Chicago, IL   |


The mission of the National Public Housing Museum is to preserve, promote, and propel the right of all people to a place where they can live and prosper — a place to call home.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Lisa Yun Lee PhD

Main address

625 North Kingsbury Street

Chicago, IL 60654 USA

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NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

Art Museums (A51)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The National Public Housing Museum is a site of conscience–a historically significant site that links the past with today’s most urgent social issues. NPHM preserves a key chapter in our nation’s history — the role of public housing in advancing this great, unfulfilled aspiration. While public housing has been a place to call home for more than 10 million people across America, housing insecurity remains one of the preeminent concerns today. The need to convene people to share stories, to create innovative public policy and to activate history to inform our futures is increasingly acute. While the Museum’s programs and projects have received diverse funding from corporations, foundations, and individuals over its history, there is an increased need for general operating support in this period as we continue our work in the midst of a dynamic capital campaign for our permanent home in the historic Jane Addams Homes.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Oral History Archive

The National Public Housing Museum is working to build the largest archive of oral histories by public housing residents in the United States.

Population(s) Served

The Entrepreneurship Hub emerges from residents’ stories about informal economic activities and cooperative business enterprises in public housing communities and seeks to sustain this remarkable heritage. The Entrepreneurship Hub leverages one of our community’s greatest resources: the history of innovative entrepreneurship that has been used as a strategy of surviving and thriving for public housing residents, low-income people, and communities of color. The Hub addresses the systemic and structural barriers to entrepreneurship and aims to a create a robust infrastructure to support a new generation of small businesses and cooperatives by public housing residents.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Economically disadvantaged people
People of African descent
People of Latin American descent
Multiracial people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The National Public Housing Museum will advance our mission as a museum, cultural center, and creative place-making hub, to preserve, promote, and propel housing as a human right. The Museum will work to foster dialogue and create change through the collection of oral histories and objects, innovative programming, exhibitions, preservation, and restoration at one of our nation’s most important historic sites. Located in the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes on Chicago’s Near West Side, the 48,000-square-foot space that will be our permanent home is the largest artifact in the Museum’s collection. Within this historic space, compelling firsthand stories of residents will be brought together with thoughtful scholarship of historians and passion-ate efforts of activists to remember, teach, and inspire.

NPHM has spent the last decade organizing with community of stakeholders to secure ownership of the building and a 99 year land lease. When this happened (2018), we assembled a core professional staff and exhibition team, and worked with met with Departments of Planning and Development, Historic Preservation, and Zoning community groups and a national roster of distinguished scholars to complete 50% of the construction documents.

Next steps over 2-3 years include:

-Secure final capital for 15.7 million dollar campaign with steering committee (Summer, 2020).
-Conduct participatory design workshop with artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous for the public art entrance to the Museum.
-Restoration of Edgar Miller Sculptures.
-Finish final documents and submit permits DPD (Fall, 2020).
-Begin construction with contractor (Winter, 2020).
-Hire according to staffing plan: museum administration, curatorial, programming, and education.
-Convene team for Center for the Study of Housing, draft MOU’s with major universities.
-Continue Entrepreneurship Hub and convenings of working group to develop the Museum store.
-Conduct final curatorial design charrettes with community and final scholarly review of exhibits.
-Work with local advocacy groups to choose major policy initiatives to highlight through storytelling program and in exhibit (Fall, 2021).
-Recruit additional oral historians, continue recordings, implement innovative strategies to advance best practices in community archive field.
-Hire and train staff: educators, programming, visitor service, janitorial, landscaping (Summer / Fall 2021).
-Install permanent core exhibitions / rotating exhibit (first with Nathanial Mary Quinn, second with Matthew Desmond’s Evicted) (Fall, 2021).
-Grand Opening (Winter, 2021 / Spring, 2022).

NPHM’s planning included a feasibility study conducted by Economic Research Associates that outlines the overwhelmingly positive economic impact and sustainability of the Museum. Through experienced leadership, community engagement, and organizing, we assumed ownership of our building and the lease for the land in 2018.

The broad range of stakeholders, board and staff has worked hard to establish trust with public officials and secured the support of Mayor Lori Lighfoot, CHA president Eugene Jones, the city’s Housing Commissioners, Alderman Jason Ervin, and State Rep Mattie Hunter, who recently secured a line item in the State budget for NPHM. Deep connections with community stakeholders have built our capacity to address most issues. Our greatest obstacle is that people have been learning of this initiative for many years, and some may doubt that it will ever come to fruition. A successful capital campaign with strategic communications will address this challenge.

The top three organizational goals of the Museum include the capital campaign for the permanent museum site, hiring and growing our diverse staff to realize the Museum’s mission, and to create the necessary legal infrastructures to realize the Museum store that will be a cooperative venture with public housing residents. Alongside the fundraising operation, Museum staff has been working with our architects and designers to finalize architectural documents for the zoning and city approval process before construction can begin. We are proud of the diversity of our Board and staff, and want to continue to nurture and mentor new people as we grow. Working in partnership with John Marshall Law School, we are also working to develop the infrastructure to create a cooperative within our Museum to positively impact the racial income gap.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 11/29/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sunny Fischer

Bennett P. Applegate

Managing Partner, Applegate & Thorne-Thompson

Mary Baldwin

Public Housing Activist; Former Resident, Rockwell Gardens, Chicago; Community Member

Charlie Barlow

Executive Director, Boston Library Consortium

Deborah Bennett

Senior Program Officer, Polk Bros Foundation

Jean Butzen

Vice Chair, Fundraising and Development; President, Mission + Strategy Consulting

Joyce Chou


Asia Coney

Resident Commissioner, Philadelphia Housing Authority; MTW Research Advisory Committee Member, HUD

Michele Dremmer

Vice Chair, Site Development; Interior Architect & Designer

Gail Dugas

Granddaughter of Robert Rochon Taylor; Public Housing Advocate

Sunny Fischer

Board Chair; Cultural Activist; Retired Philanthropic Executive; Former Resident, Eastchester Projects, New York

Willie "J.R." Fleming

Executive Director, Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign; Former Resident, Cabrini-Green Homes, Chicago

D. Bradford Hunt

Vice Chair, Programs & Interpretation; Professor and Chair of the History Department at Loyola University, Chicago

Zenobia Johnson-Black

Vice Chair, Personnel; Retired Housing Official

Sara Manzano-Diaz

Former Director of the Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor

Jack Medor

Vice Chair, Audit Committee; Retired Finance Executive

Edward L. Moses

Former Regional Public Housing Director, Regions IX and X, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

Crystal Palmer

Board Vice Chair; Assistant Director of Resident Engagement, Chicago Housing Authority; Former Resident, Henry Horner Homes, Chicago; Community Member

Preston Prince

Executive Director, Santa Clara County Housing Authority, San Jose, California

Michael Rogers

Vice Chair, Governance & Nominations; Architect; Former Resident, Robert Taylor Homes, Chicago, IL

Tony Ruzicka

Board Treasurer; Nonprofit Consultant; Treasurer, Glencoe Historical Society; Treasurer, National Museum of Gospel Music; Former President, Village of Glencoe, IL

Cecile Shea

Founder and President, Wakaru Communications; Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Global Security and Diplomacy, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Joe Shuldiner

Former Executive Director - Yonkers Municipal Housing Authority

Mark Thiele

Interim President & CEO, Houston Housing Authority

Francine Washington

Chairperson, Central Advisory Committee, Chicago Housing Authority; Former Resident, Stateway Gardens, Chicago, IL

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/27/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data