Benjamin Banneker Development Corporation

The Benjamin Banneker Development Corporation (BBDC)—like its namesake, the renowned author, scientist, mathematician, farmer, astronomer, publisher, and urban planner —has served many roles in the Greater Metropolitan Washington Area. Established 25 years ago, its initial mission was to help improve the community by providing affordable housing in the District of Columbia. Today, BBDC works to advance community development across the DMV, and affect positive, sustainable change in our communities through urban development, education, and philanthropic initiatives.


pic 3pic 4 The enactment of the National Housing Act of 1934, and the resulting decades-long practice of “redlining”—denying mortgages based on race and not qualifications or creditworthiness—kept African Americans from becoming homeowners and sought to destroy the possibility of investment wherever people of color lived.  The Civil Rights Movement and War on Poverty programs of the 1960s led to the birth of community development corporations (CDCs) to fight against redlining and divestment issues in cities, as well as the new federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1965.  The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed to prohibit redlining.

In 1983, the D.C. Local Development Corp (DCLDC) the predecessor of BBDC, began offering financial assistance to low-income homebuyers throughout the city through the federal Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), and managed a senior citizens home. Later when the program was turned over to the Urban League, BBDC in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, purchased foreclosed homes that were then made available for purchase to District residents at affordable prices. The Corporation also worked with other nonprofit organizations and a property developer to create a successful shopping center in what is now one of the city’s most vibrant Northwest neighborhoods.

When the partnership with HUD ended, BBDC turned its attention to philanthropic pursuits that included providing funding to the city’s public high school graduating seniors who need a financial boost to help them pursue higher education opportunities; exposing students to cultural and sports activities; and aid to other nonprofits, such as the AVON 39 Breast Cancer Crusade, MANA, the Parkside Civic Corporation, Global Fairness Initiative, the Parkside Civic Association’s annual tennis camp, the State Department’s Clyde G. Nora Foundation, and other community organizations that work to improve the quality of life for D.C.’s neediest and most deserving residents.