1937 – The United States Congress passed the United States Housing Act to provide decent housing for low-income families, as part of the “New Deal,” established by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration.
1938 – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors established the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) in 1938. The SFHA is the oldest housing authority in California. Housing Authorities are unique entities established by a combination of federal, state, and local actions.
1940 – SFHA opened Holly Courts, the City’s first low-income housing development, for 118 families. This community was the first public housing development west of the Mississippi River. Potrero Terrace (469 units), Sunnydale (767 units), Valencia Gardens (246 units), and Westside Courts (136 units), followed closely and were completed by 1943. This building boom was part of the war effort to support the 35,000 service members, war workers, and their families who came to San Francisco to assist in winning World War II.
1940 to 1970 – The SFHA expanded significantly during this era due to an infusion of capital funds from HUD to build new residences and to make improvements such as replacing boilers and roofs, modernize and rehabilitate aging housing as well as to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities.
1974 – The Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program was established to provide low-income families with subsidies to rent privately owned housing in the City.
1974 to 2014 – The SFHA grew to include 45 developments located throughout San Francisco’s various neighborhoods.
Today – There are approximately 3,200 local housing authorities across the nation, and the San Francisco Housing Authority is the 17th largest. The original 6,371 units of public housing built or acquired between 1940 and 1996 have gradually been redeveloped through the HOPE IV, HOPE SF, or RAD programs. In addition, the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program oversees approximately 11,000 vouchers, including RAD Phase I and II project-based vouchers, special programs, other PBVs, and tenant-based vouchers.