Last year, two developments in NYC received an avalanche of media attention for their use of separate entrances for market-rate tenants and affordable housing tenants—what some called the “poor door.” Where did the “poor door” come from? And who benefits from it?

CUP worked with a group of public high school students from Bronx Compass High School in Castle Hill and teaching artist Douglas Paulson to tackle these questions. To get a glimpse behind the “poor door,” students interviewed heavy hitters like the President of the Real Estate Board of New York, a New York City Council Member, and an affordable housing advocate. The team broke down their findings in their video, Door Wars.

Door Wars debuted at University Settlement, where students presented the video and discussed their creative process with a lively audience of CUP fans.

Check out the video below!

What People Are Saying

I really liked [this project] and will do more of these in the future, in college. – David Annor, student, Door Wars

At first, I had no clue [about Poor Door]. I see a good side and a bad side now, but I don’t agree with the poor door because it seems like you judge people by how much they make.Chris Rivas, student, Door Wars

Resources & Links

Bronx Compass High School is a new, small, art and tech school where students are engaged in making high quality, meaningful work. 

Funding Support

Major support for this program was provided by Deutsche Bank and Digital Ready, a program by the NYC Department of Education with generous support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

Additional support is provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Janet Babin, Stephanie Buhle, Daniella Eras, Moses Gates, Julie Hertzog, Tara Marandino, Eric Petersen, Helen Rosenthal, Sonia Singh, Steven Spinola, Ahmed Tigani  


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Douglas Paulson
  • Project Lead
  • Valeria Mogilevich
  • Project Support
  • Jenn Williams 
  • Oscar Nuñez 
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Bronx Compass High School 
  • Students
  • David Annor 
  • Michael Coats 
  • Chris Rivas 
  • Omar Segarra 
  • Michael Serrano
  • Francesca Vargas
  • Daquan Wright
  • Assistant Principal
  • Noel Parish