Bass Circle Apartments were built in the early 1940s in Washington, D.C. First settled as a homestead after the Civil War, the arrival of infrastructure brought new development and expanded the population of Marshall Heights. In the 1980s and 1990s, the neighborhood suffered the influence of crack cocaine and the resulting property vacancies. By the early 2000s, the five-building complex was dilapidated, known as a drug hotspot, largely vacant, and generally unsafe and unhealthy. Residents with the resources to leave did; the remaining families lived with serious housing concerns including being “plagued by rodents and roaches,” drafty windows, peeling paint, faulty appliances, and unsecured vacant units.
In 2007, when Bass Circle residents were informed that the property was to be sold, they incorporated a tenant association in order to purchase the property and preserve their homes. While a legal battle between the owners and DC's Department of Housing and Community Development caused delays, the site was eventually sold in 2009 to Bass Circle LLC for redevelopment as affordable housing, with the original tenants guaranteed the right to return. By 2013, the community had been revitalized, inwardly and outwardly, returning residents were pleased with their remodeled homes, and within months the apartments were fully occupied.