Santa Rita Courts
On September 1, 1937, President Roosevelt signed the United States Housing Act of 1937. This created the United States Housing Authority (USHA) and provided $500 million for subsidies to be paid from the U.S. government to local public housing agencies (LHAs) to improve living conditions for low-income families.
The Austin City Council established the Austin Housing Authority on December 27, 1937. The housing authority made an application to the USHA for $500,000 to build 186 units of public housing at three sites. Austin’s housing agency became the first in the country to receive funding and to start construction on its USHA low-rent housing.
Constructed between November 17, 1938 and June 24, 1939, Santa Rita Courts in the Holly Neighborhood of East Austin is the first federal housing project completed under the 1937 Housing Act and was constructed specifically for Mexican-American families. Santa Rita Courts consists of 11 one-story housing structures occupying a site of 3.2 acres. The city built an addition of 15 two-story units in 1954.
The other two sites included in the USHA funding were Rosewood Courts, originally built for African-American families, and Chalmers Court for white families. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 legally ended segregation in housing. All three housing projects are now integrated and still in operation. They are managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA). Santa Rita Courts (1938-39) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 17, 2008.
Santa Rita Courts (1938-39) - National Register of Historic Places Registration Form ftp://ftp.thc.state.tx.us/nr_program/Austin,%20Santa%20Rita%20Courts%20NR.pdf Santa Rita Courts - Texas Historic Sites Atlas http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/viewform.asp?atlas_num=2008000319&site_name=Santa+Rita+Courts+(1938-39)&class=2002
Project originally submitted by Larry Moore on June 4, 2014.
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