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The Future of Public Housing

November 2015

“The Future of Public Housing” roundtable convenes practitioners and public housing residents to discuss the future of housing as an infrastructure which demands greater allocation of public resources. At a moment when market forces produce and maintain persistent housing insecurity, the conveners will set the table for an in-depth discussion.


The conversation will frame prospects for a more equitable housing future, in light of current crises of debilitated public institutions and infrastructures, and take into account historical analyses of the market forces behind these conditions. Setting the roundtable in the historic Hull House dining hall, where luminaries like W.E.B. DuBois, Gertrude Stein, and Eugene Debs once gathered, speaks to the potentially radical aims of a conversation dedicated to bringing renewed attention to housing as a public good.


The roundtable concludes with discussion of potential actions built upon strategies to these ends — activism that engages current public housing residents, scholars, policymakers and practitioners, while galvanizing and educating allies in the general public.

House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate in Twenty-three Episodes is on view from October 1 through November 15 at the National Public Housing Museum, 1322 W Taylor St., Chicago. The ongoing “House Housing” research project, conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University, encourages historically informed public conversation — like this roundtable — about the intersection of architecture and real estate development.

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