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From Redlining to Revitalization: Protecting Housing Opportunity

CPDC’s Washington D.C. Mayfair Mansions community was among the first in the U.S. designed for working- and middle-class African Americans during an era of redlining and crippling housing discrimination. Today, CPDC’s continued investment helps preserve, protect and revitalize.

In 2016, the rising cost of housing and fast-gentrifying neighborhoods make the need for investment in affordable housing critical.

Decades ago, the need was just as urgent—but for different reasons.rsz_ii790704_-_0001-1

With the establishment of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 the practice of denying African American and other minority groups equal access to housing–through misinformation, denial of realty and financing services and racial steering–became widespread.

In Washington, DC, the practice of redlining—cutting off communities from essential capital and services—had effects that persist even today.Mayfair-cover_gray

Once racially diverse areas became mono-racial and low-income neighborhoods turned into slums. This disinvestment resulted in neighborhood economic decline, urban decay and the withholding of services or their provision at high costs. It would cripple reconstruction and revitalization efforts for decades.

The practice wasn’t outlawed until 1968 via the Fair Housing Act.

Many communities are still suffering from the effects of these discriminatory practices today.

CPDC’s historic Northeast D.C. Mayfair Mansions garden apartments were built between 1942 and 1946, in the midst of housing segregation.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mayfair Mansions was among the first communities designed for working- and middle-class African American residents in D.C. and in the United States.Cassell

The three-story Colonial Revival style buildings were designed by one of Washington’s first professionally trained African-American architects, Albert I. Cassell.

CPDC acquired Mayfair Mansions in 2006, completed substantial renovations in 2009 and today continues to invest in and preserve this and nearly 30 other communities across D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Learn more about how CPDC is committed to helping communities and residents grow and thrive.

For more on CPDC’s Black History Month 2016 series, follow us on Twitter @CPDCorg and join the conversation: #BlackHouseStory #BlacksInHousing

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