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The Greenville Housing Authority

1930s - 1940s

Below is a chronological account of the Housing Authority of the City of Greenville, SC history. Please click on highlighted, underlined and or bold items to retrieve a copy of news articles and other materials to read more about the respective historical event. 

1932

  • The Federal Home Loan Bank Board is established. 
  • Congress passes the Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932, creating the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC).

 1934

  • The National Housing Act of 1934 is passed, establishing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

 1937

  • United States Housing Act of 1937 is passed and signed into law by President Franklin D. Rooselvelt
  • South Carolina General Assembly passes statue to establish city Housing Authorities

 1938

  • January 21, 1938: Mayor C. Fred McCullough confers with Federal Housing Administration to discuss slum clearance and low cost housing projects for Greenville.
  • August 23, 1938: City Council approves resolution creating the Housing Authority of the City of Greenville, SC. |  City Council Resolution
  • August 23, 1938: Greenville City Council passes a resolution to establish the Housing Authority of the City of Greenville, SC; paving the way for securing low-cost federal housing for the city.
  • September 20, 1938Mayor C. Fred McCullough appoints the 1st Board of Commissioners; Brown Mahon, Frank G. Hamblen, L.P. Hollis, R.O. Tuten and W.K. Livingston
  • September 29, 1938: Mayor C. Fred McCullough appoints Fred G. Hamblen as temporary Chairman of the Housing Authority of the City of Greenville, SC.
  • September 30, 1938: Brown Mahon appointed as Secretary/Treasurer (Executive Director) 
  • November 26, 1938: First steps were taken towards the utilization of Federal Housing funds in Greenville through an application to earmark $1.2 million
  • December 9, 1938: $800,000 earmarked for Greenville by the Federal Housing Administration for slum clearance 

 1939

  • January 18, 1939: Housing Authority met to discuss low cost housing project.
  • January 26, 1939: Board members gathered information regarding $800,000 housing project. 
  • February 1, 1939: Housing Authority schedules a meeting with Greenville City Council to discuss the recommendations for the expenditure of the $800,000 housing project set-aside dollars.
  • February 3, 1939: No decision reached as to Low-Cost Housing Project for the City of Greenville.  
  • February 7, 1939: Mayor C. Fred McCullough pointed out terms of an agreement that city council must meet with the Greenville Housing Authority in event of favorable action on a proposed $800,000 low cost housing program. This agreement would eliminate unsafe or unsanitary dwelling units of a number equaling the new dwelling erected units under the project.
  • March 9, 1939: Mayor C. Fred McCullough fills vacancies on the Greenville Housing Authority's Board. New members were Vivian M. Manning, stock and bond dealer; E.E. Scott, Greenville manager for the J.C. Penny company and J.B. Orders, owner of the Orders Mattress company. Mr. Tuten retain his post as Secretary/Treasurer (Executive Director).
  • March 10, 1939: L.P. Hollis elected chairman of the Greenville Housing Authority Board.
  • March 14, 1939: Mayor C. Fred McCullough and members of the Greenville Housing Authority visited Augusta, GA to view a government housing project to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the manner in which established projects operated.  
  • March 19, 1939: The Negro Council of Community Development met with L.P. Hollis, chairman of the Greenville Housing Authority, to discuss progress the authority was making toward securing a housing project for Greenville. 
  • March 26, 1939: Greenville Housing Authority and Greenville City Council planned meeting with Charles Wagner, representing the United States Housing Administration, for further discussion of Greenville's proposed $800,000 low-cost housing project. 
  • March 27, 1939: Charles Wagner, representing the United States Housing Administration met with the Housing Authority and City Officials to discuss Greenville's proposed $800,000 low cost housing project at length. 
  • March 28, 1939: In a meeting the Charles Wagner and City Officials, L.P. Hollis, chairman of the Greenville Housing Authority outlines the next phase in utilizing the $800,000 earmarked housing funds would the for Greenville City Council to sign a cooperative agreement. Then, a formal application would be filed in Washington, DC.  
  • March 31, 1939: Business men of the city wage fight on housing proposal. 
  • April 11, 1939: Opposition to low-cost housing project. Chairman L. P. Hollis states, "I feel that such a program will help to make Greenville appear not as a dowdy town but a progressive city and that our health conditions will be improved".
  • April 12, 1939: City Council hears pleas over housing. Proponents and opponents of the City entering into a low cost housing program discussed points of view with City Council.  
  • April 26, 1939: City Council voted 5 to 1 at a special meeting not to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Greenville Housing Authority for the establishment of a $800,000 low-cost housing project. Alderman Jimmie Thompson (one member to support the cooperative agreement), launched an effort to compel owners of housing in Greenville to improve their property conditions to the extent of removing hazards. 
  • April 27, 1939: R.O. Tuten resigned housing post.
  • May 12, 1939: City Administrator Nathan Straus discussed the need for the City to accept the $800,000 earmarked funds to address the housing needs in the community. Straus noted that the Greenville Housing Authority's application to create two projects was approved by the United States Housing Administration. One project would house white residents and one for negros. Each project would accommodate 200 families.  
  • October 10, 1939: G. Defreest Larner, special agent of the United States Housing Authority visited Greenville and spoke with citizens about the benefits of the of the housing fund; one benefit being the clearance of slums. Mr. Larner explained the projects would be controlled by the local housing authority. He also explained that development of such projects would not force local private builders out of business.
  • October 11, 1939: City officials voted NO on the reconsideration of $800,000 earmarked funds.  

