Century formed from one of the largest public works projects in U.S. history. In 1972, planning began on the Century Freeway I-105, a major thoroughfare that would connect LAX to the city of Norwalk. Residents in areas affected by the proposed development fought the construction. Lawsuits were filed which asked the U.S. District Court to halt construction until the impacts of the freeway could be evaluated and minimized. In 1979, a solution was reached: the creation of the Century Freeway Housing Program (CFHP).
CFHP was tasked with creating nearly 4,000 units of affordable housing for those displaced by the freeway’s construction along with minority and female employment opportunities. In 1993, the Century Freeway opened. Having successfully exceeded its initial housing development goal, CHFP was privatized and renamed as Century Housing Corporation. Century remains the only known California state program converted into a private nonprofit.