Code of the District of Columbia

§ 6–101.01. Declaration of policy; acquisition of property; improvements; sale, lease, or management; loans by Authority.

(a) It is hereby declared to be a matter of legislative determination that the conditions existing in the District of Columbia with respect to the use of buildings in alleys as dwellings for human habitation are injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and welfare; and it is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States to protect and promote the welfare of the inhabitants of the seat of the government by eliminating all such injurious conditions by employing all means necessary and appropriate for the purpose; and control by regulatory processes having proved inadequate and insufficient to remedy the evils, it is in the judgment of Congress necessary to acquire property in the District of Columbia by gift, purchase, or the use of eminent domain in order to effectuate the declared policy by the discontinuance of the use for human habitation in the District of Columbia of buildings in alleys, and thereby to eliminate the communities in the inhabited alleys in said District, and to provide decent, safe, adequate, and sanitary habitations for persons or families substantially equal in number to those who are to be deprived of habitation by reason of the demolition of buildings under the terms of this subchapter, and to prevent an acute shortage of decent, safe, adequate, and sanitary dwellings for persons of low income, and to carry out the policy declared in the Act approved May 18, 1918, as amended, of caring for the alley population in the District of Columbia, and to that end it is necessary to enact the provisions hereinafter set forth.

(b) In order to remedy the conditions and evils hereinbefore recited and to carry out the policy hereinbefore declared, the Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and empowered to acquire by purchase, gift, condemnation, or otherwise:

(1) Any land, building, or structures, or any interest therein, situated in or adjacent to any inhabited alley in the District of Columbia;

(2) Any land, buildings, or structures, or any interest therein, within any square containing an inhabited alley, the acquisition of which is reasonably necessary for utilization, by replatting, improvement, or otherwise, pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, of any property acquired under paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

(3) Any other land, together with any structures that may be located thereon, in the District of Columbia that may be necessary to provide decent, safe, adequate, and sanitary housing accommodations for persons or families substantially equal in number to those who are to be deprived of habitation by reason of the demolition of buildings pursuant to the provisions of this title.

(c) The Authority is authorized and empowered to replat any land acquired under this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter; to pave or repave any street or alley thereon; to construct sewers and watermains therein; to install streetlights thereon; to demolish, move, or alter any buildings or structures situated thereon and erect such buildings or structures thereon as deemed advisable; provided, however, that the same shall be done and performed in accordance with the laws and municipal regulations of the District of Columbia applicable thereto.

(d) The Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to lease, rent, maintain, equip, manage, exchange, sell, or convey any such lands, buildings, or structures acquired under this title for such amounts and upon such terms and conditions as it may determine; provided, that sales of real property shall be made at public sale to the highest responsible bidder on terms satisfactory to the Authority after advertising for 3 consecutive weeks in at least 1 daily newspaper of general circulation published in the District of Columbia; provided, however, that the Authority may, without advertising, sell such property to a quasi-public institution or agency not organized or operated for private profit at not less than the cost of such property to the Authority, including improvements; and provided further, that if any such lands, buildings, or structures are required for the purposes of the United States or of the District of Columbia, they may be transferred thereto upon payment to the Authority of the reasonable value thereof.

(e) The Authority is authorized and empowered to aid in providing, equipping, managing, and maintaining houses and other buildings, improvements, and general community utilities on the property acquired under the provisions of this title, by loans, upon such terms and conditions as it may determine, to limited dividend corporations whose dividends do not exceed 6 per centum per annum, or to home owners to enable such corporations or home owners to acquire and develop sites on the property; provided, however, that no loan shall be made at a lower rate of interest than 5% per annum, and that all such loans shall be secured by reserving a 1st lien on the property involved for the benefit of the United States.


(June 12, 1934, 48 Stat. 930, ch. 465, § 1; June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1186, ch. 691, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-101.

1973 Ed., § 5-103.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-202.02, § 6-101.04, and § 6-101.05.

Cross References

Building regulations and zoning, powers and duties of Council and Mayor, see § 1-303.04.

Control and repair of streets, see § 9-101.01.

Municipal Center, rental of buildings, see § 10-602.

Public land, sale, see § 10-801 et seq.

Surveyor, duty to make plats at request of President, see § 1-1312.

Surveyor, recording of plats, see § 1-1305 et seq.

Transfer of Functions

The functions of the President under this section were transferred to the Mayor by § 1-202.02.

References in Text

“The Act approved May 18, 1918, as amended,” referred to near the end of subsection (a) of this section, refers to the Act of May 16, 1918, 40 Stat. 550, ch. 74, which was a temporary act authorizing the President to provide housing for war needs.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority to Implement the Provisions of the District of Columbia Alley Dwelling Act, see Mayor’s Order 88-30, December 15, 1987; Mayor’s Order 88-161, December 15, 1987.