New York Amid de Blasio’s Housing Construction

City Limits – July 17, 2017 – “The building will soon be auctioned by the city to the highest bidder, and Urban Homesteading Assistance Board organizer Jorgy Flecha is concerned that given the zoning changes in the neighborhood, that auction might attract another neglectful owner only interested in higher rents.” Read More.
 

Will Limited-Equity Cooperatives Make a Comeback?

Shelterforce – April 25,2017 – “But navigating through a real estate purchase is complicated without help. Nonprofits like UHAB, which assist low-income residents with all the details of turning their buildings into co-ops, make a huge difference. UHAB has been part of the preservation of more than 1,600 buildings in New York City since 1973, working often with the Tenant Interim Lease program, which allowed tenants to purchase city-owned buildings that landlords had abandoned.” Read More.
 

CityViews: The Case for New Regs for the City’s Affordable Co-ops

City Limits – March 21, 2017 – “Any new regulation must be reasonable and respectful of the unique history of [HDFC co-ops]. It must not be onerous or seem demeaning to residents, who already work so hard to run and maintain their often aging buildings.” Read More.
 

Help Is on the Way for Low-Income Co-op Buildings in NYC

Next City – March 1, 2017 – “‘The real risk is that the buildings languish in the meantime,’ Reicher says, with residents living in substandard conditions. The city has low-cost loan programs meant to provide capital for repairs to co-ops and other multifamily buildings, but buildings need to have a plan to resolve municipal debt as a condition of obtaining those loans.” Read More.

City Pushes to Regulate Low-Income Coops Amid Some Shareholders’ Opposition

City Limits – February 24, 2017 – “Samantha Kattan, [UHAB’s Assistant Director of Organizing, Policy, and Research] recognizes the amount of labor and resources invested by shareholders in the past and the need for HPD to amp up its support to HDFCs going forward. But she says it’s not wise for buildings to rely on the random event of an apartment sale for revenue. Instead, HDFCs can take advantage of HPD’s new Green Preservation Loan program, among other available benefits.” Read More

Backers of Community Land Trusts Seek to Broaden Support

City Limits – February 7, 2017 – “In general, while there is excitement for the RFEI, activists are wary of the fact that HPD has not made any promises to actually respond to the proposals received. At the panel event, UHAB’s Melanie Berkowitz said HPD ought to disclose the results of the RFEI in a report so the public can be witness to the level of support for community land trusts.” Read More.

Why 2017 Could be Make-or-Break for New York’s Affordable HDFC Co-ops

Brick Underground – January 12, 2017 – “‘Instead of giving help and guidelines, this proposal is taking the viewpoint that there have been all these problems in these buildings, and we’re going to sort of police them,’ says UHAB’s Andy Reicher. ‘And that’s where the tone is wrong. These people have taken on the city’s worst housing, and have been improving and running their buildings under difficult circumstances and providing affordable housing. They ought to be recognized, and the regulatory agreement ought to be there to make things easier for them.'” Read More.

Heroic Board Member Helps Rescue Distressed Bronx Co-op

HABITAT – October 27, 2016 – “’This is not a formalized process with a form you can download from the internet,’ says [Samantha] Kattan [Assistant Director of Organizing & Policy at UHAB]. ‘This is something we had to work out with HPD. To achieve tax forgiveness involves so many hurdles that nobody had even tried it since 2001.’” Read More.

The Last Battle for Brooklyn, America’s Most Unaffordable Place to Buy a Home

The Guardian – October 3, 2016 – “The CHTU approach is straightforward. ‘We have to disrupt the landlords’ business model by helping tenants remain in their apartments,’ Girón says. There are two keys: building community, then educating tenants about their rights and how to enforce them.” Read More.

Here’s Why a Fight Is Brewing Over 30,000 Affordable Co-ops in NYC

DNAinfo – September 27, 2016 – When re-selling affordable co-ops, it’s “‘bad policy’ for HDFCs to rely on flip taxes for [building] upkeep. ‘You [would] have to make sure someone moves every year,’” according to UHAB’s Andy Reicher. Read More.
 

Why are rich kids able to buy affordable HDFC apartments?

Brick Underground – September 27, 2016 – “While some HDFC buildings are subject to flip taxes to discourage re-selling ‘affordable’ apartments at a high price, housing advocates are now also looking into the possibility of sales price caps to ensure that the co-ops stay within reach for low-income buyers. ‘We’ve been talking for years about regulating sales prices, because this is an issue,’ says Samantha Kattan, UHAB’s assistant director of organizing, policy, and research.” Read More

Photos: Crown Heights Tenants Union Protests Landlord Abuse

Gothamist – August 14, 2016 – “‘Crown Heights is basically Ground Zero for gentrification,’ Donna Mossman of the Crown Heights Tenant Union told Gothamist. The Tenants Union was founded in 2014, after Mossman and other neighborhood residents decided to mobilize against harassment by their management company, BCB Property Management, which Mossman said was trying to illegally drive rent-stabilized tenants from the building.” Read More.

Squatters of the Lower East Side

Jacobin – April 2014 – ” In the final days of the Giuliani administration…[it] was determined that the titles for the remaining eleven squats would transfer to UHAB; UHAB, in turn, would oversee the conversion of those buildings into low-income, limited-equity co-ops. And so the squatters would get to remain in their homes, becoming homeowners in the eyes of the law.” Read More.

Measuring the Impact of Airbnb Rentals on New York City’s Housing Crisis

Skift – Jun 28, 2016 – “‘As Crown Heights gentrifies, the long-term tenants we work with suffer from increased speculation and harassment to leave their homes,’ said Kerri White, director of Organizing and Policy at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board and Crown Heights Tenant Union, about the report.” Read More.

Crown Heights Tenants Sue Landlords Over Unbearable Conditions

New York Daily News – June 7, 2016 – “Residents of a Crown Heights apartment building are calling for a judge to put a stop to almost two years of unbearable living conditions, according to a new lawsuit,” with the help of The Crown Heights Tenant Union, co-founded and guided by UHAB. Read More.

UHAB’s Organizing & Policy Assistant Director Named one of Top 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture

Brooklyn Magazine – March 1, 2016 – “#74, Cea Weaver. Serving UHAB for five years and counting, Weaver is a pivotal voice and organizer within the housing rights movement in Brooklyn and NYC.” Read More.

Future of 32,000 Affordable Housing Co-ops Hangs in the Balance

DNA info – February 8, 2016 – UHAB Executive Director Andy Reicher describes the efforts of the Task Force on HDFCs (formerly the Task Force on City-Owned Property) to preserve affordable homeownership opportunities in New York City. Read more.