Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 1. National Capital Housing Authority.


Subchapter I. Improvement of Housing Conditions.

§ 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.


§ 6–101.02. National Capital Housing Authority — Designation of agency; powers generally; approval of plans; condemnation proceedings.

(a) The Mayor of the District of Columbia may designate, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, such official or agency of the government of the United States or of the District of Columbia (hereinafter referred to as “the Authority”) as in his judgment is deemed necessary or advantageous, and the Authority shall have or obtain all powers necessary or appropriate therefor, including the employment of necessary personal services; but:

(1) All plans for replatting and/or method of condemnation under the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, shall be submitted to and receive the written approval of the National Capital Planning Commission and of the Mayor of the District of Columbia; provided, however, that:

(A) Failure of the National Capital Planning Commission or of the Mayor of the District of Columbia to formally approve or disapprove in writing within 60 days after a plan has been submitted shall be equivalent to a formal approval; and

(B) Disapproval shall be accompanied by a written statement giving all the reasons for disapproval; and

(2) Any plan which shall involve action by any department, bureau, or agency of the United States or of the District of Columbia shall be made after consultation with such department, bureau, or agency.

(b) In the event condemnation proceedings are required to carry out the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, the same shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 16.

(c) If the Authority determines in the case of any alley that it will be more advantageous to proceed in accordance with §§ 9-202.01 and 9-202.02, the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall be notified of such determination and proceedings shall then be had as provided in such sections for alleys and minor streets, except that if the total amount of damages awarded by the jury and the cost and expenses of the proceedings be in excess of the total amount of the assessment for benefits, such excess shall be borne and paid by the Authority.


(June 12, 1934, 48 Stat. 931, ch. 465, § 2; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 587, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 166(a); May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 15, 36 DCR 492.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-103.

1973 Ed., § 5-104.

Cross References

Eminent domain condemnation proceedings, see § 16-1301 et seq.

Transfer of Functions

“National Capital Planning Commission” was substituted for “National Capital Park and Planning Commission” in the introductory language in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section and in subparagraph (A) of that paragraph in view of the Act of June 6, 1924, ch. 270, § 9, as added by the Act of July 19, 1952, 66 Stat. 790, ch. 949, § 1, which transferred the functions, powers, and duties of the National Capital Park and Planning Commission to the National Capital Planning Commission.

The functions of the National Capital Housing Authority were transferred to the Department of Public and Assisted Housing by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1987, effective December 15, 1987.

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.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 6–101.03. National Capital Housing Authority — Appropriations; power to borrow money; temporary architectural and engineering services.

(a) The Mayor is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to make immediately available to the Authority for its lawful uses and as needed, from the allocation made from the appropriation to carry out the purposes of the National Industrial Recovery Act, contained in the Fourth Deficiency Act, fiscal year 1933, now carried under the title, “National Industrial Recovery, Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, Housing, 1933-1935,” symbol 03/5666, not to exceed $500,000 of any amount thereof dedicated for low-cost housing and slum-clearance projects in the District of Columbia, to be set aside in the Treasury and be known as “Conversion of Inhabited Alleys Fund” (hereinafter referred to as the “Fund”).

(b) The Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to borrow such moneys from individuals or private corporations as may be secured by the property and assets acquired under the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, and such moneys, together with all receipts from sales, leases, or other sources, shall be deposited in the Fund and shall be available for the purposes of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter. The Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to accept gifts of money from private sources; to borrow from the Treasury of the United States not to exceed $1,000,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1939, and a like sum in each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years, upon such terms and conditions as the Mayor may deem advisable, and appropriations for such purpose are hereby authorized out of the general fund of the Treasury; provided, that the Authority shall be obligated for the payment of interest at the going federal rate as defined in the United States Housing Act of 1937 [42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq.].

(c) The Fund shall be available annually in such amount as may be specified in the annual appropriation acts.

(d) In carrying out the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, the Authority is hereby authorized and empowered:

(1) To purchase books of reference, directories, and periodicals that are necessary in connection with its work; and

(2) To secure architectural and engineering services on specific projects; provided, that this authorization shall not apply to the employment of architects and engineers by the Authority on a permanent basis.


(June 12, 1934, 48 Stat. 931, ch. 465, § 3; June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1187, 1188, ch. 691, §§ 2-4; Aug. 2, 1946, 60 Stat. 809, ch. 744, § 9(b); Apr. 4, 1960, 74 Stat. 12, Pub. L. 86-400, § 1; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 3205(xx), 25 DCR 5740.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-104.

1973 Ed., § 5-105.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-636.02.

Cross References

Merit system, effective date provisions, see § 1-636.02.

Transfer of Functions

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

References in Text

The United States Housing Act of 1937, referred to in the second sentence in subsection (b) of this section, is the Act of September 1, 1937, ch. 896.


§ 6–101.04. National Capital Housing Authority — Annual report — Proposals for operations of succeeding fiscal year.

