Historical Background

The Brownsville City Council created the Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville (HACB) in 1938 in response to federal legislation (U.S. Housing Act of 1937) and enabling state legislation that charged local entities with providing decent, safe and sanitary housing for low  to moderate income families and individuals. While independent of the City of Brownsville government, the Brownsville City’s Mayor Council appoints the Board of Commissioners.

In 1939, the City of Brownsville received funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the construction of its first public housing development of a 150 unit family dwellings named Buena Vida. The City of Brownsville held the groundbreaking at the site on November 3, 1939. Buena Vida was completed and dedicated on August 15, 1940. Since opening its first public housing development the HACB went through an incredible growth phase with the creation of more than 900 units from the 1940’s through 1997.

The HACB’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly referred to as Section 8, was established in 1975. In 1975, the Brownsville Housing Authority received its first approved Annual Contributions Contract under the Section 8 Existing Housing Assistance Payment Program.  This program provides federal housing assistance payment contracts to private housing and apartment owners. The HACB administers 2,163 Housing Assistance Payment Contracts.

Beginning in 2000, through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program the agency experienced a resurgence of affordable housing development activity with the construction of quality affordable housing.

Today, the Brownsville Housing Authority serves more than 1,000 low-income families, including over 2,163 families housed through the Housing Choice Voucher Program and another 500 living in 6 public housing and tax credit developments around the city. HACB administers the largest Lower Rio Grande Valley public housing and voucher programs.