First Houses Public Housing Project – New York NY


The WPA Guide to New York City reported that:

“On Avenue A and Third Street, three blocks east of the Bowery, rise the FIRST HOUSES, the first project of the NY City Housing Authority, opened in 1935. Of the old slum tenements which formerly occupied this space, some were torn down and others were completely rebuilt by WPA labour, using the old materials. Unfortunately the attempt to utilize old structures has forced the new ones into a dull scheme. Bathrooms, sound-proofed partitions, gardens, and playgrounds promote the health and comfort of the occupants, who pay five to seven dollars a room a month.”

The apartments are still in use and managed by the New York City Housing Authority.


Source notes

The WPA Guide to New York City: The Federal Writers' Project Guide to 1930s New York. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.122.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Location Info

E. 3rd St. and Ave. A
New York, NY 10009

Coordinates: 40.7236199, -73.98527939999997

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