North Texas is known for its great quality of life. But like every major metropolitan area across the country, our region faces a crisis. That crisis is ensuring every family has access to safe, quality, affordable housing. But the term “affordable housing” is viewed negatively because it’s often misunderstood.
This misunderstanding creates a “not in my backyard” mentality, a barrier to mixed income development.
But the term “affordable housing” is viewed negatively because it’s often misunderstood.
Affordable housing is defined as housing that costs less than 30 percent of a household’s gross income. Families spending more than thirty percent of their income on housing could face a short-term crisis, crippling their ability to afford basic necessities. Add the cost of transportation, which typically is 15 percent of a family’s monthly expenses, and it’s a devastating combination.
As we plan for our region’s future we need to ensure everyone has access to affordable housing close to their workplaces. Find out why providing affordable housing means better neighborhoods in Dallas and a stronger economy.
This important, complex public policy issue required action, so TREC members formed a group of industry experts who met weekly for four months. The group accomplished the following to devise policy recommendations for the city of Dallas:
- Compared and analyzed best practices of 17 cities across the country
- Consulted with issue experts and policymakers including the Ron Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, The National Multifamily Housing Council, City staff and Councilmembers
- Identified current locations of affordable housing funded or insured by HUD, relevant zoning designations as well as city-owned land through interactive regional and local maps
- Compiled recommendations and tested them using real-life development projects as examples
We found there is no magic bullet or a one-size-fits-all solution. We believe creating mixed-income neighborhoods is sound economic policy. Addressing the crisis of providing affordable housing to our community will require a variety of tools and incentives. TREC recently presented its recommendations to the City of Dallas Economic Development and Housing Committee.
We found there is no magic bullet or a one-size-fits-all solution.
As the City of Dallas strives to devise solutions to address this national issue, TREC will continue to dedicate our members’ time and resources to ensure Dallas continues to grow and thrive.
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