Since the days of The Great Depression, the Corpus Christi Housing Authority has worked to provide economical housing to low-income residents regardless of race. In 1938 the United States Congress authorized the United States Housing Authority to lend $500 million over a three-year period for slum clearance and low-rent housing construction. In that year the City of Corpus Christi set up a planning commission to determine the feasibility of launching a low-rent housing project with the result that $1 million was requested to build 1,100 housing units. The United States Housing Authority approved $938,710 for the construction of 242 units.
The Housing Authority completed its first Corpus Christi project named Kinney Place, now known as George Wiggins Homes (158 units). At the same time, D.N. Leathers (122 units) & Navarro Place (210 units) served the housing needs of Corpus Christi’s black & hispanic populations. Eventually, 466 families would be removed from substandard & unsanitary shacks in new housing. However, in those days, Texas law mandated segregation in public housing projects, with residents divided into dwellings for “white persons, Negroes, and persons of Mexican descents.”
La Armada I (250 units) was the first defense housing project in the country. This project was designed for Navy enlisted men & civilian military employees. The Housing Authority then built La Armada II (400 units), and La Armada III (100 units) to accommodate the expansion of the Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi. In 1963 Clairelaine Gardens I and II were built to house the elderly.
In 1974, Congress passed an act that included the Section 8 program, which allowed qualifying tenants to pay no more than twenty-five percent of their income on rent, with the rest subsidized through the government.
In 1994, the Andy Alaniz Gardens (30 units) were completed. Three years later, Andy Alaniz Gardens II (12 units) was completed.
Today, the Corpus Christi Housing Authority provides low-cost housing for more than 4,000 people and has more than 1,800 units available. The average rent is slightly more than $115 a month, while the average age of an HACC resident is 23.8 years, with more than half of the HACC residents under age seventeen.
The Housing Authority operates five family resource centers throughout the city to provide group mentoring, tutoring/scholastic skills, recreation, etc. to youths 6 to 17 after school and during the summer.
CCHA services include assistance to the elderly with daily living, medical needs, and transportation, while its family assistance programs provide help with childcare, transportation, counseling, dispute resolution, and housekeeping.
The wide array of social services supplements the Corpus Christi Housing Authority’s primary purpose, to provide economical housing to low-income residents, a mission it will continue to perform as long as the need exists.