The neighborhood of Columbia Heights in Washington, DC was thriving before the devastation from the 1968 riots, sparked by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The social, political and economic discrimination experienced by the residents boiled over and the riots severely impacted the community – 60 percent of businesses were burned and/or looted and 20 percent of the housing units were badly damaged in Columbia Heights.
What had once been the major destination for retail and entertainment in the District of Columbia had quickly become an epicenter of vacant lots and dilapidated buildings.
For decades after the riots, little was done to assist in the rebuilding of Columbia Heights.
Then in 1984, with the goal of bringing much needed resources to an underserved neighborhood, nine community activists came together to establish the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
DCCH was created as a nonprofit community development corporation with the purpose of furthering the economic development of Columbia Heights and Washington, DC.
We were established in 1984 through a Civic Association to function as an advocacy platform to raise concerns and stimulate public debate about the one-dimensional urban renewal program as it was being carried out in Washington, DC.
Since then, the corporation has led, planned, and executed neighborhood revitalization activities that benefit low- and moderate- income households and the broader community. It has done this by increasing the number of local businesses and retail options, responding to unmet community needs, increasing employment opportunities, and developing more affordable housing.
Today, DCCH has grown into a 19-member board of community leaders with six staff working to revitalize Columbia Heights and the broader community.
Former President & CEO
Robert L. Moore served as President and Chief Executive Officer of DCCH for nearly 25 years before he passed. His focused leadership, community partnerships and inclusive revitalization led to hundreds of affordable housing units throughout the District and major mixed-use property developments in Columbia Heights.
We continue to be inspired by his work and legacy.