By Anna Margarita Canero
Since September 2019, I’ve had the great opportunity to intern with University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP), a nonprofit committed to bringing affordable housing and financial services to the Bronx. UNHP achieves this mission via three channels. First, the organization oversees 27 multifamily buildings that provide homes for 1,216 Bronx families. Second, UNHP provides research on emerging issues that impact the affordability of NYC neighborhoods. Lastly, UNHP is home to the Northwest Bronx Resource Center (NWBRC) – a partnership with community organizations that provides free housing and financial resources. This includes financial education, foreclosure/eviction prevention, tax preparation, NYC affordable housing lottery, and NYC rent freeze enrollment.
UNHP has many activities, and as a program intern, I am able to contribute my skills in a variety of ways. I lead weekly staff meetings on the NWBRC, developing strategies with my co-workers on how to better serve our community through direct services. The data analysis and reporting skills I have gained from IPED inform my work in the research department. Currently, I am working on a research project where we assess the viability of the NYC housing lottery for Bronx residents. On the administrative side, I was able to take the lead on creating UNHP’s 2018-2019 biennial report, which can be seen here. The best part is that UNHP’s work isn’t confined to the office. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly on resource fairs, housing workshops, and the annual tax preparation program to serve the community face-to-face. I’ve met a lot of Bronx residents through these events, which have brought me closer to the community. I am grateful for all the experiences I’ve had with UNHP, as working with a dedicated team on important issues is a reward in itself.