Theses Master's

Housing Freedom: Navigating Access and Affordability in Search of Home: A Survey of Housing Policy in New York City, 1934 - present

Esparza, Ashley Reeb

This research takes a survey of housing policy at city, state, and federal levels towards evaluating the material impacts and outcomes that shape the living conditions of low-income communities within New York City. It sets out to define the idea of Housing Freedom to point to a set of qualities for dignified housing as a framework within which we can assess the goals and outcomes of policy. Briefly, Housing Freedom encircles access to adequate housing regardless of socioeconomic status, secure tenure, and the flexibility of the housing stock to allow for movement and growth without endangering the former. The focus of this paper on New York City stems from the multitude of affordable housing programs at work, historically and concurrently, across multiple scales of government, that allow for a better understanding of the current crisis towards new realms of possibility and programs for action. Synthesizing raw data from surveys, housing development reports and tax records to examine the nature of the housing landscape in New York City over the last 20 years, along with examinations of the parameters of each program and analyses from other housing researchers, this work seeks to excavate the conditions and nature of housing as experiences by residents. Focusing on the dimensions of Housing Freedom, the analysis looks at the landscape of the housing stock and aspects of supply and demand, affordability and accessibility of housing, and stability and the realities of displacement against the relative success of resident’s ability to stay in their homes for each program.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for EsparzaAshley_GSAPPUP_2021_Thesis.pdf EsparzaAshley_GSAPPUP_2021_Thesis.pdf application/pdf 1.76 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
October 14, 2021