The objects set forth in § 6-101.01 shall be accomplished as rapidly as feasible and to this end the Authority shall, in each annual report, set forth what it proposes to do during the next succeeding fiscal year.


(June 12, 1934, 48 Stat. 932, ch. 465, § 4; June 8, 1944, 58 Stat. 271, ch. 238, § 1; July 5, 1945, 59 Stat. 410, ch. 268, § 1; June 26, 1946, 60 Stat. 319, ch. 503, § 1; Aug. 2, 1946, 60 Stat. 801, ch. 736, § 18(a); Aug. 16, 1954, 68 Stat. 731, ch. 739, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-105.

1973 Ed., § 5-106.


§ 6–101.05. National Capital Housing Authority — Annual report — Account of operations of preceding fiscal year.

(a) The Authority shall make a report to the Mayor of the District of Columbia, which he shall transmit to Congress at the beginning of each regular session, giving a full and detailed account of all operations under the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, for the preceding fiscal year, including an itemization of all properties purchased during such fiscal year, setting forth the assessed value of such properties, together with the purchase price therefor.

(b) Upon completion of the work contemplated by this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall submit a complete report to Congress giving a full and detailed account of all operations for the entire period of operation. If such work is not completed by July 1, 1944, the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall, on July 1, 1944, or at the opening of the next regular session of Congress after such date, make a report to Congress covering the operations under this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, for the entire period to July 1, 1944, including a statement of what further work remains to be done, and recommendation for further legislation if in his opinion such legislation is necessary.

(c) It is hereby declared to be the purpose and intent of Congress that the objects set forth in § 6-101.01 shall be accomplished, if possible, on or before July 1, 1944, except that loans made under this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter, may run for periods extending beyond such time.


(June 12, 1934, 48 Stat. 932, ch. 465, § 5; Apr. 4, 1960, 74 Stat. 12, Pub. L. 86-400, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-106.

1973 Ed., § 5-107.

Transfer of Functions

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


§ 6–101.06. Publication of notice to owners of alley dwellings.

There shall be published 3 times each year during the month of January in a newspaper of general circulation published in the District of Columbia a notice to owners and tenants of alley dwellings and of other property in squares containing inhabited alleys that alley dwellings in such squares may be demolished, removed, or vacated, and that the squares may be replatted on or before July 1, 1955.


(June 12, 1934, 48 Stat. 933, ch. 465, § 6; June 8, 1944, 58 Stat. 271, ch. 238, § 2; July 5, 1945, 59 Stat. 410, ch. 268, § 2; June 26, 1946, 60 Stat. 319, ch. 503, § 2; Aug. 2, 1946, 60 Stat. 801, ch. 736, § 18(b).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-107.

1973 Ed., § 5-108.


§ 6–101.07. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter and subchapter II of this chapter:

(1) The term “alley” means:

(A) Any court, thoroughfare, or passage, private or public, less than 30 feet wide at any point; and

(B) Any court, thoroughfare, or passage, private or public, 30 feet or more in width, that does not open directly with a width of at least 30 feet upon a public street that is at least 40 feet wide from building line to building line.

(2) The term “inhabited alley” means an alley in or appurtenant to which there are 1 or more alley dwellings.

(3) The term “alley dwelling” means any dwelling fronting upon or having its principal means of ingress from an alley. This definition does not include an accessory building, such as a garage, with living rooms for servants or other employees, if the principal entrance to the living rooms of the accessory building is from the street property to which it is accessory.

(4) The term “dwelling” means any building or structure used or designed to be used in whole or in part as a living or a sleeping place by 1 or more human beings.

(5) The term “person” includes any individual, partnership, corporation, or association.


(June 12, 1934, 48 Stat. 933, ch. 465, § 7.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-108.

1973 Ed., § 5-109.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 22-1321.


Subchapter II. Additional Powers.

§ 6–102.01. “Housing project” and “development” defined.

As used in this subchapter:

(1) The term “housing project” shall mean any low-rent housing (as defined in the United States Housing Act of 1937 [42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq.]), the development or administration of which is assisted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(2) The term “development” shall mean any or all undertakings necessary for planning, financing (including payment of carrying charges), land acquisition, demolition, construction, or equipment, in connection with a housing project, but not beyond the point of physical completion.


(June 12, 1934, ch. 465, title II, § 201; June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1188, ch. 691, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-111.

1973 Ed., § 5-112.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 6-102.02.

References in Text

The United States Housing Act of 1937, referred to in paragraph (1) of this section, is the Act of September 1, 1937, ch. 896.


§ 6–102.02. Housing projects; powers of Authority.

In addition to its other powers, the Authority shall have the power to acquire sites for and to prepare, carry out, acquire, lease, and operate housing projects, as defined in § 6-102.01, and to construct or provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, alteration, or repair of any such housing project, or any part thereof, in the District of Columbia.


