• Our Timeline

  • 1937

    President Roosevelt Creates Public Housing

    As part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Wagner-Steagall Housing Act created “public housing” and directed local public housing authorities to manage these developments.

  • 1940

    The City of Fresno Housing Authority Was Established
  • 1945

    Fresno County Creates Its Own Agency

    For a while, the two housing authorities used two different names. Now, although separate public agencies, they function with a single executive director and staff. Each agency has its own board of commissioners, but they meet together.

  • 1949

    Selling Slums

    Federal legislation established funding that enabled the clearance of what were considered “slums” – often through “urban renewal” – and sold that land to private developers for the purpose of improving communities, creating housing, and building local economies.

  • 1950’s

    Highrise Norm

    Public housing was rooted in a very idealistic view of supporting working families. In the earliest years, public housing was built on a small scale with many garden apartments financed through bonds with set tents to cover costs. In the 1950s highrise construction became the norm, although over time they were shown (in many communities) to be inappropriate for families with children.

  • 1968

    Anti-discrimination Legislation Passed

    Legislation passed to eliminate discrimination in housing.

  • 1969

    No More than 25% of Income

    Legislation ensured that no public housing resident would have to pay more than 25% of an individual’s income – making housing attainable and more affordable for low-income people.

  • 1973

    Section 8 of the Housing Act was enacted

    The goal of Section 8 legislation was to utilize the private market to create affordable housing by providing “certificates” to qualified households.

  • 1981

    Income Cap Raised to 30%

    Public housing resident’s income cap raised to 30%.

  • 1986

    Tax Credits for the Construction of Affordable Housing

    Further diversifying the means by which affordable housing would be created, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program was created through the Tax Reform Act of 1986, giving tax credits to developers and businesses for the construction of affordable housing.

  • 1990

    Decentralized HUD

    The National Affordable Housing Act decentralized control of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), with the intention of giving greater freedom to local housing authorities.

  • 1992

    HOPE VI Program

    The HUD-sponsored HOPE VI Program authorized the demolition of “severely distressed” public housing complexes – allowing federal funds to be used to build “mixed-income” developments, often in conjunction with private developers. Fresno Housing received HOPE VI funds to develop rental housing and houses for first-time homebuyers (Sierra Pointe and Yosemite Village).

  • Late 90’s

    Focus on Self-Sufficiency

    A small number of housing authorities were designated “Move to Work” agencies – an attempt to provide greater opportunities to create and test locally designed strategies to increase efficiency, help residents find employment that could lead to self-sufficiency and increase housing choices for low-income families. (These agencies were given exemptions from many existing public housing and voucher rules and more flexibility in the use of federal funds.)

  • Late 90’s

    Neighborhood Transformation

    HUD instituted “Choice Neighborhoods,” which is intended to focus on the transformation, rehabilitation, and replacement of public housing and to transform neighborhoods of poverty into sustainable, mixed-income areas.

  • 2010’s

    Reforming Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher Program

    There have been attempts to reform the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV, formerly Section 8) – first through a HUD initiative called Preservation, Enhancement, and Transformation of Rental Assistance (PETRA), then the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA), and most recently, the Section 8 Savings Act (SESA). SEVRA was designed to streamline the Housing Choice Voucher program and address a loss of vouchers that have taken place over the years, as well as facilitating moves between units for voucher holders. The most recent version of reform was called the Affordable Housing and Self-Sufficiency Improvement Act (AHSSIA) but died at the end of the 112th Congress, and no comprehensive reform has been enacted since.

  • 2012

    Using One Name: Fresno Housing

    The agency began to use a single name, Fresno Housing, to encompass all of its operations in both the city and county of Fresno. It was a small but important change and a step toward functioning more effectively and efficiently – increasing the organization’s ability to increase the availability of quality housing for low-income families, benefiting each and every person living in Fresno, not just those receiving assistance from the agency.

  • 2015

    Fresno Housing celebrated 75 years of service to the community

    As Fresno Housing celebrated its 75th year of operation, it continues to follow the mission statement that guides the agency – Creating and sustaining vibrant communities throughout Fresno County.

  • 2020

    Fresno Housing Received Several Distinguished Awards

    Recognized by HUD as the 2020 Pubic Housing Program of the Year.  Chosen by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials as a 2020 Award of Excellence winner for Renaissance at Parc Grove, serving veterans.  Awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant for the California Avenue Neighborhood.  Awarded funds through the State of California Homekey Program, to provide high-quality housing to the most vulnerable, and playing a role in transforming the Parkway Drive Corridor.

  • 2021

    Inaugural Chief Diversity Officer

    Fresno Housing’s journey with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) started in 2019 with a town hall lecture series and community conversations that continue to include program analysis and internal employee focus groups. In January 2021, the Fresno Housing Boards of Commissioners adopted a DEI plan and advanced a thorough national search for Fresno Housing’s first chief diversity officer who was hired in May 2021.

Looking forward

Fresno Housing is Committed to Creating a “Sense of Place”

We work to ensure that its properties include special features such as architectural adornment, art in public spaces, community gardens, gathering areas, and other elements that enhance the sites themselves, as well as the neighborhoods in which they are situated.

Fresno Housing is at the forefront of building pride in its residents and participants and also setting accountability standards for itself and for the individuals and families with whom it works.