The United States government passed the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, which established the public housing program. The Act allowed the federal government to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and provide subsidies to local public housing agencies. The public housing agencies provide safe, decent, and sanitary housing for low-income residents in the United States (United States, 2006). The act provided the financial means for the housing agencies to build housing and to receive subsidy for operating the units once constructed.
In 1959, the City of Columbia applied to the federal government for funding to build public housing units in the community. After receiving approval from the U.S. government, the
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During the 1960’s, racial discrimination existed in the United States, however the newly constructed public housing in Columbia was available for blacks. A current resident recalls that her family was the first blacks to move into the Creekside projects, and they thought that they were in heaven (Lowrey, personal communication, May 9, 2011). Barbara Dobbins, a local historian (personal communication, May 19, 2011) stated that the construction of the public housing units allowed parts of Columbia to integrate which eased some of the racial tensions at the time. Therefore, CHA has a rich history of providing quality housing, and working to develop race relations through its nondiscriminatory rental policies.
After years of operating the 140 units of public housing, CHA received funding from HUD in 1985 to build the Northridge Community. This development was located on the north end of Columbia consisting of 66 duplex style apartments. The agency constructed another 40 units adjacent to Northridge called Northridge Annex in 1989. These new apartments expanded CHA’s ability to offer affordable subsidized housing in different areas of Columbia, TN. In 1994, CHA received another funding award to construct 50 units in the Oakwood community. Oakwood is the agency’s newest property with larger interior floor plans, modern colors on the exterior of the buildings, and energy