Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2021


New Yorkers are facing a housing crisis. Long-standing disparities of race and class in New York City have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus and the looming eviction crisis threaten working-class communities, immigrant families and youth searching for housing stability throughout the city. This report is a call to action demanding that city and state elected officials, along with civic leaders, address the housing crisis that youth are inheriting. A team of youth housing fellows, housing organizers from the Broadway Housing Communities, and CUNY academics shaped this project around the ethos, “No research about us, without us.” The work centers the voices of black and brown youth because they are coming of age in a city with profound inequities and in a time of systemic housing insecurity. Youth Housing Fellows conducted interviews with New Yorkers from communities of color between the ages of 13 and 24 to understand the socio-economic challenges that they and their families face during COVID and the racial uprisings. During this process, youth identified subject materials, designed questions, improved the process of obtaining consent, chose peers to interview and helped to organize the findings for this report. Youth contributions to this participatory project provide qualitative data that humanize and amplify the experiences of those growing up within NYC’s deeply unequal housing landscape. Youth Housing Fellows and interviewees raise common issues before offering a series of policy recommendations that seek to create more equitable housing for all. When describing their ideal homes, youth do not dream of gold-plated penthouses overlooking Central Park. Their hopes for future accommodations are incredibly reasonable, and yet seem so far out of reach given the historic and current priorities of policymakers in the city, state and nation.



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