1941

  • City Council made plans for building low cost housing and purchased a ladder truck for the fire department. 
  • August 13, 1941: R.O. Tuten appointed as Secretary/Treasurer (Executive Director) 
  • September 10, 1941: The Housing Authority of the City of Greenville purchased approximately 18.45 acres of land on Perry Avenue as the approved location for the white project.
  • December 28, 1941: Dilapidated shacks torn down to make way for housing. "With Charleston, Spartanburg and other nearby programs, Greenville's citizens decided at the polls on June 10th that they, too, wanted decent housing for the poor folks. Council immediately applied for an allotted $300,000 project, and named Greenville Housing Authority to direct the project. The dilapidated shack pictured below with former Mayor C. Fred McCullough is an example of the type of housing to be torn down". 

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 1942

  • The National Housing Agency (NHA) is established.
  • The Housing and Home Finance Agency (HHFA) is established.
  • April 7, 1942: President Roosevelt approved a federal loan of $434,000 for immediate construction of 100 units, which would be later known as Mountain View Homes. 
  • April 10, 1942: R.O. Tuten, executive director announced Greenville's new 100-unit defense housing project on Perry Avenue will be known as Mountain View Homes.
  • April 15, 1942: Bid issued for the construction of Mountain View Homes. 
  • March 19, 1942: The Federal Housing Administration approves the Housing Authority's plans to develop 100 units of housing on the Perry Avenue.

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1943

  • The Veterans Administration (VA) home loan program is established.
  • January 24, 1943: Mountain View Homes ready for Occupancy. This was the 1st federally financed housing project by the Greenville Housing Authority. The 88 unit development was limited strictly to immigrant war workers of the Greenville Army Air Base. 

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  • March 23, 1943: Mountain View Homes only allowed to rent to immigrant civilian employees at the Greenville Army Air Base. 
  • April 7, 1943: Landscaping Contract Awarded to Bramlett & Peden to prepare grounds at Mountain View Homes. Of the 88 units of the Mountain View Homes, only about 50 per cent were occupied, as units were restricted to emigrant civilian workers on the Greenville Army Air Base. Efforts were made to make the homes available to soldiers families and the men in charge of the projects. Before servicemen could rent the homes, the commanding officer of the base provided approval. 
  • April 17, 1943: A recommendation that non-commissioned men and commissioned officers up to the rank of captain be allowed to rent units of the Mountain View Homes was submitted to the HUD regional offices in Atlanta, GA.
  • August 20, 1943: James F. Daniel, Jr., named Executive Director

 1945

  • December 1, 1945: Mountain View Homes plans to revert to a low-income housing project on January 1, 1946, after having been operated since its start as a national defense project. 

 1946

  • January 11, 1946: Mountain View Homes - 200 Families on the Waiting List - The 88-family unit development, had been used for defense housing during World War II. As of January 1, 1946, it became available to low-income families only. Preference was given to veterans. Rents ranged from $15 to $25 a month. 
  • February 3, 1946: Mountain View Homes - Perry Avenue Site Sought for Houses. Mayor Fred McCullough Announced that he had started discussions with the Greenville Housing Authority on the feasibility of placing 60 surplus housing units obtained by the city on the property of the Mountain View Homes on Perry avenue. 

 1948

  • Shelley v. Kraemer (and Hurd v. Hodge): The U.S. Supreme Court holds that courts cannot enforce racially restrictive covenants on real estate.

 1949

  • The American Housing Act of 1949 sets a goal of “a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family” (and authorizes urban renewal).
  • U.S. Senate rejects the “Bricker-Cain Amendment,” which would have prohibited racial segregation in public housing.