Mission & History

MissionPublic Housing plays an important role in local communities and the Williamson Housing Authority is proud to do its’ part.  The WHA has a long history as one of the oldest public housing agencies in the country, serving as a testament to Williamson’s long standing and continued commitment to provide safe and affordable housing to those most in need. The mission of the WHA continues today as it did in 1938, to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing to low and moderate income families. 

The Williamson Housing Authority is an equal opportunity housing provider.  Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), and disability.
On June 3, 1938, a meeting was held in the office of Williamson Mayor J.M. Smith by persons interested in forming a housing authority. E.F. Randolph was chosen chairman pro tem of the authority at that meeting, and S.P. Goodman was chosen secretary pro tem.

At the gathering, four resolutions were passed. The first organized the housing authority while the second gave it the name. The third set up a seal for the authority and the fourth set up by-laws. Officers were elected, with Randolph elected chairman, R.M. Rowland as vice chairman and Goodman as temporary secretary-treasurer. Other authority members were Wade H. Bronson and John. C. Strosnider.

Thus the beginning of the Housing Authority of the City of Williamson, and that beginning laid the groundwork for the construction of public housing at two sites. On November 25, 1940, ground was broken in West Williamson and on Vinson Street for the construction of two projects of low-rent housing.

Victoria Courts was named for Mrs. Victoria Williamson. Mrs. Williamson was the mother of H.T. Williamson, who was a pioneer resident of the community and owned the land on which the project was being constructed. Williamson Terrace was named for W.J. Williamson, the founder of the City of Williamson.

While the work was begin done on the two projects, the tenant selection office opened on April 1, 1941 and applications were accepted for housing. The projects were ready for occupancy on October 1, 1941, and both had complete occupancy by February of 1942.

Since those two projects were constructed, the Authority has added 102 units of housing at Goodman Manor. Goodman Manor, located at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Harvey Street was dedicated on April 27, 1975. The Manor was named after S.P. Goodman, the Authority’s founder and its’ first Executive Director. Liberty Heights, the last project built by the Authority was started on October 29, 1980 and completed on May 17, 1982. Liberty Heights is located just off of Vinson Street and includes 36 units of two, three and four bedroom units.

Williamson Terrace near the end of its’ construction, in 1941
Victoria Courts in the late 1960’s
The opening of bids to build Victoria Courts and Williamson Terrace, in 1938.
The meeting place is the old City Hall, and the men around the table are City Council members.
Around the table, facing the camera, at corner sits SP Goodman, the Authority’s first Executive Director.
Goodman Manor is named after him.