Ava Braccia '20

Ava Braccia

Major: Latin American and Latinx Studies and Sociology
Bio: Ava Braccia was born and raised in Marine Park, Brooklyn, New York. Throughout Ava’s undergraduate career at Fordham, she has interned at Latin American News Digest and at the Office of Council Member Carlina Rivera as a Community Aide, volunteered as a translator for New Sanctuary Coalition, participated in a Global Outreach Project to Colombia, and studied abroad for a semester in Lima, Peru. She intends to apply for a Fulbright Fellowship based in Latin America and to pursue a doctorate in Sociology with specializations in gender studies and social stratification after graduation.

Title of Research: Latina Experiences within NYCHA Affordable Housing Developments on the Lower East Side
Dr. Heather Gautney
This study focuses on the perceptions and experiences of Latina women living in public affordable housing developments run by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The purpose of this investigation is to better comprehend the inequalities and injustices Latinas face inside the NYCHA system and the role of public policy in shaping them. Latina NYCHA residents are invited through this research to share their stories through in-depth conversation, detailing the ways in which their housing has affected them medically, emotionally, socially, financially, and in terms of opportunities for social mobility. 

In order to collect these accounts, I am conducting in-person interviews with 15-20 participants, including Latina NYCHA residents, leaders of Tenant Associations, and employees at local community organizations. These exchanges highlight several trends: recent breakdowns of community alongside the physical degradations of apartment buildings over time, lack of care shown by management, Housing Assistants and maintenance workers, and inefficiencies in the system utilized to report the need for unit repairs and to schedule/ execute timely fixes. The participants’ insight offers an enhanced understanding of the overarching problems that NYCHA confronts as a whole and serves as a guide to addressing how we might respond to those problems presented.