Public Housing That Worked, by Nicholas Dagen Bloom

Public Housing That Worked: New York in the Twentieth Century.

by Nicholas Dagen Bloom, an associate professor at the New York Institute of Technology

An excellent history of New York public housing and lessons learned.

Nicholas Bloom’s book Public Housing That Worked is a fascinating and detailed history of public housing in New York from the tenements of the early 1900s to current theories and practices on social housing almost a century later.  I own this book. 

There are no easy solutions for affordable housing for hundreds of thousands of lower-income metropolitan New York residents.  Professor Bloom’s book focuses on drawing lessons learned from NYCHA to see what has worked and what needs improvement.  At 354 pages with hundreds of footnotes and index, this book is a good resource for the affordable housing community and future housing programs.

Professor Bloom’s book discusses how good housing management practices are crucial to successful public housing and social housing programs.  He notes that effective management includes both regular maintenance and “keeping patronage to a minimum, holding employees and tenants responsible for their behavior, seeking private sector help where necessary, and using politics to build and protect housing”. 

David Hoicka


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