DHA History: 1970-1979
During the 1970s DHA brought five housing developments online. Birchwood Heights, Liberty Street, Oxford Manor, Forest Hill Heights (opened in 1981) and J.J. Henderson Towers were all built in the 1970s.
J.J. Henderson, named after one of DHA's early leaders, was the last of the high rise complexes built by DHA. Although they were thought to be an efficient use of public dollars (bringing many housing units online while using a modest amount of land) the high concentration of people living in public housing had unintended consequences and this approach was largely abandoned by housing authorities in later years.
The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 created the Section 8 Housing Program to encourage the private sector to construct affordable homes. Section 8 Vouchers provide a monthly subsidy for participants to help pay their rent, keeping it affordable. This assistance can be 'project based,' which applies to specific properties, or 'tenant based,' which provides tenants with a voucher they can use anywhere vouchers are accepted. Tenant based housing vouchers covered the gap between a set percentage of a household's income and established fair market rent.
Again in response to the growing discontent with public housing, urban developers began looking for alternate forms of affordable, low-income housing. From this concern sprang the creation of scattered-site housing programs designed to place smaller-scale, better-integrated public housing units in diverse neighborhoods. Scattered-site housing programs became popularized in the late 1970s and 1980s. Since that time, cities across the country have implemented such programs with varying levels of success.