The Cost of Home: Local Models and National Policy for Affordability

The Cost of Home exhibit examined the national and local landscape of affordable housing by visualizing the programs, policies, and design politics that have shaped and continue to shape New Orleans and the nation.

Project Dates

August 2016–January 2017


As part of Small Center’s ongoing Affordable Housing research thread, The Cost of Home builds on a series of panels and projects that work to expand our engagement with the public towards a more equitable city. This exploration includes past projects with Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative, Jericho Road, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, and Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, along with related panel discussions and guest speakers.

Small Center Engagement

The Cost of Home exhibit worked to expand understanding of public intervention in the market and the role of policy in shaping outcomes in affordable housing. Through case studies, the exhibit contextualized the limited range of current models of design and program that provide housing for low- to moderate-income residents in New Orleans while proposing underutilized alternatives.

Partner Organization

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Throughout the exhibit, Small Center hosted a variety of speakers to explore different facets of affordable housing in local and national contexts. Speakers included: Stacy Seicshnaydre, Associate Dean of Public Interest Programs at Tulane University Law School; Jenga Mwendo, Assistant Director of Crescent City Land Trust and Director of Backyard Gardener’s Network; Alex Posorke, Director of Ride New Orleans; Diane Jones, Partner at Design Jones LLC; Nick Jenisch, Project Manager at Small Center; Alexandra Miller, Principal at Asakura Robinson; Christine Gaspar, Director of Center for Urban Pedagogy; Casius Pealer, Director of Tulane University’s Masters in Sustainable Real Estate program;  Ellen M. Lee, Director of Housing and Community Development for the city of New Orleans; Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center; Shana griffin, Activist-scholar; Hannah Adams, Attorney for Southeastern Louisiana Legal Services, and Athelgra Landry, Michael Esnault, and other residents of the American Can apartments. To view the digital booklet for The Cost of Home, please click here.


This Creative Lab

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Sue Mobley (Curator)
  • Shoshana Gordon (Asst. Researcher)


  • Shirley Chen (2016 PID Fellow)
  • Kati Dvorak (2016 PID Fellow)
  • Javier Gonzalez (2016 PID Fellow)
  • Pavlo Iosipiv (2016 PID Fellow)
  • John Ludlam (2016 PID Fellow)
  • Chesley McCartey (2016 PID Fellow)
  • Cassidy Rosen (2016 PID Fellow)
  • Evan Wagner (2016 Sizeler PID Fellow)
  • Abby Bray
  • Elizabeth Rodriguez
  • Camly Tram


  • Maggie Hansen
  • Nick Jenisch
  • Donn Peabody
  • Emilie Taylor Welty

Special Thanks

  • Richard Campanella
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Casius Pealer
  • Kenneth Schwartz
  • Joy Willig


  • Surdna Foundation

Press and Awards

Affordable Housing Exhibit pops up at Tulane City Center