DHA History: 1960-1969
The housing development that followed the Housing Act of 1949 tended to concentrate poverty in urban centers. No significant legislation changed the mechanisms of public housing until the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, which created the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a cabinet-level agency to lead with housing.
The 1961 Housing Act introduced a program which allowed local housing authorities to house individuals on their waiting lists in privately leased units through the mechanism of a voucher which covered the gap between household ability to pay and the market rent.
During the 1960s, DHA built nine housing complexes – a pace of development that’s hard to imagine today.
Along with Damar Court, Cornwallis Road, Club Boulevard Hoover Road, Morreene Road, Scattered Sites and Liberty Street, DHA also built Oldham Towers (shown below) in the 1960s, standing on the same site where the home of Samuel Morgan (shown at left) once stood. Morgan was the founder of the Durham Fertizer Company - whose product used the wasted stems of tobacco to create fertizer useful in growing the golden leaf.
Fayette Place was built (as most public housing communities were in that time) quickly and cheaply. Although the construction quality was poor by today’s standards, many of the families relocating there were coming from extremely substandard conditions, according to news accounts. The buildings fell into such disrepair that they were empty by the 2000s and the property was sold in 2008 to Campus Apartments for $4 million. In recent years, the property was re-purchased by DHA, with the intent to include it as part of a larger redevelopment plan.