Archives Guide ~ Boston Housing Authority (9000)

Historical note

The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) was established by order of the Boston City Council on October 1, 1935, pursuant to St. 1935, c. 449, s. 5 which empowered cities and towns of Massachusetts to establish housing authorities. Such a body is responsible for providing decent, safe and sanitary housing for families unable to afford housing without public subsidies and for clearing substandard, decadent or blighted open areas under the provisions of MGLA c. 121B. To carry out these responsibilities BHA develops and manages housing projects and leases housing when necessary. It also performed the functions of an urban redevelopment authority until such a body was established separately pursuant to St. 1957, c. 150. The management and governance of the BHA has deviated from that of other housing authorities since 1975, when BHA was sued in Boston City Housing Court by a group of BHA tenants, represented by Greater Boston Legal Serives, over poor conditions in housing projects under the authority's control. As a reult of the ruling in favor of the tenants, a court-appointed master prepared a report listing recommendations that provided the basis for a consent decree signed in 1977 by BHA, Greater Boston Legal Services and the Boston Public Housing Tenants Policy Council. The decree detailed a series of improvements that BHA was to make over the course of three years. The master, responsible for monitoring BHA's compliance with the consent decree, gave approval for all major decisions made by the BHA board and administrator. In 1979, the judge ruled that BHA had failed saisfactorily to fulfill the terms of the consent decree and BHA was placed in receivership, with its board of commissioners and administrator replaced by a court-appointed receiver. Since 1990, when the receivership ended, BHA has been directed by an administrator whose activities are reviewed by a nine member monitoring committee appointed by the mayor of Boston.

Source: Massachusetts State Archives catalog record



9000.001 Proceedings 1936-1974 61 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes minutes of the Board of Commissioners, 1936-1974.

Link to finding aid


 9000.002 Central Administrative files 1939-1981 13 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes the administrative files of the Central BHA administration.  This collection is restricted.

9000.003 Central Legislative files 1937-circa 1980 2 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes copies of legislation and correspondence relating to public housing in general and the Boston Housing Authority.  This collection is divided into 3 series: Federal Legislation, State Legislation and internal legislation of the Boston Housing Authority.

Link to finding aid


9000.004 Central Board Meeting files 1963-1980 12 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
The board meeting files of the Boston Housing Authority Board. Includes agendas, minutes and records relating to policy and procedures.


9000.005 Board of Commissioners Administrative files 1973-1980 10 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
The administrative files of the Boston Housing Authority Board.  This series is restricted.


9000.006 Cental Housing Project files circa 1938-1982 13 record cartons and 4 photograph boxes

Scope and Contents note
The central files of the staff of the Boston Housing Authority on the individual housing developments under their control. Includes correspondence with the City, State and Federal Governments, reports, memorandum, policies, public relations files, tenant relation files, dedication files, photographs, etc.


9000.007 Administrative files of the Receiver 1961-1983 12 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Administrative files of the court-appointed receiver.  This series is restricted.


9000.008 Court Appointed Master's Draft Report to Housing Court of City of Boston 1975-1976 3 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Files relating to the Master's draft report the the Housing Court


9000.009 Administrative files of the Court-Appointed Master 1975-1979 23 record cartons and 1 document case

Scope and Contents note
Administrative files of the Court Appointed Master.  This series is restricted.


9000.010 Consent Decree files 1976-1979

Scope and Contents note
Files relating to the consent decree between the BHA, Greater Boston Legal Services and the BHA Tenants Police Council. 


9000.011 Housing Project files of the Court-Appointed Master 1976-1979 3 record cartons and 1 document case

Scope and Contents note
Files of the Master relating to the individual housing projects.


9000.012 Correspondence files of the Court Appointed Master 1979-1980 3 record cartons and 1 document case

Scope and Contents note
Includes correspondence to and from the Master.  This series is restricted.


9000.013 Personnel Administrative files 1977-1980 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Files relating to personnel matters.  This series is restricted.


9000.014 Tenant Services subject files 1973-1982 4 record cartons and 1 document case

Scope and Contents note
Subject files of the Tenant Services Office of the Boston Housing Authority from 1973-1982.  Includes correspondence, memorandum, reports, pamphlets, etc. relating to tenant services.

Link to finding aid 


9000.015 Tenant Services Housing Project files circa 1972-1982 2 record cartons and 1 document case

Scope and Contents note
Files kept on each housing development by the Tenant Services Office of the Boston Housing Authority from 1972-1982.  Includes correspondence, memos, reports, etc. concerning management issues, building issues and tenant relations and concerns.

Link to finding aid


9000.016 CETA Program files 1969-1980 3 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Files from the Comprehensive Employment Training Act program.  Temporary employees were hired with federal subsidies under this Act.  This series is restricted.


9000.017 BHA Annual reports 1936-1981 with gaps 1 document case

Scope and Contents note
Annual reports of the BHA from 1936-1981 with gaps.  The annual report of the activities, receipts and expenditures were submitted to the State Housing Board, State Auditor and the Mayor of the City of Boston in accordance with the law.  This series also includes two semi-annual reports of the Receiver that were submitted to Suffolk Superior Court in accordance with the reporting requirements of the Order of Appointment of Receiver entered in the case of Perez, et al vs. Boston Housing Authority of February 5, 1980.

Link to finding aid


9000.018 Reports and publications relating to public housing 1942-1978 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Reports and publications relating to public housing kept with the Boston Housing Authority central files.  Includes handbooks, pamphlets, reports, articles, newsletters, etc.  The publications are arranged chronologically with undated material at the end.

Link to finding aid


9000.019 Auditor's reports 1950-1979 with gaps 1 document case

Scope and Contents note
Reports of the Auditor of the BHA from 1950-1979 with gaps.


9000.020 Tenants Policy Council quarterly reports 1973, 1975-1980 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Quarterly reports of the Tenants Police Council from 1973 and 1975-1980.