As the first chartered housing authority in the United States, we are proud to share our history of developing affordable housing opportunities which is reflected in communities across the country today. We enter into our 91st year continuing to create safe, quality, affordable housing opportunities and improve the quality of life for the communities we serve.


Timeline of CMHA History

Historic Housing Professionals  

1930s:  Building a Legacy

As the first chartered housing authority in the U.S., CMHA was established on September 13, 1933.

  • Founded by Ernest Bohn, First Executive Director (1933-1968)
  • First three estates were built in the 1930s: Olde Cedar, Outhwaite, Lakeview Terrace
Historic Valleyview Homes  

1940s: A Place to Call Home

  • CMHA offers War Housing
  • The U.S. Housing Act of 1949 increased support for public housing by advocating a decent home for all, regardless of income (1949)
Historic Apartment Building Rendering  

1950s: Transforming Neighborhoods

  • First public housing high r1se for the elderly was at Cedar Extension (1955)
  • CMHA begins creating housing projects specifically for senior citizens (1956)
Historic Mayor Stokes  

1960s: Making Cleveland History

The Public Housing Authority merged with the new Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Year Riverview was built (1963)
  • Carl B. Stokes became the first black mayor of a major U.S. City (1967)
  • Fair Housing Act prevents racial segregation in housing units (1968)
Historic Cedar High Rise  

1970s: Expanding Housing Opportunities Through the Construction of High Rises

  • The State Board of Housing approved a name change from Cleveland to Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.
  • CMHA enters the Computer Age (1972) 
  • First Section 8 program in Ohio (1974)
  • Housing Act of 1974 is in effect (1974)
Historic CMHA Police  

1980s: Protecting Our Residents' Safety

Friends of CMHA, a voluntary, community support organization, became the first of its kind in the nation.
  • The first accredited public housing police force in the nation started in 1985
  • CMHA becomes founding member of Housing Authority Insurance Group
Apartment Building  

1990s: More Than Just Bricks and Mortar

  • CMHA undertakes renovations of large family properties
  • CMHA Police Department was fully accredited
  • CMHA opens Miracle and Recovery Village
Tremont Pointe  

2000s: Enriching Lives in the Community

  • CMHA and the Inner Ring suburbs of Cuyahoga County sign an agreement regarding the HCVP program
  • CMHA begins using low income tax credits for redevelopment projects
Solar Field  

2010s: Spotlight on Sustainability

  • CMHA opens doors to new LEED Silver Administrative Campus consolidating services and providing a one stop shop for services
  • CMHA completes more than $70 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects
  • CMHA develops sustainability programs including Green Building Standards, Green Team, expanded gardening progams and a solar field
WSW Grand Opening  

2020s: Movements in Progress

  • CMHA along with the City of Cleveland and the Community Builders earn a Choice Neighborhood grant to transform housing and economic opportunities in the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood
  • CMHA moves forward with Project Based Vouchers which open new avenues of housing in diverse neighborhoods including the Scholar House for parents who are attending college
  • CMHA's digital inclusion efforts connect residents to technology through low-cost internet and devices as well as regular computer classes and tech support