In the late 1970s, a small group of committed Northwest Bronx residents met at Our Lady of Refuge Church to discuss the growing housing crisis in the Bronx. Buildings were deteriorating and arson was on the rise. A nearby neighborhood had lost 50 apartment buildings to abandonment in one winter. Something needed to be done.
Northwest Bronx community advocates Fran Sullivan, Florence Bailey, Raquel Colon,
and Gene Davis at the new Briggs Avenue Playground.
Residents of the Northwest Bronx explored ways to leverage private and public resources to renovate existing housing stock. Putting ideas into action, in 1980 they created a community-sponsored housing company called Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation to help tenants save their homes. Today, Fordham Bedford manages over 110 properties in the Northwest Bronx, providing safe and affordable housing to over 3,500 families.
HPD Commissioner Anthony Gliedman and Kay McGrath on Briggs Avenue
during a neighborhood housing tour in the early 1980s.
Over the years, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation has grown to meet the changing needs of its community. In 1991, the organization established Concourse House to provide transitional housing and support services for homeless women and their children. And in 1995, the organization expanded once again to form Fordham Bedford Community Services which provides vital support programs to Northwest Bronx residents including childcare, after school tutoring, and adult education classes.
Northwest Bronx community advocates Fran Sullivan, HPD Commissioner Anthony Gliedman, and
Mayor Ed Koch celebrate the city’s Tenant Iterim Lease (TIL) program.
For the past few years, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation has produced Art on the Concourse an event showcasing the artistic talents of its community members. Fordham Bedford youth, mothers, and seniors present artwork and poetry they created attending art programs at Fordham Bedford sites across the Northwest Bronx. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will present this year’s event in a virtual format on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
John Reilly, Virginia Matic, and Joseph Muriana celebrate the opening of
Edison Arms on Decatur Avenue in the early 1990s.
To commemorate 40 years of service to the Northwest Bronx community, we have undertaken an oral history project to preserve the stories of people involved in the founding and evolution of Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation and its agencies.
Lillian Barrios-Paoli, former Commissioner of NYC Housing Preservation and Development, greets residents
celebrating the opening of Edison Arms on Decatur Avenue in the 1990s.
On November 12th, we will share the story of how—from its founding through to the present day— Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation has managed to meet the ever-changing needs of Northwest Bronx residents, empowering the community to thrive. We hope you will join us in celebrating this milestone anniversary!