Public Housing in Cleveland: A History of Firsts

Cleveland Public Housing Timeline

A timeline of important events in the development of public housing in Cleveland
Date Event
1904 First comprehensive building code passed. Concerns that public housing would lead to socialism.
1900 to 1920s Population doubled from 381,768 to 796,841 people. Inadequate houses by unskilled builders.
Circa 1930 Ernest J. Bohn learned about a public housing project in New York.
1932 State Public Housing Act was proposed to build low-cost housing for people with limited incomes. The act passed but it failed to attract businesses since it did not include a tax exemption.
1933 First national conference about clearing slums [page 276], sponsored by Cleveland. Bohn is named the President of National Association of Housing Officials.
The New Deal: 150 million dollars set aside for Public Housing.
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) becomes first housing authority in the country.
1934 Limited-Dividend Housing bill with tax exemption failed when Cleveland could not raise enough money.
1935 to 1937 Cedar Central becomes one of the first public housing developments in Ohio. Next Outhwaite, and Lakeview Terrace were built, setting new standards for public housing.
1937 The Wagner-Steagall Housing Act grants the CMHA authority to create and build and manage public housing, and does so under the direction of Ernest Bohn.
1938 Cleveland begins "equivalent elimination," in which a new living space is built for every substandard dwelling demolished or built up to code.
The end of WWII increases housing problems, and Ernest Bohn begins to be attacked for his methods.
1949 Residents can no longer be screened for antisocial problems and for money problems due to the Taft Housing Act.
1953 Housing and Rent Act expires.
Anthony Celebrezze elected mayor.
1956 The Hough area population increases from 40,000 residents in 1940 to 82,443 residents in 1956.
Operation Demonstrate
Ernest Bohn begins creating housing projects specifically for senior citizens. The Cedar Extension is one of the first projects.
1957 Garden Valley is completed and people begin to move in.
1966 The Hough riots take the lives of four people, injures others and destroys property. The $64.4 million of "stimulus" money had no effect, causing the riots.
1967 Carl B. Stokes is elected, winning with 52% of the vote.
Irving Kriegsfeld replaces Ernest Bohn as president of the CMHA.
1968 Cleveland : Now! Gives money to promote urban renewal and revitalization.
Glenville Shootout causes the death of seven people and wounds 15. $2.6 millions dollars lost.
Violence in the cities causes more people to flee for the suburbs.
Fair Housing Act prevents racial segregation in housing units.
1974 Housing Act of 1974
Ernest Bohn
Ernest Bohn pointing at New York apartment, 1934.
Cedar Central extension apartments, 1934
A view of Cedar Central extension apartments, 1934.

Lakeview Terrace AppartmentsAerial perspective of Lakeview Terrace public housing development, 1939.
Children planting a tree at Garden Valley
Children planting a tree at Garden Valley, 1961.