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Directory of NYC Housing Programs

Urban Homestead Program (UHP)

As a response to “squatting,” where residents that illegally inhabited vacant buildings helped to revive neighborhoods, the Urban Homestead Program (UHP) granted up to $10,000 per unit to tenants willing to inhabit and simultaneously renovate vacant city-owned buildings. Participants qualified for the program through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process. After renovation, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) sold the buildings to the residents for $250 per apartment and required that the building operate as a Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) under Article XI regulations, which include limited equity on resale profits. The classification as an HDFC ensured building affordability for 40 years. HPD developed UHP following the decline of Sweat Equity, which was a similar program.

Program Information Help Icon

  • Supply/Demand: Demand
  • Category: Land and Financing
  • Scale: Small Scale (between 1 and 999 units)
  • Timeframe: 1980 - 1989
  • Occupancy tenure: Homeownership
  • Construction Type: Rehabilitation
  • Building Type: Multi-family
  • Developers/Owners: Government, Tenant

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