Skip to Main Content

90th Anniversary - The 1980s

90th Anniversary Eblast 1980s Page 1. Text below images.

90th Anniversary Eblast 1980s Page 2. Text below images.

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 6th installment.

The 1980s: Focus on Communities & Scattered Sites

The 1980's saw a significant shift beginning to take shape in public housing philosophy across the United States. The federal government began providing low-income citizens with Section 8 housing vouchers to be used in the open market-getting away from the public housing communities built around the country in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

The shift in public housing philosophy played a major role in shaping the Columbia Housing Authority's development plans in the 80s when it received federal approval to construct four new communities.

Those four planned projects were Archie Drive, St. Andrews Terrace, Fontaine Place, and Atlas Road. These communities would be smaller and less dense. Each site featured 25 apartment units in different areas of the city. Other small, scattered sites developments built during this time are Wheeler Hill, Arsenal Hill, Fair Street, Congaree Vista, Dorrah-Randall, and Lewis Scott Court in Eastover.

Arrington Manor senior high-rise was added to the agency's portfolio in 1981. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Columbia Housing Authority acquired and renovated the 6-story building to accommodate the elderly and the handicapped. The building boasted features such as lower cabinets, elevators, and metal supports in the bathrooms. The building houses 56 units-14 efficiency apartments, 29 one-bedroom units, and 13 two-bedroom apartments.

Another milestone in the 1980s occurred when Columbia Housing was asked to manage the newly formed Cayce Housing Authority in nearby Cayce, South Carolina.

On August 4, 1980, the Cayce Housing Authority was created by the City of Cayce to deal with unsanitary and unsafe dwellings in the city. The Columbia Housing Authority was contracted as the managing entity for the Cayce Housing Authority and continues to manage its day-to-day operations.

The Columbia Housing Authority Developments, Inc. aka CHAD was created by Columbia Housing Authority during the 1980s to expand the ability to pursue alternative means to finance housing developments. In the 1980s, housing authorities were restricted from applying for certain grants as HUD frequently specified that only 501(c)3 non-profit organizations could apply. CHAD was a key player when Columbia Housing Authority developed properties in the 1990s and beyond.

Be on the lookout for the 7th installment of our 9-part series:
Columbia Housing: The 1990s

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