Fordham University’s Brian J. Byrne, Ph.D., vice president for Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, will be honored Oct. 3 at the 30th anniversary celebration of the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP).
Byrne will be awarded the UNHP’s Founder’s Award in recognition of his longtime service to the organization, which he helped to establish in 1983. Fordham’s Board of Trustees initiated the effort as a way for the University to have a greater involvement with the Bronx Community Redevelopment, which centered on the housing preservation and redevelopment during some of the Bronx’s darkest days.
“Brian Byrne has long been not just a supporter, but a staunch advocate for the communities surrounding Fordham’s campuses,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “His work and influence have improved the lives of our neighbors, and helped build and improve upon vibrant communities. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of this honor.”
The UNHP is a community-based nonprofit that aims to create, preserve, and improve affordable housing in the Northwest Bronx and New York City. Founded jointly by Fordham and the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, the UNHP began by purchasing dilapidated privately owned buildings and renovating them to create affordable housing.
Since then, the organization has expanded its work to meet the various needs of the Northwest Bronx community. In addition to continuing to improve distressed multifamily buildings, the UNHP issues low-interest loans, provides technical assistance to community leaders, neighborhood groups, and housing managers, and organizes around researching issues that impact housing affordability. Its Building Indicator Project is responsible for improving thousands of distressed multifamily units and maintaining the affordability of over 80 multifamily buildings.
In 2011, UNHP opened the Northwest Bronx Resource Center to provide financial education, foreclosure prevention, free tax preparation, and small business help.
The Oct. 3 commemoration will be held at the historic Apple Bank Branch on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. For more information, visit the UNHP website.