City Directs $150M to ‘Affordable Housing’

Dallas Council Member Cara Mendelsohn speaking
Screengrab of Dallas Council Member Cara Mendelsohn speaking at Wednesday's meeting. | Image by City of Dallas

The Dallas City Council directed more than $150 million toward “affordable housing” initiatives on Wednesday.

Council Member Cara Mendelsohn (District 12) lauded the council’s efforts to address Dallas’ ongoing housing crisis. She noted that during Wednesday’s meeting alone, roughly $150.5 million was allocated toward “affordable housing.”

“We have so much discussion around this horseshoe about the need for affordable housing — there’s big discussions for the bond about affordable housing — and I just want to point out that agenda items 9, 10, and 11 combined are $150 million of investment today, right now, that we’re going to vote on, for affordable housing,” she said.

Following the council’s approval, the Dallas Housing Finance Corporation (DHFC) will issue $86 million in bonds that will be used to fund “affordable housing” in the city.

According to City documents, the DHFC will issue $25 million in “multifamily” bonds to finance a portion of the cost for 164 “affordable housing” units at a complex located at 9220 Ferguson Rd.

The DHFC will also issue $61 million in qualified mortgage bonds to finance home mortgage loans to lower-income residents.

Furthermore, the Dallas Public Facility Corporation will acquire and develop Banyan Flats at 2020 North Beckley Ave., turning it into a “mixed-income, multifamily development.” The project will cost $64,539,584, including both the cost of acquiring the land and developing the project.

The City will also enter a 75-year lease agreement with Bishop Arts JV, LLC, which will receive a total of $2,277,286 in tax breaks for the duration of the lease.

“The dollar amounts that this council has invested is [sic] staggering,” Mendelsohn said. “We have more than a dozen different ways to create affordable housing, but just today had we not even brought it up — $150 million.”

She added that the council should take pride in its efforts regarding housing and “feel that good vibe.”

These efforts come as Dallas-Fort Worth is in the midst of a severe housing crisis, facing an ongoing shortage of long-term housing, as previously covered by The Dallas Express.

While the Development Services Department in Dallas has taken several steps over the last two years to address lengthy construction permit turnaround times, The Dallas Express has continued to hear about long delays under City Manager T.C. Broadnax.

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