(June 12, 1934, ch. 465, title II, § 202; June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1188, ch. 691, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-112.

1973 Ed., § 5-113.

Editor's Notes

Report on collections of rent: H.R. 3067, amended by H.R. 99-419, incorporated in Pub. L. 99-190 by § 101(c), the D.C. Appropriation Act, 1986, provided that the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development shall report every 6 months to the Council of the District of Columbia on collections of rent from public housing stock.

Establishment of District of Columbia Public Housing Advisory Board: See Mayor’s Order 89-202, September 8, 1989.


§ 6–102.03. Authority considered a public housing agency.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the Authority shall be considered a public housing agency within the meaning of, and to carry out the purposes of, the United States Housing Act of 1937 [42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq.]; and as such, the Authority is empowered to borrow money or accept contributions, grants or other financial assistance from the United States Housing Authority for or in aid of any housing project in the District of Columbia, in accordance with the United States Housing Act of 1937 to take over or lease or manage any such housing project or undertaking constructed, owned, or operated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and to those ends to comply with such conditions and enter into such mortgages, trust indentures, leases, or agreements as may be necessary, convenient, or desirable; provided, that the tax exemption of the property of the Authority shall be deemed a contribution by the District of Columbia in accordance with the local contributions requirements of § 1437 et seq. of Title 42, United States Code. It is the purpose and intent of this subchapter to authorize the Authority to do any and all things necessary to secure the financial aid of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in the undertaking, construction, maintenance, or operation in the District of Columbia of any housing project by the Authority.


(June 12, 1934, ch. 465, title II, § 203; June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1188, ch. 691, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-113.

1973 Ed., § 5-114.

References in Text

The United States Housing Act of 1937, referred to twice in the first sentence, is the Act of September 1, 1937, ch. 896.

The reference to § 1437 et seq. of Title 42 of the United States Code has been substituted for former references to § 1410(a) and § 1411(f) of Title 42, United States Code. Former §§ 1410(a) and 1411(f) of Title 42, United States Code, were omitted as superseded in the general revision of the United States Housing Act of 1937 by the Act of August 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 653, Pub. L. 93-383, § 201(a).


§ 6–102.04. Housing projects; contributions by District.

For the purpose of aiding and cooperating in the planning, undertaking, construction, or operation of housing projects, the District of Columbia, or any department, instrumentality, or agency thereof, may, upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine, as a contribution:

(1) Dedicate, sell, convey, or lease any needed property to the Authority;

(2) Cause parks, playgrounds, or recreational, community, educational, water, sewer, or drainage facilities, or any other works which it is otherwise empowered to undertake, to be furnished adjacent to or in connection with housing projects;

(3) Furnish, dedicate, close, pave, install, grade, regrade, plan, or replan streets, roads, roadways, alleys, sidewalks, or other places which it is otherwise empowered to undertake;

(4) Enter into agreements with the Authority respecting action to be taken pursuant to any of the powers granted by this subchapter and subchapter I of this chapter;

(5) Cause services of a character which it is otherwise empowered to furnish to be furnished to the Authority;

(6) Enter into agreements with the Authority respecting the elimination of unsafe, insanitary, or unfit dwellings; and

(7) Do any and all things necessary or convenient to aid and cooperate in the planning, undertaking, construction, or operation of such housing projects.


(June 12, 1934, ch. 465, title II, § 204; June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1188, ch. 691, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-114.

1973 Ed., § 5-115.


§ 6–102.05. Loans by District authorized.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized to lend to the Authority such amounts as may be necessary to enable the Authority to comply with the provisions of the United States Housing Act of 1937 [42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq.] and appropriations for such purpose are hereby authorized out of the revenues of the District of Columbia, and the Authority is empowered to accept such loans.


(June 12, 1934, ch. 465, title II, § 205; June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1189, ch. 691, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-115.

1973 Ed., § 5-116.

References in Text

The United States Housing Act of 1937, referred to in this section, is the Act of September 1, 1937, ch. 896.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


Subchapter III. Low-Rent Public Housing.

§ 6–103.01. Low-rent public housing projects.

All projects now operated and maintained by the National Capital Housing Authority pursuant to subchapter I of this chapter are deemed to be low-rent housing projects and may be consolidated, pursuant to § 1437 et seq. of Title 42, United States Code, into any contract for annual contributions covering projects maintained and operated pursuant to subchapter II of this chapter.


(Aug. 1, 1968, 82 Stat. 607, Pub. L. 90-448, title XVII, § 1711.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 5-116.

1973 Ed., § 5-117.

References in Text

The reference to § 1437 et seq. of Title 42, United States Code has been substituted for “ § 1415(6) of Title 42, United States Code.” Former § 1415(6) of Title 42, United States Code, was omitted as superseded in the general revision of the United States Housing Act of 1937 by the Act of August 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 653, Pub. L. 93-383.