Records of the Washington Housing Association, 1953-1961

Records of the Washington Housing Association, 1953-1961

Finding Aid

Collection No. 6 (2 linear ft.)
D.C. Community Archives


The records of the Washington Housing Association (WHA) were donated to the Library by Anna S. Miller, a former Executive Director of the WHA.


The Washington Housing Association was originally organized in 1933 as the Washington Committee on Housing to improve housing for low-income residents in the District. WHA sponsored the Alley Dwelling Elimination Act of July 1934. Mrs. Charlotte Everett Hopkins, a long-time crusader for the passage of the Act, was instrumental in the formation of WHA.

Eleanor Roosevelt served as WHA’s honorary chairman, Frederic A. Delano was its first chairman, and John Ihlder, a nationally recognized housing activist, was its first secretary.  

The Association fought for a sound housing code, to ensure construction of low-rent housing, and encourage landlord responsibility to tenants.  WHA became the Washington Planning and Housing Association in 1962 and later the Metropolitan Washington Planning and Housing Association.

In the 1960s, the Association assisted residents dislocated by urban renewal, freeway construction, and downtown development and helped them find affordable housing.  

Scope and Content Note

The records contain primarily monthly reports and newsletters of WHA from 1953 through 1961. In addition, reports and studies prepared or published by WHA regarding housing in the District is found in the records. Testimony and statements submitted to Congress by WHA members on housing issues also appear in the records.

Box Inventory

Box 1

  • Interim Report: Landlord-Tenant Court Study
  • Southwest relocation data, 1953
  • Sick Children-WHA publication, 1950
  • Report on a Study of Condemned Structures
  • Further Views on the Need of a Central Relocation Service
  • Report on Housing Sites, 1959
  • Report on Urban Renewal in the District, 1961 (2 copies)
  • Correspondence to Commissioners from Horsky, 1958
  • Correspondence to Commissioners, 1959
  • Statements given by staff of WHA, 1954-1955
  • Statements given by staff of WHA, 1956
  • Testimony of staff members of WHA, 1957
  • Statements made by staff of WHA, 1958
  • Testimony of staff of WHA, January-June, 1959
  • Statements and testimony given by the staff of WHA, May-December, 1959
  • Speech of James G. Banks at WHA luncheon meeting, September 30, 1959
  • Statements and testimony of staff members of WHA, 1960
  • Statements of WHA staff, 1961
  • Listing of activities of WHA, 1953-1961

Box 2

  • Monthly reports, 1954 through 1961 (includes 1953 quarterly reports)    

Box 3

  • Washington Housing Association Newsletters, 1956 through 1961

DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives
901 G St. NW, Room 307
Washington, D.C.  20001

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