Tracing the History of Affordable Housing in New York City

The timing of the Museum of the City of New York’s latest exhibit, “Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy,” couldn’t be better. The exhibit, which opens today, rides the wave of Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious housing policy, which seeks to create 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years. And while the topic is on everyone’s minds right now, it is hardly a new concept for New Yorkers to consider. “We want to present to the public that this problem isn’t new,” says curator Tom Mellins. “We have a rich history of affordable housing policy in this city, and the idea was to place the current moment within historic context.”

Kids Struggle to Breathe in This Neighborhood on Pope’s Tour

Inside her dank and cramped apartment in a public housing project, Tai-Sheba Smith sometimes watches her 11-year-old son sleep at night. She worries that he’ll have an asthma attack in his sleep and stop breathing.

Smith’s fears are more than just maternal angst: Manhattan’s gritty traffic exhaust can contribute to deadly asthma attacks and an array of other children’s health problems. In her neighborhood of East Harlem, kids are sent to emergency rooms for asthma nearly three times as often as kids in the rest of the city.

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