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Independent Living for the Handicapped / Belmont Independent Living

Identifier: 163

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of administrative records, meeting minutes, agendas, financial statements, management reports, correspondence, ephemera, and printed and audio/visual material related to the work and activities of Independent Living for the Handicapped and Belmont Independent Living between the years of 1982 and 2001. Some items are restricted.


  • Creation: Unknown


Materials in box seven (7) contain personal and private information; researcher access is therefore restricted. The restriction will be revisited fifty (50) years from the latest date of the materials in those files.

Historical Note

In 1972, a group of young adults with physical disabilities and their families and friends started Independent Living for the Handicapped (ILH). Led by Beverly Price, ILH aimed to create accessible housing with support services. In 1974, ILH incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit organization in the District of Columbia. Initially, the Articles of Incorporation provided only for a Board of Directors, though a 1977 amendment provided for a voting membership, as well.

In 1977, through a major fundraiser at the British Embassy and a generous matching gift from the late John Savage (brother of Libbey Campbell of ILH), ILH bought a single-family residence at 4815 Chesapeake Street NW. Shortly afterwards, ILH obtained community development block grant funds to remodel and enlarge the house.

In 1983, ILH got a 202/8 loan from the United States Housing and Urban Development Department to build a 20-unit accessible apartment house at 1301 Belmont Street NW, which opened in November 1984. As required by HUD, ILH formed a new nonprofit corporation for the sole purpose of owning and operating the apartment building. The new corporation, Belmont Independent Living (BIL), consisted of a small, policy-making Board of Directors. The Directors hired a private company to manage the building in accordance with HUD rules. The ILH offices were located in the Belmont building in order to provide assistance and support services to the residents. That same year, ILH also signed the first of a series of contracts with the District of Columbia to provide residential services for people with disabilities who lived independently.

ILH formed a joint venture with MB Housing Foundation of Raleigh, NC and sought HUD loans to build additional apartments for people with disabilities. HUD approved two applications and two 30-unit garden apartment complexes were built as a result: Hickory Place Apartments in Charlotte, NC and Nettles Drive Apartments in Newport News, VA. Nonprofit corporations formed for the purpose of operation, “Accessible Apartments of Charlotte” and “Accessible Apartments of Newport News,” managed these locations.

In 1994, ILH determined it was no longer possible to keep the house at 4815 Chesapeake Street open. ILH placed the house on the market, but did not find a buyer immediately. The next year, ILH rented the house to the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute with the option to buy when HUD funds became available. The Kennedy Institute eventually bought the house and operated it as a group residence.

In 1995, the organization changed the name of 1301 Belmont to “Christopher Price House” in memory of Bill and Beverly Price’s late son.


3.25 Linear feet (Total Boxes: 7)

Language of Materials



Mary Ternes originally donated this collection in 1997; at that time, the estimated record dates were listed as ca. 1982 - 1992. Additional materials were donated at some point after 1997. The items represented within the collection are from Mary Ternes’ time spent on the Independent Living for the Handicapped Board of Directors and the Belmont Independent Living Board of Directors.

Processing Procedure

At the time of donation, folders in this collection were loosely organized by topic. Some folders were in better order than others. As outlined in the processing plan, the processor arranged the materials by format and there under chronologically, making an effort to keep associated items together. Materials were rehoused into legal-sized acid-free file folders and archival document storage boxes.

Throughout processing, paper clips; plastic bindings; and rusty, loose, and/or warped staples were removed. Except in the case of financial documents printed on oversized spreadsheet printer paper, folded papers were unfolded and pressed flat. The processor placed photographs in clear plastic sleeves and disassembled materials that were in binders, pocket folders, and envelopes. The majority of newspaper clippings were photocopied; however, full newspapers and large clippings were housed separately from other documents. The following items were removed from the collection and discarded: duplicates (more than two); original newspaper articles; blank papers; binders; and original file folders.

Independent Living for the Handicapped / Belmont Independent Living Collection
A guide to the Independent Living for the Handicapped / Belmont Independent Living Collection
Prepared by Julie Burns
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001