Housing Works History

Editor and Producer, 2017

Housing Works History is a timeline that surveys twenty-five years of housing and supportive services built by Housing Works for homeless individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. From its emergence out of the direct action group ACT UP in 1990, the organization built over 200 units of permanent and transitional housing and served over 20,000 people by 2015—weathering intense political hostility or indifference by offering care and hospitality to communities in need. Housing Works confronted NIMBYism in Soho, Harlem, and the Lower East Side; sued the Giuliani Administration and won; opened a popular bookstore/cafe and thrift stores that fund housing and provide jobs; built residential and medical facilities, and never stopped speaking out. The timeline features archival media, T-shirts, posters, architectural drawings, HIV and AIDS infection rate data, key moments in US housing policy, and original films spotlighting advocates, architects, and residents. 

Housing Works History was generously funded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. It has been displayed in the exhibition AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism at the Museum of the City of New York, May 23–October 17, 2017, as well the traveling exhibition Now What?! Advocacy, Activism, and Alliances in American Architecture since 1968, various venues, 2018–2019.

Visit Housing Works History

Watch footage of the February 21, 2017 launch conversation at the New York Public Library with Gavin Browning, Felix Burrichter and Mabel O. Wilson.

"Housing First," Gavin Browning, Lapham's Quarterly, February 13, 2017

"A new online archive reveals how HIV/AIDS shapes New York," Audrey Wachs, The Architect's Newspaper, February 14, 2017

"As HIV/AIDS Ravaged New York, This Group Fought Back With Architecture," Diana Budds, Co.Design, February 14, 2017

"In 'Housing Works History,' Exploring the Intersection of Activism and Real Estate," Emily Nonko, Curbed, February 21, 2017

"Protest and persist: why giving up hope is not an option," Rebecca Solnit, The Guardian, March 13, 2017

"Mapping a History of Activist Real Estate," Paul Dallas, The Brooklyn Rail, April 1, 2017

"Housing Works History: A Conversation with Gavin Browning," Emma Raddatz, Choice Reviews, April 28, 2017

"Housing Works Turns 20: A Tribute to New York's Refuge for HIV+ People," Fred Bernstein, Out Magazine, May 2017

"Gimme Shelter," Riley Hooker, PIN–UP Magazine, Issue 22

"Making Housing and History," Trenton Staube, POZ Magazine, June 2017

"Learn About the History of Housing Works and a Project Devoted to Trans Voices," Elisa Wouk Almino, Hyperallergic, June 20, 2017