The Great Depression of the 1930's was a watershed for American domestic policy, marking the end of small, passive government and the beginning of large-scale federal intervention in areas once considered the province of the private sector. Housing was no exception.
Public Housing Programs have been the predominant form of federal housing assistance for low-income families and households since it was first established by the United States Housing Act of 1938. Although public housing originally served the so-called "working poor"; it has gradually become the "housing of last resort" for America's poorest citizens. Public Housing Authorities (PHA's) have the primary responsibility for planning projects, setting income limits, determining specific criteria for admission to public housing, and making other appropriate administrative determinations.
During the 1940's, 50's, and early 60'projects were occupied primarily by upwardly mobile families who needed assistance while they were getting started. In the late 1960's, things began to decline. As the cities became poorer, so did their public housing. Public housing became permanent homes for a new welfare class. Children began to grow up in these projects and stayed there as adults.
With the passage of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, Congress established the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) as an executive department in order to achieve the best administration of the principle programs of the federal government which provides assistance for housing and the development of the nation's communities.
Another landmark housing bill, and one which has substantially changed the course of the various programs for assisted housing and urban development , is the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.The Housing and Community Development Act rewrote the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, creating a new, leased-housing program, (patterned after the Section 23 Program of the mid and late 1960s, named Section 8 of that Act.)
The Huntington Housing Authority was formed April 1, 1938 and was created as a corporate body, public and politic, under the provisions of Chapter 16, Article 15 of the WV State Housing Law, in accordance with the U.S. Housing Act of 1937.