Frederick Douglass DwellingsPhoto by the Alley Dwelling Authority, ca. 1937-1944. Source: Report of the National Capital Housing Authority, 1934-1944.
The Alley Dwelling Authority (ADA) and the United States Housing Authority (USHA) funded the construction of the Frederick Douglass Dwellings in Washington, DC between 1940 and 1942.
The Frederick Douglass Dwellings were demolished in 2000, to make way for Henson Ridge, a mixed-income community.
The ADA was one of the earliest New Deal initiatives to provide better housing for low-income Americans. It replaced unsafe alley dwellings in Washington, DC with more modern and affordable houses and apartments. The ADA existed from 1934-1943 as a federally controlled special authority. It then slowly evolved into today’s DC Housing Authority, an independent agency of the DC Government.
Report of the National Capital Housing Authority, For the Ten-Year Period 1934-1944, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1945, available on Hathitrust (accessed July 14, 2020).
“Frederick Douglass Dwellings collection, circa 1940s-1990s,” Smithsonian Institution (accessed July 26, 2020).
“Public Housing Tenants Become Owners,” Affordable Housing Finance, August 1, 2007 (accessed July 26, 2020).
“Program of Alley Dwelling Authority Is Geared Toward’s Washington’s Future,” Sunday Star, June 16, 1940, p. C-5 (accessed July 26, 2020).
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on July 30, 2020.
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