With a state charter and city operating agreement in place, the new Seattle Housing Authority board held its first official meeting on April 11, 1939. Beginning with the construction of Seattle’s first public housing at Yesler Terrace in 1941, the Housing Authority has since created 6,300 units of public housing across the city. It now provides housing to more than 29,500 people in the City of Seattle.
The Housing Authority’s history in its first 75 years is rich with stories of courage, innovation and inspiration. From the vision of Jesse Epstein, its founding director, to its latest efforts to rebuild its stock of enduring public housing, the agency has been consistent in its mission to provide decent, safe and affordable housing to Seattle’s least fortunate residents. This website chronicles that history and documents many of the agency’s challenges and successes.