Updated Jun 6, 2023 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on housing affordability in Dallas

On Tuesday, June 6 in Dallas, Texas, Axios real estate reporter Sami Sparber and Axios Local Dallas reporter Michael Mooney hosted conversations focused on improving affordability and equity in the local housing market. Guests included City of Dallas Department of Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization director David A. Noguera, The Real Estate Council president and CEO Linda McMahon, and Texas State Representative John Bryant (D). A View from the Top sponsored segment featured American Property Owners Alliance executive director Colin Allen.

David A. Noguera explained his vision for improving Dallas housing affordability over the next decade as more people flock to the area.

  • On accommodating both longtime and new Dallas residents: “From my perspective, we have to accommodate those that are here in Dallas and those that are coming to Dallas. Dallas needs to be a home for everyone, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re taking an intentional approach to development so that if you’ve lived here for generations, you can continue to find opportunities to continue living here, and if you’re new to the area, there are opportunities for you to find housing as well.”

Linda McMahon discussed how misunderstanding the phrase “affordable housing” can contribute to affordability challenges in the Dallas housing market.

  • On headwinds impacting housing affordability: “The headwinds, frankly, in a lot of cases is political will. And it’s also a big problem with neighborhood opposition, people misunderstanding what is housing that’s affordable for all people that live in this neighborhood. And whenever they hear the phrase affordable housing, they automatically think homeless housing, low income housing…I think the issue is there needs to be some marketing, so to speak, or some changes in the mindset around what really is affordable housing, and it really benefits all of us.”

Rep. John Bryant emphasized how insufficient incomes and wages impact the ability to find and afford housing for people across the country.

  • On the connection between housing affordability and underpaid workers: “I think you can’t talk about affordable housing unless you talk about the ability of people to afford houses. And by that, I mean you’ve got to start talking about people’s income. We’re in a nation now where about half of our population has no assets, that’s a recent figure, and we’re in a situation now in which we grossly underpay large segments of our population that do great work all day long, every day, and then have to go and work second jobs just to get by. We cannot, as a practical matter and as a moral issue, discuss affordability unless we’re also talking about whether or not we’re paying people well enough.”

In the View from the Top segment, Colin Allen explained how paths to homeownership are impacted by factors ranging from affordable rental markets to access to credit.

  • “We look at ownership as kind of a ladder. You want to look at how do you get folks in, and get them in a position to where they are able to save and build their credit and kind of get up that ladder. A lot of times that begins with an affordable rental property. One of the things that we’ve also looked at…is increasing the low income housing tax credit. This is something that would encourage local governments to build more and to rehabilitate affordable rental units.”

Thank you to the American Property Owners Alliance for sponsoring this event.

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