Century originated 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 connects LAX to the city of Norwalk. Residents in areas affected by the proposed development fought the project. Lawsuits demanded the U.S. District Court 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 providing minority and female employment opportunities. In 1993, the Century Freeway opened.
After exceeding its housing development goals, CHFP privatized in 1995, renaming itself Century Housing Corporation. Century remains the only known California state program to privatize as a nonprofit.