HISTORY OF MHA
The Housing Authority of the City of Montgomery, Alabama (MHA) was formed by a State of Alabama Charter on June 9, 1939. MHA was established as a local control entity for the provision and administration of publicly funded affordable housing that was constructed by the Public Works Administration (PWA). An integral part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal economic relief initiatives, public housing was constructed to provide employment opportunities as well as decent, safe and sanitary housing for impoverished families as the United States struggled to recover from the Great Depression.
The PWA was tasked with creating a public housing model that could be duplicated across the United States. Between 1934 and 1937, the PWA constructed 51 Federal Housing developments throughout the country. Two of the earliest Federal Housing developments constructed by the PWA, were William B. Paterson Court and Riverside Heights. MHA acquired these sites in 1940. Both properties underwent immediate expansion to meet the city’s affordable housing needs.
In 1943, MHA constructed its first new public housing community. Harkening to the housing needs of Montgomerians, MHA razed a blighted section of distressed homes located at Cleveland Avenue and Mill Street and created a 150-unit apartment community named Cleveland Court. Cleveland Court, most notably known as the home to Civil Rights pioneer, Mrs. Rosa Parks, who resided there from 1951-1957, was renamed Parks Place in 2013. MHA continued to expand its portfolio and within a few years constructed 300 apartments at Victor Tulane Court, in 1952 and 354 apartments at Trenholm Court, in 1954.
From the 1960’s – 1980’s, MHA added over 1,100 units of affordable housing developments: Smiley Court, Gibbs Village East and West, Cedar Park and Richardson Terrace. Of those five properties, three currently remain: Gibbs Village East and West, and The Terrace.
Since that time, MHA continued its legacy of providing quality affordable housing and aggressively undertaking the redevelopment of its housing stock. Richardson Terrace, a 90-unit senior apartment building, underwent an award-winning renovation, that was completed in 2013 and renamed “The Terrace”. The former Victor Tulane Court was demolished and redeveloped into two separate communities: Victor Tulane Gardens, 102 apartment homes, was completed in 2005; and The Plaza at Centennial Hill, Phases I and II, 258 apartments and townhomes, opened in 2013 and 2016 respectively. MHA’s most recent venture, in affordable housing, is the redevelopment of the former Trenholm Court. In 2013, MHA demolished the property and a created a master-plan to redevelop the community.
Working in partnership with the private sector, 160 units of mixed-income housing, were constructed in two-phases and renamed Columbus Square. The first phase, which opened in December of 2017, offers 80 urban loft-styled apartment homes. The second phase is scheduled to open in Fall 2019 and will consist of an additional 80 urban loft-styled apartments and townhomes.
MHA has adhered to its mission and goal of developing affordable housing to benefit the residents of Montgomery. MHA has expanded its portfolio and is a leading affordable housing resource of choice for the citizens of Montgomery. Through MHA’s housing development activities, the city has also benefited by the removal of sub-standard housing.
MHA currently has eight active public and affordable housing communities: Paterson Court, Parks Place, Gibbs Village East, Gibbs Village West, The Terrace, Victor Tulane Gardens, The Plaza at Centennial Hill and Columbus Square.
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