Urban Edge

Building Community

aka Urban Edge   |   Roxbury, MA   |  www.urbanedge.org

Mission

Urban Edge is dedicated to strengthening communities and families. Together, we build affordable housing and vibrant, prosperous neighborhoods.

Ruling year info

1984

CEO

Mr. Emilio Dorcely

Main address

1542 Columbus Avenue

Roxbury, MA 02119 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

22-2483475

NTEE code info

Housing Development, Construction, Management (L20)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Urban, Community (S31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Boston was ranked the third-most gentrified city in the nation, according to a study published in June 2020 by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. In Roxbury, it is even worse. The City of Boston’s Imagine Boston 2030 Report states that housing prices in Roxbury rose nearly 70 percent between 2010 and 2015, while housing prices in Boston as a whole only increased by 36 percent. This gentrification is particularly distressing because it displaces black and brown people from this historically African-American neighborhood with much pride in its history. Not only do we need to share residents in equity, but we also need to stave off the erasure of this neighborhood in Boston. The wealth gap between Black and Brown families as compared to Whites is actually harmful to all.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Real Estate Development

Affordable housing development, urban development, property acquisition, renovations, and other development projects

Population(s) Served

Urban Edge’s Homeownership Promotion & Preservation program builds individual wealth and creates economically resilient families through four projects: First-Time Homebuyer Education, Foreclosure Prevention Counseling; Student Loan Debt Counseling; and Credit Counseling Boot Camp sessions. But Urban Edge’s services don’t end there. We operate a nonprofit real estate brokerage agency to serve low and moderate-income families better and help them purchase a home in this competitive Greater Boston market.

Our overall goal is to ensure that low and moderate-income families living in Roxbury, the surrounding neighborhoods, and Greater Boston have access to quality homes in this ever-increasingly competitive market and have the income to stay there for years to come. By providing a “one-stop-shop,” we have established ourselves as a place to go for such services.

Population(s) Served

As an owner of 1,369 affordable rental homes, we provide comprehensive housing support services to ensure housing stability and maximize family health. Services include family budgeting and credit, parenting education and support groups, civic engagement, leadership development, concrete support in times of need, and youth jobs.

Population(s) Served

Free tax preparation services for the community

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

NeighborWorks America 2010

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

CDC - State certified Community Development Corporation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of LMI first-time homebuyers created

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Homeownership Promotion & Preservation

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Foreclosures Prevented

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Homeownership Promotion & Preservation

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Number of new affordable homes constructed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Real Estate Development

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of affordable homes rehabbed/updated to preserve affordability

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Real Estate Development

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Fathers in "Fathers R Us" cohort

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Resident Support Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of tax returns completed by volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our Community Investment Plan for 2020 mirrors the five intended outcomes of our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan: Egleston and Jackson Squares are destination neighborhoods in the City of Boston; Urban Edge’s integrated programs in economic resiliency, education, and public health/wellness strengthen families and youth, who are the bedrock of our community; Neighborhood real estate markets meet the housing demands of all families; A strong partnership between a committed Board of Directors and high performing professional staff drives an aggressive community development agenda; and Urban Edge’s high-quality performance and innovation is widely recognized, resulting in increased resources to serve our community.

In 2020, our efforts will result in more than 2,500 unduplicated families celebrating the following.

• 600 families receiving tax prep. services
• 120 resident households living in Urban Edge housing counseled on family financial counseling and budgeting
• 600 First-Time Homebuyer workshop graduates—150 becoming homeowners
• 30 homeowners counseled through our foreclosure prevention program—with 15 avoiding foreclosure
• 75 borrowers counseled on alleviating student loan debt
• 150 “Credit Counseling Boot Camp” classroom graduates, with 100 receiving intensive one-on-one counseling
• 30 youth placed into summer jobs
• 1,500 families with new back-to-school supplies, children’s holiday gifts, and Thanksgiving turkeys
• 20 families bonding with each other and preparing their children for Pre-K in our Strong Start program
• 20 fathers peer-building in our partnership program at Mildred Hailey Apartments – Fathers R Us
• 400 pledges to vote in the 2020 election
• Turning out residents to participate and be counted in the 2020 Census.
• 24 new families receiving a “welcome to Urban Edge housing” visit
• 100 residents engaged in community leadership opportunities
• 78 affordable rental units in the renovation/refinance pipeline
• 127 affordable rental units in the new construction pipeline
• An average occupancy rate of 98%

Urban Edge strives to build and preserve as many affordable rental homes as possible to help address gentrification. At the same time, we work to help families, particularly Black and Brown families, build wealth through buying a home they own.

