Lincoln Heights Dwellings – Washington DC


The Alley Dwelling Authority (ADA) and the United States Housing Authority (USHA) funded the construction of the Lincoln Height Dwellings in Washington, DC, 1943-1946.

Today, the DC Housing Authority manages “Lincoln Heights,” which is probably located on the same area as the original Lincoln Heights Dwellings. It is unknown to the Living New Deal if any of the original structures still exist.

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 help create housing for national defense workers. Lincoln Heights Dwellings was one of those projects.

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).

Lincoln Heights,” DC Housing Authority (accessed August 12, 2020).

Private and Public Housing Compared on Capital Tour,” Sunday Star, June 16, 1946, p. A-2 (accessed August 12, 2020)

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on August 17, 2020.

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


Location Info

400 50th Street NE
Washington, DC 20019

Coordinates: 38.895275, -76.929937

2 comments on “Lincoln Heights Dwellings – Washington DC

  1. Sheila D Carpenter-Chavis

    This article mentions that it is unknown if any of the original dwellings remain. Yes. Yes and yes. My brother and I were born in these dwellings and my brother is 65 years old. The buildings there now in 2021, are the original buildings we lived in. Everything is the same. These buildings are so disgusting now and smell horrific! I went there xmas to take a walk down memory lane and boy was i sorry. I nearly puked! I can’t believe DC is allowing people to live this way. It’s shameful and an eyesore to boot. DC stop treating your neediest residents this way.

  2. It’s sad when you read hurting information from previous posting and about Lincoln Heights.
    For The Lincoln Heights & Richardson Dwellings New Communities Initiative Revitalization Plan (the “Revitalization Plan”) is comprised of three components:
    • A Human Capital Plan to meet the current needs of residents and to prepare them to benefit from changes coming to their community;
    • A Physical Plan for the redevelopment of sites throughout the neighborhood; and
    • A Development and Finance Strategy for implementing these plans. The Revitalization Plan presented in this document will guide future development by clearly establishing goals and strategies for improving the lives of long-time residents and their new neighbors. It reflects a broad vision for the future, shaped by the residents, community organizations, city agencies and public officials responsible for its implementation. Guiding principles outlined in this strategy set standards and expectations for new development that will serve to connect areas long divided – physically and psychologically – and ensure that changes in the neighborhood are for the better. Residents and planners were committed to following the overarching development principles of the New Communities Initiative. The new Lincoln Heights is moving slowly; coming along and I’m happy to see some accomplishments.

    These principles include:
    • Right to Stay / Right to Return
    • Mixed-Income Residential Development
    • 1-for-1 Replacement
    • Build First

    The Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings neighborhood (“the neighborhood”) was selected as the second New Communities Initiative revitalization community due to the opportunity it presents to address the concentration of crime and poverty in the neighborhood, its location along Ward 7’s growing East Capitol Street development corridor, and the ability to leverage the benefits of other public investment in the area.

    Can’t wait to see the brand new Lincoln Heights. The old Stands Theatre in now a new high-rise apartment building. My old neighborhood is looking good! Homes are very expensive; least expensive cost around 275K. Homes cost in the Lincoln Heights area are costing 345K-650K. Yes. that’s right!


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