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90th Anniversary - The 1960s

90th Anniversary Eblast - The 1960s page 1 - content below the images.

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Columbia Housing 90th Anniversary, 1934-2024

Yvonda A. Bean
Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Columbia Housing Celebrates 90 Years of Rich History

This year - in 2024 - Columbia Housing celebrates its 90th anniversary and its rich history as one of the country's first established Public Housing Authorities.

Over the next few weeks, we are excited to share that rich history with you in a 9-part series that takes you on a journey through the decades. This is our 4th installment.

The 1960s: New Legislation & Strategies for Affordable Housing

By 1960, Columbia Housing Authority had built a lot of housing. So far, none of the developments were built solely for the elderly with special housing needs. Columbia Housing Authority wanted to change that by making elderly housing a priority.

The agency's commitment to providing housing for older people served as a catalyst for the Oak Read High-Rise project that opened in September 1967. 

After the building and construction boom of the 1950s, the 1960s also brought with it new strategies for federal housing assistance. New programs were being developed to subsidize privately owned rental properties.

Legislation out of Washington, D.C. capped tenant contribution toward rent at 25% of family income. Those policy changes, along with market changes such as the post-war housing boom and increasing rates of home ownership, resulted in public housing now serving the poorest tenants for the first time.

New legislation was also passed to make it easier for all Americans to have access to quality housing:

November 20, 1962 President John F. Kennedy issues an executive order which directs federal departments and agencies to "take every proper and legal action" to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and national origin in the sale or lease of federally supported public housing.

August 10, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965. The Act expands funding for public housing programs and establishes the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Be on the lookout for the 5th installment of our 9-part series:
Columbia Housing: The 1970s

Columbia Housing and Cayce Housing provide housing to more than 6,500 families in its Housing Choice Voucher Program, Public Housing Program, and Tax Credit Properties encompassing more than 16,000 individuals across 24 properties in Columbia and Richland County. Columbia Housing is governed by a 7-member board with day-to-day operations under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Leadership Team.

Board of Commissioners:

Ernest W. Cromartie, III, Esq., Chairman
Kara Simmons, Vice-Chair
James Chatfield, Commissioner
George Green, Commissioner
Selena Pickens, Commissioner
Kevin Werner, Commissioner

1917 Harden Street • Columbia, SC 29204

Equal Housing Opportunity Provider & ADA Accessible