The Preservation and Future of Affordable Housing in the Village

The Mitchell Lama housing program was launched in 1955, to address the needs of New Yorkers for middle and low income housing. In 1970, the Westbeth complex opened as the largest in the world of its type of community housing, with a waiting list so long that it closed applications in 2007 and has yet to re-open them. The preservation of the Mitchell Lama initiative and Westbeth’s housing is ongoing and crucial, and has been taken up by organizations like the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, which is building community power to win affordable housing and thriving, equitable neighborhoods for all New Yorkers through research, advocacy, and grassroots organizing.

We will delve into these histories and futures, movements and battles with historians and Professors Jeffrey Lee Trask (Westbeth) and Nicholas Bloom (Mitchell Lama), and moderator Adam Tanaka.

Adam Tanaka is a Senior Analyst at HR&A Advisors, a New York-based real estate and urban policy consultancy. Adam’s PhD in Urban Planning from Harvard University focused on the history of large-scale, middle-income housing in New York City. Adam has also worked for the City of New York on affordable housing and land use issues and helped launch an urban innovation summer school in partnership with the City of Paris. His writing, film-making, and civic art have been published by the Boston Globe, Van Alen Institute, Journal of Urban History (forthcoming) and Slate, among others. He has lectured widely on affordable housing issues, at community events and walking tours as well as academic and industry conferences.

Jeffrey Trask specializes in the social and cultural history of the United States and the history of cities. He has a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, an M.A. in Museum Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Design from Radford University. His research and teaching focus on the aesthetic economy of cities, with particular focus on the relationship between the arts, aesthetic and stylistic elements of the built environment and political and economic relations. His new research looks at the relationship between the design and planning of industrial spaces and the social and cultural politics of urban growth.

Nicholas Bloom is an associate professor and serves as chairperson of New York Institute of Technology’s urban administration and interdisciplinary studies programs. He is also currently serving as co-editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of Planning History published by Sage. He has worked extensively in public and affordable housing. He is the author or editor of eight books about urban development, public housing, and affordable housing.

This event is fully accessible

Thursday, December 13, 2018
6:30 pm

Westbeth Community Room, 55 Bethune Street, Courtyard