The annual Ratensky Lecture was initiated by the AIA New York Chapter Housing Committee in honor of Samuel Ratensky (1910-1972), an architect and housing official who was responsible for major housing initiatives in the city from 1946 to 1972, and who served as a mentor to the many architects who worked in his programs. The lecture series honors individuals who, like Sam Ratensky, have made significant lifetime contributions to the advancement of housing and community design.

And this year, we were delighted that our Executive Director, Jerilyn Perine, was invited to give a lecture based on her  work as an urban planner with over 30 years of experience in housing and community development in New York City.

You can watch her unique, informative, insightful, and often  hilarious lecture – “I didn’t start out looking for trouble” – below. As well as an astounding overview of housing policy history in New York City, Jerilyn uses her own family history to paint a vivid picture of the changing landscape of New York City and the impact of policy on peoples’ everyday lives:


Jerilyn Perine is introduced by Mark Ginsberg, founding partner of Curtis + Ginsberg Architects LLP and President of CHPC, and Ronald Shiffman, co-founder of the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development.