The UJO acts as a catalyst for area-wide, long-term planning and land use changes for the purpose of creating new housing opportunities and public infrastructure improvements including parks, schools and community facilities. The UJO works with a variety of federal, state and city agencies on these projects.
The UJO acts both independently and in concert with other community based organizations to develop affordable housing. The UJO has worked to change industrial zoning to housing zoning in the Williamsburg area and thus create many more opportunities to address the affordable housing shortage with new development. Locally the UJO is partner and/or sponsor in several major affordable housing projects, creating hundreds of units in Williamsburg.
The UJO is actively engaged in revitalizing the community through its Neighborhood Preservation Consultant Program, which includes building assessments, voluntary repair agreements, assistance with city and state loans, and community education and outreach.
The UJO favors the immediate redevelopment of the Broadway Triangle area in Williamsburg as a vital community asset. The UJO supports medium-density housing development and 100% affordable housing on City-owned land. The UJO has worked for several years with local elected officials, City agencies and neighborhood organizations to bring a community plan to fruition.
The UJO is the non-profit sponsor of the Schaefer Affordable Housing Development, a 350-unit development on the Williamsburg waterfront. The UJO reinvested its own developer's fee and worked closely with the developer and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to ensure that Schaefer would have an unprecedented affordable component of 40%, or 140 units. The UJO conducted outreach and eligibility seminars to ensure that the local community was aware of this great housing opportunity. Schaefer opened its doors in the spring of 2006.