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Behind the List

Listings Project 20th Anniversary

By Stephanie Diamond
May 23, 2023

In 2023 we celebrated Listings Project 20th Anniversary!

Before Listings Project became a business, we were a community. The fact that we are a community first is what keeps us in business as an independent woman owned operation that grows via word of mouth.

The project was born when Stephanie sent an email to friends asking for housing leads in 2003. It worked so well for her that she kept assembling listings week by week for others who also wanted to share spaces in a way that was equitable and empathetic.


Stephanie's apartment, where she began Listings Project; photo by Stephanie Diamond

Over time, she realized that the service was both a business and a social practice art project. As the team grows and we collectively define the practice over time, its basic tenets have stayed the same: care for community enables each of us to thrive. After all, finding a home or a job is up there on the stressful scale with things like grieving a death, going through a divorce, or facing a life-altering illness. Listings Project aims to be a support in the search process. 

Every week, we vet our listings, and always have, to make sure we’re offering each other fairness, justice, and transparency. From the beginning, we have not allowed NYC brokers or listings with fees, and Listers submit honest, genuine listings and stay accountable to them. If you’re messy, you say it, so you can find a roommate who’s messy in the same way you are (or who’s a healthy and consensual balance!). You share your love of Bridgerton so the Listers responding to your listing can know if there’s a spot on the couch to binge watch together. When you come together around who you are and how you live, you can embark on a relationship based on joy and harmony.

For 20 + years, we’ve led with the idea that sharing your reality is healthy. That wasn’t popular when we started (other than on Friendster). The world has caught up a bit on this front, and we are joyously welcoming a growing set of listers who believe that it’s ok to be yourself in full view.

Kezia and Daniela

From Kezia and Daniela's Listings Project roommate story: "I'm so glad I had her to help me experience NY and she showed me how patient, kind and loving Americans can be. Despite our cultural differences and age differences we were able to live together. To this day, we keep in touch and I hope to move to the big apple once again and finally be reunited." Photo by Kezia.

Of course, that’s not the only thing that has changed in these 20 + years. When we started, there was one new construction complex in Long Island City and one office building (the City Lights building and Citibank building, respectively), and Williamsburg didn’t have any glass buildings. 

As neighborhood borders have shifted and rent prices have changed dramatically, vetting listings has become even more important. To ensure that we are offering fair and equitable housing options to our community, we always follow up when we see a listing that is reposted at a price that’s significantly higher priced than the market rate.

LES with Balcony and Heavenly Persian Cats

$60 per day! We’ve watched the market change over the years. Photo by Keri Light.

We also find that the company we keep is as important as ever. Now that we’re at home working remotely, we need to be in community — to find landlords that support us and roommates we get along with, whether they share our lived experience or simply have room to accommodate it.

That’s why we’re so excited to embark on the years to come, building out corners of the internet and lived space where we can support each other, one-to-one, and as a group. This work has made us better contributors everywhere we find ourselves in the world — not just on Listings Project — and we hope the same is true for you. Thank you for everything you do to nurture Listings Project day in and day out.

Stephanie Diamond and the Listings Project team

Thanks to these Listers who helped to orchestrate our 20th anniversary celebration:
- Kerin and Sebastian Smith, logo
- Margot Boyer-Dry, words
- Roxana Kadyrova, feature photo

Stephanie is an artist, entrepreneur and Founder / CEO of Listings Project. She creates communities of collective self-care. With over three decades of experience community building, the largest community she has created to date is Listings Project. As a social practice artist, she creates with a community as opposed to an audience. She has exhibited at: MoMA, MASS MoCA, MoMA/P.S. 1, Studio Museum in Harlem, Queens Museum of Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Project Row Houses, to name a few. As an educator and leader she has held positions at museums, public art institutions, and schools and universities. Lean more about Stephanie at:

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