Ottumwa Housing Authority was created in 1964 by a Referendum Vote of the citizens of Ottumwa. A contract was signed with the United States Government to fund the construction of two hi-rise towers, Westgate which consists of 97 units and Southoak which consists of 103 units; these buildings were completed in 1968.
The Low-Rent Housing Statute of the State of Iowa of 1965 mandates how the Housing Authority will be formed. The Mayor appoints Commissioners for the City Council to approve a five member Board of Commissioners. This Board of Commissioners hires the Executive Director and formulates local policy within the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) executed a second contract with Ottumwa in 1969 to construct Camelot Towers; this tower was completed in 1972 housing ninety-nine apartments.
Ottumwa Housing Authority was originally called the Low-Rent Housing Agency of Ottumwa. The name was officially changed in 1979 to Ottumwa Housing Authority.
In 1982, a third public housing project was completed. This is a scattered site public housing project for non-elderly families. This includes 25 two-bedroom and 35 three-bedroom apartments.
In 2012, the construction began for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program known as Tindell Apartments. Tindell opened in May of 2013 offering 4 units with 2 2-bedroom units and 2 1-bedroom units.
In 2021, The Ottumwa Housing Authority has acquired 12 apartments, 2 4-bedroom units and 10 4-bedroom units, known as Oak Terrace. The apartments were under LIHTC Program and is now under HOME Program.
OHA owns and operates a total of 375 properties located at Camelot, Southoak, Westgate, Tindell, Oak Terrace and Scattered Family Sites. The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program allows for housing assistance to 237 families.