Celebrating 80 Years of Progress

The Oakland Housing Authority was founded April 28, 1938, by City of Oakland ordinance, under the Health and Safety Code of the State of California.  The Authority was established to receive federal funds to provide housing for low-income residents of the City of Oakland, California. ​ 

1938–1943   Three init​ial developments with more than 900 apartments were built in east and west Oakland (Peralta Villa, Campbell Village and Lockwood Gardens). Campbell Village and Lockwood Gardens, sometimes called war housing, were both opened to local shipyard workers during World War II.

1964–1966   Four additional family developments (San Antonio Villa, Chestnut Court, Tassafaronga Village, and Westwood Gardens) with over 400 apartments and the 100-unit senior site (Palo Vista Gardens) were built.

1965   The Authority began participating in a new program known as Section 23 allowing PHAs to sublet units from private landlords. The program soon grew to more than 1,400 privately-owned units.

1969–1973   The Authority more than doubled in size with the addition of its 101-apartment tower for seniors and 1,621 family apartments on 255 scattered sites.

1972   The Authority added its own security department.

1974   The Authority converted its Section 23 leased housing program to Section 8 and began the steady growth of the program.

1981   The OHA Security Department obtained peace officer status, allowing it to supplement the Oakland Police Department to better serve our residents and staff.

1984   Three senior apartment complexes were added to OHA’s housing stock: Adel Court, Oak Grove North, and Oak Grove South for a total of 182 apartments.

1994, 1998, 1999 and 2000   The Authority received five federal HOPE VI grants totaling $83 million, enabling it to revitalize four large public housing sites and four small scattered sites. OHA’s first HOPE grant was used to renovate one of OHA’s original “war housing” developments, the 372-unit Lockwood Gardens, constructed in 1943.

1995–Today   The Authority leverages HOPE VI with private investment to replace 394 public housing apartments with nearly 1000 affordable rental units and 81 homeownership units.


Chestnut Linden Court is completed by Authority partner BRIDGE Housing utilizing HOPE VI funds to create 151 units for families, a child care center, and ground floor retail space.

2003   Chestnut Linden Court is awarded the PG & E Flex Your Power Award for Energy Efficiency.

2004   The Authority became a Moving to Work agency, one of only about 35 agencies so designated from the 3,200 agencies throughout the country.

2004   The Authority was selected in a competitive process to administer HUD’s project-based tenant assistance program for northern California.

2004   Lion Creek Crossings Phase 1 (115 units for families) begins construction. The Authority partners with the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) and The Related Company (Related) to redevelop the former Coliseum Gardens public housing complex near the Oakland Coliseum and Arena in five phases utilizing HOPE VI funds. Lion Creek Crossings Phase I broke ground in November 2004 and was completed in 2006.

2005   In partnership with Bridge Housing, Mandela Gateway (168 units for families) was completed as part of a HOPE VI master plan to replace the former Westwood Gardens public housing complex and revitalize this critical West Oakland neighborhood. Mandela Gateway also includes for-sale units and 20,000 square feet of retail space.

2005   Mandela Gateway is awarded the San Francisco Business Times’ Real Estate Deal of the Year for Affordable Residential Development.

2007   In partnership with Related and EBALDC, Lion Creek Crossings Phase 2 (146 units for families) is completed.

2008   The Authority’s Section 8 program reaches 11,000 units in size.

2008   Tassafaronga Village public housing complex is vacated and demolished, making way for a new development.

​2008 ​Foothill Family Apartments is completed.

2008   In partnership with Related and EBALDC, Lion Creek Crossings Phase 3 (106 units for families) is completed.

2009   Lion Creek Crossings is awarded the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) National Award of Excellence.

2010   The Authority completes the redevelopment of the original 87-unit Tassafaronga Village to newly create 157-units for families in an award-winning community that includes the highest green building credentials: LEED for Homes – Platinum and LEED for Neighborhood Development – Gold.

2011   In partnership with Related and EBALDC, Lion Creek Crossings Phase 4 (72 units for families) is completed.

2011   The new 5-acre Lion Creek Park and the restoration of Lion Creek is completed.

2011   Tassafaronga Village is awarded the Housing Award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

2012   In partnership with EAH Housing, Cathedral Gardens (100 units for families) breaks ground. The development includes the adaptive re-use of a historic rectory and the new construction of two multi-family structures on adjoining parcels.

2012   In partnership with Christian Church Homes, Harrison Street Senior (73 units for seniors) is completed.

2012   In partnership with Keller Housing Associates, L.P.(an affiliated corporation of the Oakland Housing Authority), the substantial rehabilitation of Keller Plaza (201 units for families) is completed.

2013   In partnership with Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA), the substantial rehabilitation of two former single room occupancy hotels is completed and re-opened as The Savoy (101 studios for very low-income adults).

2013   In partnership with SAHA, Lakeside Senior (92 units for seniors) breaks ground.

2013   Lion Creek Crossings Phase 5 (128 units for seniors) breaks ground.

2013   Oakland Housing Authority celebrates its 75th Anniversary.

​2018 ​Oakland Housing Authority celebrates its 80th Anniversary and 80 years of service to the residents of Oakland, California.