Historical Background

Founded in 1968 as the Ravenna Metropolitan Housing Authority (RMHA), the housing authority initially sought federal funds for the renovation of the Maple Grove Development in Windham.  Maple Grove, originally built as temporary World War II housing, was converted into family housing as a private owner.   RMHA twice made unsuccessful efforts to obtain funds to improve this 900-unit development, and became relatively dormant.

Historic ETNA HouseIn 1976, under the leadership of Robert Durst, RMHA obtained its first HUD funding for 150 units under what is now known as the Housing Choice Voucher program.  In 1978, Executive Director Frederick Spataro led the agency through an expansion to include all of Portage County and a name change to Portage Metropolitan Housing Authority to reflect its broader geography.  The number of Housing Choice Vouchers tripled and PMHA's first public housing proposal was approved.  By 1980, PMHA had built 54 Public Housing units in Ravenna and Kent.

Since 1980, under the leadership of Spataro and then Christie Anderson, PMHA has shown consistent and sensible expansion, successfully expanding its Public Housing program to 305 units and over 1,800 Housing Choice Vouchers.  In addition, PMHA owns and operates private market housing units, offers Family Self Sufficiency programs to assist residents who aspire to homeownership and independence from housing assistance, and partners with other agencies to facilitate successful housing for low- and moderate-income persons and families in Portage County.