Efforts to Build Affordable Workforce Housing in Dallas – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Rents and real estate values are skyrocketing in Dallas. But there are many efforts underway to help Dallas workers stay in the city.
A groundbreaking shovel took place Tuesday for one of those projects in the heart of North Oak Cliff on the site of the old courthouse at the Beckley Avenue branch in Dallas County.
It is very close to the luxury apartments in the Bishop Arts district where a lot of people who work in the acre cannot afford the rent.
Dallas City Council member Chad West represents the area.
“We are evicting more and more people from the city because we don’t have enough housing for them. So we move them. They’re moving to the suburbs, ”West said.
Dallas County Commissioners could have sold the courthouse site to a developer who likely built more of the same expensive apartments.
“We just didn’t feel like we needed more high-end apartments with affordable components that aren’t really affordable for working class people,” County Commissioner Elba Garcia said. , which also represents North Oak Cliff.
Instead, the county will lease the land on a long-term basis at no cost to a nonprofit developer for 230 new units, most of which will be reserved for families of four earning no more than $ 50,000 per year.
“This is one of the projects that we hope can put an end to this gentrification,” Garcia said.
A key element in making rent affordable in a popular neighborhood is for the government to provide the land.
And this is also happening now in many other places thanks to the efforts of the City of Dallas.
Another grand opening took place on October 25 on South Lancaster Road for affordable housing on city property near Ledbetter DART train station.
Similar projects have been approved at another site on South Lancaster Road near the VA Medical Center and on Al Lipscomb Way near Martin Luther King DART station.
DART offers five other sites on mostly empty parking lots adjacent to train stations. Dallas City Council votes Wednesday on a plan to market these DART sites to developers.
“The city lacks at least 20,000 affordable units. These are units for our workforce. These are the people who deliver our mail. They are new teachers, ”West said.
Attractive financing is another element to fuel the development of affordable housing.
A Dallas city council committee heard on Tuesday about plans to form a trust fund with $ 6 million in city seed money. The goal is to raise up to an additional $ 100 million for very low cost loans to support developers of affordable housing.
“It’s innovative. It’s something we’ve never done before, ”said Councilor Casey Thomas.
Linda McMahon, of the Texas Real Estate Council, which represents apartment builders, said there was no match for the trust fund program in Dallas now.
“I think this is a game changer for the city of Dallas,” she said.
Workers will need to be patient to see the benefits of these efforts. It will take years to build all the affordable units that are planned.