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Housing Conditions

Housing is a basic human need because it serves as a place of refuge, provides sense of belonging, self esteem and pride. However, housing maintenance is expensive and not all have the means to keep up with it. Today, is unknown what is the extent of vulnerable populations living in housing with poor conditions.

Community engaged assessment housing of conditions

During the Spring of 2024, and together with the Historic Westside Residents Association (HWRA) and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, we surveyed more than 400 homes, making the first community-lead housing conditions inventory of San Antonio.


We enjoyed 8 full weeks of work, meeting community members and neighbors. The neighborhood association now has the power of data. Accurate depictions of the housing needs of the most vulnerable homes in the neighborhood. As we continue to work in the next few weeks, collecting more data, installing temperature and air quality sensors, data checking and validation, we look forward to learning more and more from their local knowledge, their stories, their truths.

Special thanks first to Leticia and Graciela Sanchez. All the promotoras at Casa de Cuentos: Luissana, Ana, Eva, Olivia, Araceli, Sandra, Maria, Rene, Ray, and all the new and others I have not have the pleasure to meet just yet. Thanks to Sarah Serpas, AICP for her great leadership and generousity in letting me work with her Planning Workshop course. To all the URP and Architecture students that have participated as GRA’s or students (see post below), your work is truly invaluable. Special thanks to Allison Pineda, who’s work in this project has been unrelenting from the very beginning . Also, thank you very much to UTSA faculty who have collaborated and believed in this project: Wei Zhai, Angela Lombardi, Ryun Jung (RJ) Lee, Kristen Brown, Farzad Hashemi, @Neil Debagge, that has show that multidisciplinary work across UTSA’s departments and colleges is possible and impactful. Finally, thanks to UTSA Research for the support and the Connect 2023 grant, and the Southwest Research Institute and Stuart Stothoff for their partnership in the upcoming phase of this project.

Below some of the pictures of this project. You can find slides with preliminary results here, or watch the video of the presentation here. Soon we will have a report and other material.

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