Open timeline


Housing Works History is a timeline that surveys 25 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.

To use Housing Works History, click on any year in the timeline to learn about activities that took place during that year. Inside, you’ll find architectural drawings, videos, T-shirts, protest ephemera, newsletters, as well as five original films that spotlight architects, residents, and advocates. The text that appears in magenta relates to Housing Works, while the text that appears in gray relates to housing policy. Use the arrows that appear on either side of the text to move backward or forward. Click on “Films” to view the five original films. Click on “Map” to explore the geography of Housing Works.

Housing Works




Supportive Housing Movement

In the United States

In New York State

In New York City

HIV/AIDS in New York City

Cumulative New York City AIDS Diagnoses

Persons Living with HIV/AIDS at End of Year

Persons Living with AIDS at End of Year

Editor and Producer: Gavin Browning
Filmmaker: Laura Hanna
Graphic Design: Michela Povoleri and Cong Huynh
Development: Leonardo Angelucci

Unless noted, all text written by Gavin Browning

This project was funded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts makes project-based grants to individuals and organizations and produces public programs to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society.

Thank you to Joan Byron, Andrew Coamey, Lynn Gernert, Desi Glazier, Ivan Gonzalez, Benjamin Kracauer, Charles King, Cleven Jones, Annette Lacoot-Hylton, Robert Salzman, Virginia Shubert, Lynn Walker, Alan Wanzenberg, and Robert Zagaroli for sharing thoughts and archives. To current and past Housing Works employees, including Juan Astasio, Diana Boric, Rolando Campos, Daniel Fleischman, Andrew Greene, Elizabeth Koke, Elizabeth Mota, Silas Munro, Amanda O'Callaghan, Ray-Shon Pullum, Valerie Reyes-Jimenez, Tracy Richotte, Kenneth Robinson, Linney Smith, Molly Quinn, and David Thorpe.

Gavin Browning wishes to thank Amy Adler, Alejandro Andújar, Jason Baumann, George and Margie Browning, Felix Burrichter, Katherine Carl, Robert Clarida, Aliza Dzik, Rebecca Federman, Sarah Fan, Pedro Gonçalves, Andrés Jaque, Ted Kerr, Laura Kurgan, Lisa Looye, Andrea Marpillero-Colomina, Iván López Munuera, Ginger Nelson, Mari Putri, Ellen Gordon Reeves, Hilary Sample, Amy Scholder, Anni Seligmann, Cassim Shepard, Varick Shute, Jeroen Sikma, Minyoung Son, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, and Mabel O. Wilson.

For images and video, thank you to Alan Barnett, Gary Deam, Prisca Edwards, Scott Korn, Brian Rose, Valerie Reyes-Jimenez, and James Wentzy. For texts, thank you to SAGE Publications, Inc., Princeton Architectural Press, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and POZ Magazine.

Gavin Browning is Director of Public Programs and Engagement at Columbia University School of the Arts. Previously, he was Director of Events and Public Programs at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He served as the first director of Studio-X New York, and worked at the independent publishers Verso and The New Press. He co-wrote and produced the animated short, The Commons (2009), and he edited the books The Studio-X New York Guide (2010) and Group Efforts: Changing Public Space (2015). He holds a BA in English from The New School and an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University.

Laura Hanna is a filmmaker and organizer. She is director of Williams, Gattis, Hammer, and James, four long-form films about death row inmates in Indiana, Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, respectively. She created a short film with Birgitta Jonsdottir for Jeremy Hammond called Wikileaks and the War on Whistleblowers, and produced The American Dream for Creative Time Reports. She codirected the Perpetual Peace Project, a series installed at the New Museum, the Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Utrecht Library. In 2008, she made A Housing Urbanism Made of Waste, now part of MoMA's permanent collection, and was commissioned to produce a series of short films for the Venice Biennale of Architecture with Kyong Park and Ted Smith. She has produced and directed shorts for the Nation, the New Press, SEIU, the Art Review, OR Books, the New School, and the Slought Foundation.

This project originated as an exhibition, "Living Room: Housing Works Builds Housing," that was displayed April 26–28, 2012 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. It was researched and produced by Juan Astasio, Gavin Browning, Aliza Dzik, Greta Hansen, Jenna Kaminsky, Karen Kubey (who wrote versions of text that appears in gray), and Daniel Quinn.