UHAB empowers low- to moderate-income residents to take control of their housing and enhance communities by creating strong tenant associations and lasting affordable co-ops.
Continual Learning & Self Help
When residents are informed they can take the lead in creating, managing, and preserving their housing co-op or advocating for affordable housing policy reform. Their inclusion improves neighborhoods and transforms lives. Ongoing education and training are central to strengthen housing cooperatives and tenant associations.
Democratic Residential Control & Shared Equity
Transparent leadership and the participation of a majority of residents—each contributing unique skills and perspectives—make democratic governing and organizing possible. This collective control helps prioritize a shared equity that makes affordability possible for future generations.
Economic Empowerment & Sustainability
Our tools help residents maintain lower costs of living and help demystify financial technicalities. With support and guidance, all residents should be able to access and manage their finances, and make informed decisions about their operating costs.
Theory of Change
Democratic community control is the tool that gets us to safe, affordable housing for all. It ensures that people most impacted by decisions around housing, land use, and development have a say in what their communities look like and how they’re run. HDFC co-ops, community land trusts, and strong tenant associations are all strategies for democratic community control.
UHAB was created in 1973 during the self-help housing movement. We strive to take the lessons of this vibrant movement–that people can collectively steward their own affordable housing to strengthen their neighborhoods–and organize low-income New Yorkers for democratic community control. People of color have used democratic community control for decades to improve their housing in the face of redlining, housing discrimination, gentrification, and displacement. UHAB seeks to build power in tenant and co-op communities so they can continue to build racial, social, economic, and environmental justice through cooperation.