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UNH Responds to Mayor's State of the City Speech

Wednesday, February 04, 2015
United Neighborhood Houses applauds the proposals outlined in the Mayor’s State of the City speech today to create more affordable housing as the anchor for safe and stable neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.  As an organization that has been dedicated to creating safe, stable, economically integrated neighborhoods across NYC for over 90 years, we are particularly impressed with the Mayor’s understanding that strong neighborhoods must include affordable housing, but NOT ONLY affordable housing.   Access to parks, transportation, schools, shopping, and community centers also are key ingredients for successful neighborhood life and the sense of community that supports residents across the income spectrum.   UNH member agencies – settlement houses and community centers – provide important community services like child care, afterschool, senior centers that also are essential to the health and well-being of a neighborhood.  We look forward to working with the Mayor and his administration to make sure that every neighborhood in the City has the housing and social supports that create the kinds of neighborhoods every one of us would like to live in.   

The Summer Surge: Mayor Sends in Services to Keep City Safe

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

 
Last week, the de Blasio administration announced a $210.5 million comprehensive, citywide plan to make the City’s neighborhoods safer and reduce violent crime in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments.  While the bulk of the overall investment consists of funding for repairs, maintenance and physical improvements to enhance security at NYCHA buildings – as well as redeployment of 200 Police Officers -- the new initiative also includes a $15.6 million allocation of new funding to expand community center activities and other key programs in NYCHA projects this summer.

“Mayor de Blasio’s plan to increase public safety in NYCHA developments presents a meaningful and progressive response to one of the City's most challenging problems,” said Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses (UNH). “This plan depends heavily on community-based organizations including the settlement houses who are members of United Neighborhood Houses.  The Mayor’s plan to expand nighttime and weekend youth programs and Summer Youth Employment slots will make a difference for thousands of young people.”

“The Campaign for Summer Jobs applauds Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of 850 new SYEP slots this summer for young people in public housing,” said Gigi Li of the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition and Gregory Brender of UNH, co-chairs of Campaign for Summer Jobs.  “These jobs will give valuable work experience and a paycheck to young people throughout the City…  We are thrilled that more young people will have this opportunity.”

Read the full article to see the response of UNH and partner organizations. 

UNH Gives New Leaders a Blueprint for Neighborhoods

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
In June, UNH released the Blueprint for Neighborhoods, a series of recommendations for the next Mayor to comprehensively strengthen neighborhoods. Through the Blueprint, UNH advocated for quality human services that meet the needs of all New Yorkers. Based on the settlement house core belief that community residents know what they need best, the Blueprint was built on a series of visioning sessions, where UNH learned of their concerns and what would make a difference in their lives. UNH released the report at a policy briefing attended by 80 advocates and policy makers and spread the Blueprint's message throughout the 2013 City election races, including co-hosting a Mayoral forum attended by 250 businesses and community leaders. 

Statement on NYCHA Deficit Reduction Actions

Monday, June 17, 2013

Statement of Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses

On NYCHA Deficit Reduction Actions

June 17, 2013

The drastic actions that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced last week to reduce its $205 million budget deficit will have a real and troubling impact on thousands of New Yorkers and their neighborhoods.  Essential human service programs, including community centers and senior centers, will be closed in NYCHA developments.  Rent increases to keep up with inflation for tenants subsidized by federal Section 8 vouchers will be eliminated.  Some NYCHA developments will have neither NYCHA nor nonprofit supported services available to them, likely increasing the numbers of low-income households at risk of spiraling into homelessness. 

New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development and Department for the Aging are to be applauded for quickly taking positive steps to fund services for many of the neighborhoods that will be affected by the closing of NYCHA community centers and senior centers.  However, many neighborhoods and NYCHA developments still will completely lose these services.  There is no relief for Section 8 tenants facing rent increases.

These cuts are the tragic result of the decades-long abandonment of public housing by all levels of government manifested most recently in the cuts made through the blunt and wrong-headed federal sequestration process.  Public housing is an important investment and represents essential support for New York City’s low-income and working communities.  The federal government has all but said “drop dead” to NYCHA, and it is shameful.  

Homeless Prevention program in NYS

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I applaud Ms. Susan Dominus and The New York Times for shedding some light on the plight of Bronx families who will face eviction due to Governor Paterson’s intent to cut funding for the homeless.  “A Safety Net for Those Facing Eviction Is Itself in Peril” should sound an alarm to all New Yorkers that removing homeless prevention programs will have drastic impact on the lives of many, many families."

Read the rest of Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz's post here>>

A Safety Net for Those Facing Eviction Is Itself in Peril

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Arline Bencosme heard the whispery sound of a slip of paper sliding under her apartment door just as her 14-year-old son, J. J., was walking out of the room. Before he could come back, she scooped up the eviction notice, and ran out the door, leaving J. J. with his 18-year-old brother, Martin, so she could get to the welfare office before it closed. Ms. Bencosme, a home attendant who had fallen behind on her $980 monthly rent, could not make sense of everything the piece of paper said, but this much she understood: It was a five-day notice. If she did nothing, she worried, someone would come on the sixth day and padlock the door of her family’s tidy, if cramped, one-bedroom in the Bronx. They would be homeless.

Read full article>>