Bureau of Homes for Colored

While researching another topic I noticed in the newspapers around 1920 this odd thing.

Ad from The Washington herald. October 21, 1920

Then I asked, what is this Bureau of Homes for Colored? Was it some agency to help African Americans buy homes in 1920?

Well beyond a few ads, I came up with bupkis searching Google. So I went back to Chronicling America and searched for 337 Southern Building. A lot of businesses operated out of that office building.

Looking off to the side I noticed W. H. Saunders’ ad for real estate loans. The ad read “REAL ESTATE LOAN MONEY TO LOAN- $250 to $600,000 in D.C. real estate. Several trust funds. All transactions conducted with economical consideration for borrowers.” Doing these histories I notice a lot of people used lenders other than banks to borrow money to purchase a home.

Back to 337 Southern Building, Bradford and Company Inc, out of that address, had an ad in the April 29, 1921 Washington Times to sell a home to Black home buyers in NE DC for $2,500 with $250 down for $30 a month. Same page a home in LeDroit Park forĀ  $2,000, with $200 cash down at $20 a month. Bradford and Co. also advertised homes to the general public as well.

It appears the Bureau of Homes for Colored was just an advertising scheme and not a real program for African American buyers.

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