Dec 14, 2021 - News

Consultant recommends Dallas mirror Austin's housing policy

Illustration of a Rubik's cube in the shape of a house.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Dallas needs a housing policy that recognizes and fixes discriminatory practices that have excluded people of color from safe and affordable place to live in the city, according to a report that will be presented to a City Council committee this week.

  • Dallas should use Austin’s housing plan as a model for improving its Comprehensive Housing Policy, TDA Consulting recommends.
  • Austin’s 10-year plan includes creating 60,000 affordable housing units for those making less than 80% of the median family income.

Why it matters: The firm says the city’s current housing plan is "silent on equity" and does not include concrete goals to ensure affordable housing is available in all parts of the city for all people.

Details: First, the city should create a vision statement for how its housing policy will fix the north-south divide.

  • The housing policy must have measurable goals to achieve within a set period of time.
  • The policy should require education for policymakers and city staff on what racial equity means for affordable housing.
  • Developments funded by the low-income housing tax credit should be spread throughout the city and not just in high-poverty areas.

What they’re saying: The consulting firm concludes that the city must explicitly state how developments will “increase equity and decrease segregation.”

  • The city’s housing plan offers "no specific strategies for redressing deep-rooted inequities by leveling the playing field for Black and Brown residents and historically Black and Brown communities," the report says.

By the numbers: The consulting firm’s report breaks down the percentage of households earning less than $75,000 a year by race as:

  • 80% of Black households
  • 74% of Hispanic households
  • 45% of white households

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