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.
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.
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