Knox Hill Dwellings – Washington DC


The United States Housing Authority (USHA) funded the construction of Knox Hill Dwellings in Washington, DC in 1942. The Alley Dwelling Authority (ADA) acted as manager of the development.

It is unknown to the Living New Deal if any of the original structures still exist. There appear to be many homes in the vicinity of Knox Terrace SE, and these may have some relation to the original Knox Hill Dwellings. Nearby, the DC Housing Authority manages “Knox Hill,” a housing development for seniors and disabled residents, but this facility looks quite different from the original structures.

The USHA was created by the United States Housing Act of 1937.

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.

With the advent of World War II, the ADA was enlisted to work alongside the Federal Works Agency (FWA) to provide housing for defense workers (using Lanham Act funds). Knox Hill Dwellings was one of those projects, although in this particular case USHA played an exclusive role in funding and construction planning.

Source notes

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).

Knox Hill,” DC Housing Authority (accessed August 11, 2020).

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on August 14, 2020.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Alabama Avenue SE and Hartford Street SE
Washington, DC

Coordinates: 38.8537, -76.9686

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