Irving M. Kriegsfeld, 84, a former leading official of D.C. housing commissions who founded and ran a real estate development and management company, died July 9 at an assisted living facility in Olmstead Falls, Ohio. He had Alzheimer's disease.
Mr. Kriegsfeld was a widely recognized authority on affordable housing in the mid-1970s, when he served on the District's rent commission and was chairman of the National Housing Conference and the D.C. Legislative Committee on Housing. The latter organization was formed in 1976 by then-Mayor Walter E. Washington to craft a comprehensive citywide policy on private and public affordable housing development.
Other members of the legislative committee included former D.C. planning director Ben W. Gilbert and Marion Barry, who as mayor of the District appointed Mr. Kriegsfeld chairman of a blue-ribbon commission on public housing.
In the late 1970s, Mr. Kriegsfeld was director of the Washington Board of Realtors and the Apartment and Office Building Association.
About the same time Mr. Kriegsfeld served on those committees, he also worked in the private sector. He was president of a property management company owned by Conrad and Carter Cafritz before he started his own company, Kriegsfeld Corp., in 1985. He was chief executive of his company and Material Systems Corp., which built houses nationally using special composite materials.
He retired in 2000 and moved from Bethesda to Ohio last year.
Mr. Kriegsfeld was born in Poland and came to the United States with his family when he was 2 years old. They settled in New York, where he attended the Juilliard School of Music and City College of New York, from which he graduated with a degree in education. He received a master's degree in social work from Columbia University after serving in the Army during World War II.
He went on to become a social worker in San Francisco and Rochester, N.Y., where he served as a straw-man buyer for black families wanting to purchase homes in all-white communities. In 1968, he joined the administration of then-Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes as executive director of the Cuyahoga (County) Metropolitan Housing Authority. Under Mr. Kriegsfeld's direction, the agency built more than 5,000 low- and moderate-income housing units in less than three years.
Throughout his career, Mr. Kriegsfeld served as consultant to governmental bodies, including the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, the offices of the mayors of Boston and Newark, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the housing division for the state of Ohio.
His wife, Ethel Kriegsfeld, died in 2002 after 59 years of marriage.
Survivors include two children, Lee Kriegsfeld of Chevy Chase and Lynne Pietz of Cleveland; a sister; and four grandchildren.