Building for Us

Building for Us: Stories of Homesteading and Cooperative Housing was an exhibition at Interference Archive (October 17, 2019 – February 2, 2020) that explored the self-help housing movement. The exhibition featured the families and people who fought to turn vacant or neglected buildings into limited-equity cooperative housing, using the photographs, newsletters, oral histories, and training manuals found in the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board’s archive. These materials illuminated the origins of New York City’s affordable housing cooperatives, and the work that residents put into saving and preserving the city’s housing stock. The exhibition, curated around a single organization’s archive, explored the people, policies, and programs that helped shape the history of cooperative housing in NYC.

The exhibition was created by a collaboration between staff from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), Interference Archive volunteers, and students in my Community Archives seminar. The exhibition was accompanied by a programming series and a small catalog.

Exhibition and catalog curated by Rania Dalloul, Sasha Hill, Jen Hoyer, Yu-Shih Huang, Samantha Kattan, Eliza Klein, Emily Ng, Maddux Pearson, Maura Rigney, Maggie Schreiner, and Clara Weinstein.