The State of California allowed local jurisdictions to create housing authorities through the Enabling Act of 1939 (reference State Health and Safety Code, beginning with Section 34200, for additional history, background, powers, duties, tax-exempt corporate status, etc.) The County's Board of Supervisors also appointed (which is still current practice) the governing body of the Housing Authority, a Board of Commissioners. The Housing Authority Board of Commissioners met for the first time on October 6, 1941. The agency's by-laws, organizational seal, first municipal cooperation agreement (with the City of Lompoc), and initial funding sources were adopted at that meeting.
The Housing Authority functions primarily to build, acquire, own, manage and maintain residential rental units for persons of extremely low income (less than 30% of area median income), very low income (less than 50% of area median income), and to obtain rental payment assistance for similar households renting in the private real estate market. Operating through a central administrative office in Lompoc and housing management and maintenance offices in Goleta, Lompoc, and Santa Maria, the Housing Authority provides direct services to applicants, tenants and private property owners. The Housing Authority is the largest property management organization in the County.