Archive for Archival Library

Why Do Tenants Move?

Moving: not everyone's favorite activity.Moving: not everyone’s favorite activity.

Learning the reasons why households move is one of the holy grails of housing research. Along with how many housing units get built every year and how many New Yorkers live in informal apartments, this is one question without a satisfactory answer. In 1940, CHPC—or the Citizens’ Housing Council, as it was then known—tried to figure it out.

Much ado gets made these days about the displacement of tenants as rents rise in our neighborhoods. Unfortunately, a scarcity of data leads to unproductive conversations in which people speak either past each other or in circles.…

Read more

Affordable Housing Exhibit Opens at City Museum

2015-09-17 20.19.07The Affordable New York exhibit on its opening night. Image: CHPC

CHPC was excited to attend the opening of Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy, the newest exhibition of the Museum of the City of New York.

Based on the idea that affordable housing is ubiquitous in New York City, though most of it goes unnoticed, Affordable New York offers a survey of government intervention in the housing market. The exhibition spans the development of New York’s public housing projects in the mid-20th Century, to the bold leadership that dragged the city from economic and social doldrums in …

Read more

Housing exhibition features Inside the Rent

MCNY aff. housing promotional

The Museum of the City of New York will open its latest exhibition Thursday, Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy, co-sponsored by CHPC.

The exhibition will display numerous original materials from CHPC’s Marian Sameth and Ruth Dickler Archives and Library, and visitors will also be able to play CHPC’s Inside the Rent game on its very own terminal. The game has been revamped for the occasion with improved graphics and functionality!

An opening symposium will kick off the exhibition featuring former Congressman Berney Frank, CHPC Board Chair Richard Roberts and CHPC Board Member Ron Moelis, among other guests.…

Read more

A housing curriculum for public schools


 Click on image to expand

In the 1980’s housing in New York City was, in many ways, sick. Tens of thousands of units had been abandoned, New York City was still near the brink of bankruptcy and the federal government was backing away from its historical commitment to housing. HPD was a relatively new agency at the time and it had few tools in its toolbox to tackle the huge housing problems it faced. The agency, however, had a philosophical underpinning that healthy buildings made healthy neighborhoods and its staff had the creativity to experiment with new ideas. If tenants …

Read more

The 1951 Slum Clearance Plan for Lenox Terrace


Slum clearance

Our archives contain original copies of over one dozen slum clearance plans proposed in the 1950’s by the Committee on Slum Clearance Plans, whose Chairman was Robert Moses. These plans were proposed following the passage of the National Housing Act of 1949, which provided that areas with “slum conditions” could be seized, cleared and made available to private parties for redevelopment. Cleared land could be sold at a loss to induce developers to redevelop the sites, with the federal government taking two-thirds of the loss and local government one-third.

These plans contain detailed descriptions of slum conditions and photographs …

Read more

CHPC is putting on a show!


Last year CHPC commissioned playwright Adam Thorburn to use the primary source documents in our Ruth Dickler – Marian Sameth Archival Library to craft an original play about the struggle to integrate Stuyvesant Town in the 1940s and 50s.

The evening of Monday, December 10 Stuyvesant Town: This Is Your Home will premiere at the Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center on West 42nd Street.

A wine and cheese reception beginning at 6:30pm will lead into the performance. Afterwards, a panel discussion will pull the story into the present, examining issues of discrimination and segregation in housing today. Tickets are …

Read more