Crowding- and good intentions gone lost

I forget which census year it was but one year there were 11 people living in the house I currently occupy. As far as I know, the house has always been a two bedroom and I believe the cellar is a late 20th century addition. My house is about 1,000 sq ft.
I have read that overcrowding could be blamed on segregation. Segregation was probably one of several causes, if there are so many structures in the city and many of those structures are off limits due to covenants and other restrictions, then that limits housing choices. I get a sense that economics had something to do with it as well, but that is just a guess.
Anywho, a turn of the century description of crowded rental housing comes from a report from Clare de Graffenried:

I have no doubt that lodgers are harbored in these alleys whose presence, for many reasons not creditable to the occupants, is always concealed. The confessed facts are startling enough. We have here accounts of 7 persons living in two rooms– the mother and her sons, 21, 17 and 7 years of age, occupying one bedchamber. Again, 9 individuals live in two romse[sic]; 11 people in four rooms. Five, almost all adults, sleep in one room– the mother 43, a son 21, and daughters 19, 17, and 14; and 4 persons use another room– a mother 45, and aunt 70, and a son 22, and a baby 9 months old.
–Page 18 of Kober, George “The History and Development of the Housing Movement in the City of Washington, DC” Washington, DC 1907.

Doing a Google search for Miss de Graffenried, brought up Between Justice and Beauty by Howard Gillette, Jr., which on page 113 where he notes that she goes for the dramatic story over statistics. Later Gillette writes on page regarding the predecessor of the Washington Sanitary Improvement Company, which built the houses on Bates Street:

By 1904 the company housed 140 families, 30 of whom were black. Since the overwhelming majority of alley dwellers were black, the company clearly did not direct its attention to those in greatest need.– page 115

In Kober in 1909 writes about their housing efforts:

It should be stated, that while the original intention was to provide homes for alley residents and thereby remove the slums, it was considered best to begin this movement by providing improved dwellings for the better class of wage earners, in the belief that houses vacated by them would be rented by the next grade, and so on until the bottom of the ladder was reached. –page 31

More from The History and Development of the Housing Movement

Here’s something else from George Kober’s The History of Development of the Housing Movement in the City of Washington, D.C. regarding slum housing:

But even in modern cities unhealthful habitations abound and have been permitted to be erected without interference.
We have them in Washington and Georgetown in considerable number, which greatly increased during the War, when the slave deserted the plantation to find refuge and liberty in the District of Columbia, the only spot at that time in the United States that offered such a boon.
The rapid influx of a negro population, estimated to have been between 30,000 and 40,000, imperatively demanded immediate accommodation. In consequence of this necessity, hovels of every description arose as if by magic. The result of this abnormal growth of a class of people destitute of means and education, ignorant of physical laws, at a time of war and confusion has been the erection of cheap dwellings, as much of the material having been obtained from army camps and hospitals.
–Pages 4-5

That could explain the shanty nature of some of the ‘houses’ pictured in the book and in other places I’ve seen regarding bad DC housing. The weirdest thing is people paid rent to live in these poorly constructed shacks. In 1874 the amount ranged from $2.50-$10.00. In an 1896 survey unfit housing rents were about $8-10.50. What’s that in 2009 dollars? No clue the BLS inflation calculator only goes back to 1913. But $10 1913 dollars equals $214.57 in today’s dollars. Roughly.
Later I will cover overcrowding.