Dallas Could Review Housing Policy

Steven Pickering
November 25, 2019 - 5:22 pm
Gavel, City Council Gavel



DALLAS (KRLD) - A member of the Dallas City Council wants to review the city's policies that were designed to promote the construction of more affordable housing in the city. Council Member Chad West says the city's existing policies are not generating the results that Council Members intended. 

West specifically wants to review a portion of the city's policy that was passed in 2016 that was designed to encourage apartment developers to build more units for lower-income families. "It basically says that if you're a developer and you want some of our TIF (Tax Increment Financing) money and you want to capture that in your new development, then we're going to  ask you to provide a set-aside of a certain amount of units for housing vouchers for people who are low income for people who qualify for the housing voucher program," West said. "Since that has been passed...no TIF funds have been applied for by developers since 2016 for affordable voucher-related housing units in projects. Quite a few occurred before this language had been passed requiring the set-asides."

He's asking the city's Housing Policy Task Force to look at those rules when it meets next month. 

West also wants to study a program of affordable housing credits for developers, "allowing builders to...instead of providing actual affordable housing units in their projects...to pay a fee in lieu of doing so." The city could then use that money to spur the creation of affordable housing in other developments. West is also interested in exploring a suggestion from Council Member Lee Kleinman that the city set up a marketplace for developers to buy or trade affordable housing certificates as part of their development process. 

The city's Housing Policy Task Force meets in early December. Council Member West hopes some of his proposals will be ready for consideration by the City Council next year.