For any Dallas resident (of at least the past 3 years), the current transformation to the city’s aesthetic is glaringly blinding. Literally, blink for one second too long and your entire surrounding could morph instantly, including local highways and by-ways, neighborhoods, and retail options. In particular, changes in the southern sector range from the blossoming Bishop Arts District, to the building of $200k (plus) homes being built in and around the Fair Park and throughout the 10th Street Historic District. These developments are the result of the coming privatization of the Fair Park and the planned addition to the Dallas Zoo (including a new deck park).
With the recent growth of the city’s economics and resident population, complex issues regarding gentrification, affordable housing, and homelessness have been a major concern. So much so that city officials and departments have committed a more detailed and intense look into helping to solve such problems and issues.
The apex of this problem-solving has most notably resulted in the City of Dallas passing a Comprehensive Housing Policy. The goals of this policy are 3-fold: one, establishing affordable housing; two, promoting fair housing; and three, overcoming patterns of segregation. This housing policy has outlined three strategies targeting developers, current homeowners, and potential homebuyers within “Redevelopment,” “Stabilization,” and “Emerging Market” areas.
New development incentives promote private investment for the development of sustainable housing. The City plans on offering developers 0-3% loan options to produce new units for sell or as rental units. Initiatives also include Land bank lot-purchase and development in “Stabilization” and “Emerging Market” areas throughout the city.
Strides to preserve existing housing will be implemented through 0% homeowner loans (with deferred payment) like the Home Improvement and Preservation Program (HIPP) to help finance home improvements. In making efforts to preserve existing structures, the policy offers tax freezes to owners who make improvements to their properties. In keeping with revitalization efforts, the City will also offer the Rental Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program, a 3% loan to landlords owning single-family or small multifamily units needing to be brought up to code.
The City aims to enable residents to purchase homes as well. Direct assistance through programs like the Dallas Home Buyer Assistance Program (DHAP) will provide funding assistance via 0% interest loans (payable upon resale) to be used for closing costs, a down payment, or principle reduction.
Additionally, efforts involving homelessness have been focused and a study has been presented to tackle this problem directly with a four-track strategy including: increasing shelter capacity of existing providers; increasing the number of temporary homeless centers; enlisting a master lease/landlord incentive; and funding new development for permanent supportive houses. Details on the particulars of all these initiates can be found under the Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization page online at the City of Dallas website (www.dallascityhall.com).