Urban Edge has the experienced staff and Board to meet families where they are at. Our Board and staff are reflective of the community we serve because we are part of the community.

Our Community Investment Plan for 2019 mirrored the five intended outcomes of our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan: Egleston and Jackson Squares are destination neighborhoods in the City of Boston; Urban Edge’s integrated programs in economic resiliency, education, and public health/wellness strengthen families and youth, who are the bedrock of our community; Neighborhood real estate markets meet the housing demands of all families; A strong partnership between a committed Board of Directors and high performing professional staff drives an aggressive community development agenda; and Urban Edge’s high-quality performance and innovation is widely recognized, resulting in increased resources to serve our community.

In 2019, our efforts resulted in more than 2,500 unduplicated families celebrating the following.

• 524 families receiving tax prep. Services—injecting more than $1M into our local economy
• 83 households ling in Urban Edge-owned affordable rental housing counseled on family financial literacy and budgeting
• 739 First-Time Homebuyer workshop graduates—157 becoming homeowners
• 27 homeowners counseled through our foreclosure prevention program—with 15 avoiding foreclosure
• 81 borrowers counseled on alleviating student loan debt
• 278 “Credit Counseling Boot Camp” classroom graduates
• 30 youth placed into summer jobs
• 1,500 families with new back-to-school supplies, children’s holiday gifts, and Thanksgiving turkeys
• 20 families bonding with each other and preparing their children for Pre-K
• 21 actively involved fathers in Fathers R Us group; 2 gained custody of their children, 2 obtained housing, 1 enrolled in college, and 4 access to gainful employment
• 400 pledges to vote in the 2019 election
• 76 new families receiving a “welcome to Urban Edge housing” visit
• 109 residents engaged in community leadership opportunities
• 187 affordable rental units in the renovation/refinance pipeline
• 196 affordable rental units in the new construction pipeline
• An average occupancy rate of 98.5%

In 2021, Urban Edge will commence a new strategic plan, which will continue our important flagship programs, with great attention to racial justice and anti-racism.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We all know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone. Our hearts are heavy, and spirits are nearly broken. But the families in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain are getting hit even harder. In the City of Boston, black and brown residents make up the majority of COVID-19 cases when race is known. Half the people we recently polled have seen a reduction in their income or lost their job altogether. While there’s been a groundswell of support, we’re still seeing a gap between what families have and what they need to make ends meet. What we’re doing about it First up is cash into the hands of people who need it. We’ve started distributing $150 cash cards to families in need.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Urban Edge
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Urban Edge

Board of directors
as of 11/9/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bruce Ehrlich

Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation

Term: 2020 - 2023

Anne McKinnon

Jacobs Engineering Group

Genie Curry

Retired; Resident in the Urban Edge portfolio of homes

Diane Stafford

Boston Public Schools; Resident in Urban Edge portfolio of homes

Alison Haight

Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Johanna Smith

Retired

Eddie Jenkins

Attorney Eddie Jenkins & Associates, PC

Darlene Atkins

Newton Public Schools; Resident in Urban Edge portfolio of homes

Natacha Dunker

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Bruce Erlich

Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp

Benjamin Forman

MassINC

Beryl Harris

Community volunteer; Resident in Urban Edge portfolio of homes

Donovan Montrose

Community volunteer; Resident in Urban Edge portfolio of homes

Teresa Rodriguez

The Winsor School

Jacqueline Cummings-Furtado

Quincy Geneva Housing Corporation

Andrew Sobers

GMH Associates

Nathan Zielonka

Zielonka Financial Services, LLC

Jeanette Callahan

Cambridge Health Alliance

Arealus Pough

Lena Park CDC

Wanda Atkins

VA Boston Healthcare System

Jacquinn Sinclair

The Community Builders

Sebastian Zapata

The Alliance for Business Leadership

Mirella Cruz

New England Baptist Hospital

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/27/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/24/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.