The first Executive Director of the CHA was Elizabeth Wood. Who served for 17 years. During the Wood years the CHA became immersed in perpetuating an obvious pattern of institutional racism: The federal Housing Act of 1937 in conjunction with the Chicago Public Works Administration were successful in completing four low-rise (two to four story building prior to World War II. Three of these projects were opened in 1938: Jane Adams House, on the near west side, comprising of 32 buildings which housed 1,027 families; Julia C, Lanthrop Homes on the north side housed 925 families and Trumbull Park Homes on the far south side for 426 families. These three complexes were built primarily for whites (although 2.5 per cent or 60 units were set aside for African Americans). In 1940 The CHA embarked on a pattern which would later be challenged as a social, moral and legal travesty. In 1941 the CHA completed construction of its first public housing project exclusive for African Americans and situated it in the heart of an African American (Ghetto) neighborhood. The Ida B. Wells House was considerably larger than the CHA’s previous projects, and it accommodated 1,662 families.
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