History

BRIEF HISTORY

 

This Annual Report for the Housing Authority for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009 is very special in that it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Housing Authority in 1959.

 

Much has happened since the creation of the Housing Authority in 1959 and much has changed.  While the Authority’s core mission of providing affordable housing to lower income persons remains the same, the way the Authority’s goes about accomplishing that mission has changed substantially.  Initially, housing assistance was provided exclusively through the Public Housing Program–the first Public Housing development, Lang Manor, was opened in April of 1963.  Since then, the Authority has constructed 15 other Public Housing buildings/developments–the last  was in 1986.  There are now a total of 726 units.  (The Authority has sold nearly all its scattered site units through its Low Income Homeownership Program, therefore, Scattered Sites is sometimes no longer referred to as a “development”.

 

In addition to the Public Housing Program, the Authority implemented, in the mid 1970s, the newly created Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.  Through successive increments over time, the Authority gradually increased the size of the Section 8 Program and today the Authority is authorized to assist up to 1,072 families.

 

Through the years, the Authority has added a variety of other programs to provide various forms of assistance to tenants and other clients including the Shelter Plus Care Program, the Section 8 Homeownership Program, Project Access, the Family Unification Program, the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, the Family Savings Account Program, a Food Cooperative, two Wellness Centers, a Low-Income Homeownership Program, and an Elderly Services Coordinator.  For a period of time, the Authority also sponsored a small grocery store at Hoy Towers.

 

Of course, the bottom line to the Housing Authority’s efforts over the past 50 plus years is the difference made in the lives of the many, many thousands of individuals and families who have been assisted through the Authority’s various programs.  This difference was stated dramatically in one of the many letters the Authority has received through the years and which was directed to a Section 8 staff member: “I would like to thank you and the Section 8 personnel for everything you have done for me in the past five years.  If it were not for you and your program, I would never have been able to give my daughter the benefit of a normal home.  I know that this program provides an invaluable service to single parent homes who struggle to get by every day.  I will never forget the help you have given me, and will be eternally grateful for the wonderful start my daughter has had in life thanks to you.”