Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation: 1980 to Present


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Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation’s headquarters, Concourse House. The building was formerly the House of the Holy Comfort, a retirement home located on the Grand Concourse, circa 2000. (Courtesy of Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation).

Contact Information Processing Status  
History Restrictions
Scope and Content Associated Collections and Other Research Material


Contact Information

Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation
2751 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10468-3001
Phone: (718) 367-3200
Fax: (718) 562-0131
Website: www.fordham-bedford.org

Contact
Rosanna Viera, Senior Development Coordinator
rviera@fbhcnet.org

Other Individuals Familiar with the Collection
John Reilly, Executive Director

Hours Open to the Public:
Archives are available by appointment only.

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History of the Institution

By the mid 1970s, dramatic changes were occurring in the neighborhoods of the Northwest Bronx. This once safe and stable area of the borough was suffering from increasing crime, rapid out migration and disinvestment at a time when the City of New York was facing fiscal upheaval. Property values declined precipitously. Fires, either started by landlords or tenants, destroyed several buildings in this area. Originally, most of these problems were centered in the South Central Bronx; however, this destruction was quickly expanding into the Northwestern neighborhoods of the borough, in particular the areas of Fordham and Bedford Park.

Responding to these problems facing the Northwest Bronx, John M. Reilly, a Bedford Park resident, and members of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, started to meet at Our Lady of Refuge Church, along with other concerned local residents.1 Out of these meetings, Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) was established in 1980 as a housing and community development organization located in the Northwest Bronx.

Currently located in Concourse House (formerly the House of the Holy Comforter, a retirement home) on the Grand Concourse FBHC has restored and currently manages 95 apartment buildings, which consists of over 2,600 units located in the neighborhoods of Fordham and Bedford Park.2 Recently, FBHC completed construction of their largest new construction project, Jacob’s Place. Named in honor of Astin Jacobo, a native of the Dominican Republic and longtime neighborhood leader of the Crotona section of the Bronx, Jacob’s Place is an eight story, 63 unit building located at 2348 Webster Avenue.3 Like many other recent buildings constructed by FBHC, Jacob’s Place is a sustainable development, which includes bamboo flooring; energy star rated appliances; a green roof; solar panels; and low emissive and admissive argon-filled windows. The organization also established Frances Sullivan Park on Decatur Avenue and Briggs Parks on Briggs Avenue; both parks are adjacent to FBHC buildings.4

Unlike many housing development corporations, FBHC also focuses on improving community services in the neighborhoods of the Northwest Bronx. In the late 1990s, FBHC in conjunction with The Bronx County Historical Society and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation renovated Poe Park, which is located on the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. Named after Edgar Allan Poe, the renovated Poe Park includes new grass, fencing, and benches. FBHC works with local and city groups to sponsor shows for children, concerts, and movie nights at the park. Since 2001, FBHC has been in the process of working with city officials to renovate Coles Lane, a small step street that connects The Bronx Library Center on Kingsbridge Road to Bainbridge Avenue.5  

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Scope and Content

While Fordham-Bedford Housing Corporation maintains a large collection of records; only select files are available to researchers. Records surveyed for this project include architectural plans, flyers, newspaper clippings, correspondence, memorandum, and meeting minutes. Even though this project only surveyed a small selection of files, additional records may be available upon request. 

Overall Holdings of Archival Collection:
Approximately 200 cubic feet

Overall Holdings of Records Available to the Public:
Approximately 2.5 cubic feet

Overall Holdings of Archival Material Regarding African Americans in The Bronx: 
Since the FBHC was borne out of a multi-ethnic and multi-racial organizing effort, records regarding African Americans in The Bronx can be located throughout the entire collection. Also, many of the apartment buildings managed by FBHC include African American residents.

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Processing Status

A finding aid has not been published for this collection.

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Restrictions:

According to FBHC, all records are restricted except for the select files that were surveyed for this project. However, please note, that additional records may be available upon request. Files that contact confidential information such as social security numbers and income remain closed for 75 years from the date of the document’s creation.

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Associated Collections and Other Research Material:

The Bronx County Historical Society’s institutional records possibly contain information their involvement with FBHC towards renovating Poe Park. The Historical Society also maintains a vertical file regarding FBHC.

Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition

Survey conducted by Megan A. Hibbitts and Concetta Gleason in 2007.

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1 1998-1999 Biennial Report for Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, 1999.

2 Hibbitts, Megan. Interview with Pat Logan and Rosanna Viera, September 26, 2007.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

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© 2007 Bronx African-American History Project at Fordham University

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