Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Local Public Housing Authority Project in U.S.(In LBJ District) Turns 70 on July 4th.

In doing research for FHA's 75th Anniversary I ran across reference to July 4,1939 (70 years ago next month) opening of FIRST local public housing authority project created under the 1937 Housing Act.

Project was 40 unit Santa Rita in Austin, Texas. It was developed in the Congressional District of then Congressman, later President, Lyndon Baines Johnson (adjacent picture is of him visiting site in September 1939 and picture of same unit taken 3 years ago).

Fortunately, I ran across a great site with a lot more detail that was prepared as part of a National Historic Register nomination. From that website HERE, a short summary of this first local housing authority project:
"Santa Rita Courts was the first of three public housing projects built in Austin in the late 1930's. Santa Rita, intended for occupancy by Mexican families, consisted of 40 units of modern "slum clearance" public housing. Rosewood Courts, built for African-American families, consisted of 60 units, and Chalmers Courts, built for whites, consisted of 86 units. All three housing projects were completed in 1939, are currently still in operation, and are managed by the Austin Housing Authority, now known as the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA for short). Three separate housing projects were built because of the segregationism [sic] common at the time."
Other materials on site provide useful historical context, including reference to public housing developed BEFORE the 1937 Act became law. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SITE: HERE.

No comments:

Post a Comment