Segregated Public Housing Projects in Kentucky
The U.S. Housing Authority was created by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937. The organization provided loans and funding to local housing agencies for low-rent housing and slum clearance. In 1942, the name of the organization changed to the Federal Public Housing Administration, becoming the Public Housing Administration (PHA) in 1947.
The Race Relations Service in public housing helped develop policies and procedures for minority groups; there was to be no discrimination [not the same as segregation]. The selection of tenants and the assigning of units were left to the discretion of local agencies. Beginning in the late 1930s up to the mid 1960s, three fourths of all public housing projects in the United States were segregated as all white or all Negro.
The building locations for the complexes were reflective of the segregated housing in most U.S. cities. It was a common and accepted practice by the PHA for public housing complexes for whites to be built in white neighborhoods, and if there was a complex for Negroes it was built in the Black neighborhood.
In Kentucky, the first public housing complexes built exclusively for Negroes were located in five cities: Covington - Jacob Price Homes, 163 units; Lexington - Charlotte Court, 206 units, and Aspendale Park, 142 units; Louisville - Beecher Terrace, 808 units, and College Courts, 125 units; Madisonville - Rosenwald Housing, 45 units; and Paducah - Abraham Lincoln Court, 74 units.
In the late 1940s, there were discussions of integrating the public housing projects in the U.S., with the initial step being to assign one Negro family to an apartment in an all-white complex. This was followed by other integration steps such as the building of additional segregated housing complexes for Negroes and/or designating a building or section of buildings for Negroes, while the remainder of the complex was reserved for whites. These types of integration plans took place in various cities in Kentucky.
For more see E. Rutledge, Integration of Racial Minorities in public housing projects; H. M. Jackson, "Public housing and minority groups," The Phylon Quarterly, vol. 19, issue 1 (1st Qtr., 1958), pp. 21-30; J. D. Luttrell, "The Public Housing Administration and discrimination in federally assisted low-rent housing," Michigan Law Review, vol. 64, issue 5 (Mar., 1966), pp. 871-890; and "Public Housing projects occupied wholly or partially by Negro tenants and managed by the Federal Public Housing Authority or by local housing authorities, as of January 31, 1943" on pp. 83-90 in The Negro handbook, 1944, by Florence Murray.