Research Questions | Urban Homesteading

Principles, History, Tactics and Legislation of Urban Homesteading in NYC and the Nation 




What is the broad history of “homesteading” in America?

When did “urban homesteading” arise in the US, in NYC?

What were the social circumstances that lead to the creation and institutionalization of urban homesteading in NYC?

What was the perceived goal of the urban homesteading program?

What were the NYC institutional and administrative governmental sectors that effectuated and oversaw the urban   homesteading program during the decades of 70s-80s and later?

What were the legal guidelines and regulations that governed urban homesteading in NYC and the nation?

How was the urban homesteading program in NYC financed?


  • Participants / demographics in homesteading (GABBY)

1. How many urban homesteads were accomplished during this period and what were their racial, gender and class characteristics?

2. Today, what are their racial, gender and class characteristics of the urban homesteads?


  • public (APRIL + WENDY)
  • private (APRIL + WENDY)
  • outcomes (APRIL + WENDY)

1. Today, what are the monthly costs to the urban homestead “low-income co-op” owner, and are these costs affordable?

2. Today, what are the characteristics of self-management within the urban homesteads; how are they run, what are the  roles and responsibilities of the homesteaders, and how have these roles and responsibilities changed over time?

3. What are the legal parameters governing the “ownership” of urban homesteads?

4. How do the homesteaders view “ownership” of their homes?

5. Does urban homesteading lead to increased self-esteem, employment and rights consciousness?

6. Are there currently (other than our own of course) urban homesteading initiatives in other US locales and what are they proposing?

7. What are the potential funding mechanisms that would facilitate such a program and what would the budget of an urban homesteading “pilot project” look like?


  • Critique / Post mortum (FERHAT + ALBERTO)


  • Pro-arguments (BRADEN)
  • against arguments (BRADEN)



What are new goals that we would like to contribute in this model?

What alternative models do we want to incorporate?


How might we envision the reinstating of urban homesteading given the requirements and contextual determinants of this city; specifically, the constellation of agencies, partners and stakeholders that might constitute an urban homesteading program here in NYC?

How might such an apparatus be brought into being, and what would constitute a suitable strategy, timetable and set of tactics geared towards the accomplishing of such an endeavor?



3 thoughts on “Research Questions | Urban Homesteading

  1. Wintringham Hostel, Port Melbourne is an attractively designed complex for 35 homeless men and women aged over 30. A short video of this project. Quite interesting.

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