Housing Timeline

"The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation, and medical care."
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD estimates that more than 12 million households now pay more than 50% of their income for housing. Needless to say, this presents the United States with an on-going housing crisis of swelling proportions. Since 1930, several laws have been passed to assist extremely low to moderate income households with their need for affordable housing. What follows is a ‘timeline’ that, in very general terms, maps out the journey our country has taken with respect to affordable housing in the United States.

At our Affordable Housing Programs sub-tab, we will explore in more detail the affordable housing programs presently in existence that provide private commercial real estate investment companies, like Purple Vetch Properties, the additional resources that facilitate the creation and preservation of multifamily affordable housing to disenfranchised families with children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. When combined with our innovative ‘sustainability plans’, our green multifamily affordable housing model really takes root.



Emergency Relief and Construction Act of 1932 – created the Reconstruction and Finance Corporation (RFC) authorized to make loans to private businesses to provide housing for low income families






National Housing Act of 1934 – created the Federal Housing Administration which helps provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA approved lenders






Historic Sites Act of 1935 – declared that it was a national policy to preserve for public use historic sites, buildings, and objects of national significance for the inspiration and benefit of the people of the United States






United States Housing Act of 1937 – created the United States Housing Authority which established the first national public housing program






United States Housing Act of 1949 – authorized funds for new housing programs focused on declining urban areas, through inner city clearance, urban redevelopment and new construction






United States Housing Act of 1954 – provided funding for further rehabilitation and conservation of deteriorating areas and introduced the concept of ‘urban renewal’






Housing Act of 1956 – added special provisions for elderly housing and for those displaced by urban renewal






Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – prohibited non-discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in all federally assisted programs






Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 – created HUD as a cabinet level agency and initiated a leased housing program to make privately owned housing available to low-income families






National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 – created the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) and directed the Federal government to foster conditions under which modern society and historic resources can exist in productive harmony and “fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations”






Fair Housing Act (Civil Rights Act of 1968) – prohibited discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, 






Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 – replaced the local government owned leased housing provisions of the 1965 HUD Act with a renewed Section 8 Leased Housing Assistance Payment Program, focusing on privately owned units, and created the expansive and flexible Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program






Tax Reform Act of 1976 – encouraged the preservation and rehabilitation of older and historic structures with the creation of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit for commercial properties as an indirect federal subsidy, and the Historic Preservation Tax Incentive, or historic preservation easements, for historic-home residents and owners






Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 – sought to address discrimination in loans made by commercial banks and savings associations to individuals and businesses from low and moderate-income neighborhoods, a practice known as ‘redlining’






Congregate Housing Services Act of 1978 – authorized HUD to enter into 3 to 5-year grants / contracts with eligible public housing agencies to provide meals and other supportive services to eligible project residents






Housing and Urban Recovery Act of 1983 – created a housing voucher program as an alternative to Section 8 rent certificates and also expanded the rights of pet ownership in federally assisted housing for the elderly and handicapped






Tax Reform Act of 1986 – amongst other things, created the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program which created a private market for Federal housing tax credits, enabling developers to sell credits to investors, thereby raising capital and reducing the debt that would otherwise have to be borrowed by a developer for a qualified project






Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (1987) – provides funds to communities to address a wide range needs of the homeless, including emergency shelter, transitional housing, job training, primary health care, education, and some permanent housing






Housing and Community Development Act (1987) – created permanent authorization of the housing voucher program and provided new opportunities for public housing residents to take control of their own lives by buying or managing their own housing through tenant management corporations






Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 – amended Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 to extend housing discrimination protection to persons with disabilities and families with children (‘familial status’)






HUD Reform Act of 1989 – primary focal point of the legislation was to create a framework intended to prevent the misuse of HUD funds that been plaguing the agency by tightening the awarding of subsidy contracts






National Affordable Housing Act (NAHA) of 1990 – first major federal housing legislation in over 10 years, and introduced the HOME Investment Partnership Program which provided grants to State and local governments for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of affordable housing






Low Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act of 1990 – reinforced the Federal commitment to the continued availability and ‘permanent’ preservation of assisted low-income multifamily housing through project incentives






Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 – amended and extended many provisions of previous affordable housing legislation, and was intended to fine tune some of the programs of the NAHA of 1990, particularly the HOME program






Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 – simplified and reorganized the way housing assistance was provided to Native American communities, and initiated a consolidated Indian Housing Block Grant Program and a Loan Guarantee program, all intended to emphasize the right to tribal self governance






Multifamily Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 – sought to maintain the long term viability of the Section 8 housing program through the restructuring of FHA-insured mortgages on low-income rental units and implementation of Section 8 cost containment features






Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 – provided rental protection for low income residents, deregulated the operation of public housing authorities, and accomplished a full merger of the Section 8 certificate and voucher programs into a new Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program






American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act of 2000 – designed to enable greater homeownership for working families, create Section 8 homeownership options, spur homeownership for Native Americans, and enhance housing opportunities for the elderly and disabled families






Community Renewal Tax Relief Act (2000) – created ‘renewal communities’, additional ‘empowerment zones’, and established the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) program which provides incentives to investors for equity investments in certified Community Development Entities (CDE’s), which invest in low income communities






Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) – created the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1) to provide housing opportunities for low and moderate income households, and also formed the National Housing Trust Fund, a housing production program specifically targeted to extremely low income households families






American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – intended to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the recession, and provided funding for modernizing public housing, tax credits for financing low-income housing construction, Section 8 housing rental assistance, and extend energy efficiency into affordable housing






Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 – consolidated various homeless programs into a single ‘Continuum of Care Program’, expanded homelessness prevention programs, and created new incentives for rapid re-housing, especially for homeless families