Mar 2, 2023 - News

Dallas tries to fix racial discrimination with housing policy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Dallas is in the final stages of adopting a revised housing policy that seeks to fix the city's long history of racial discrimination and segregation.

Driving the news: Staff briefed City Council on Wednesday on Dallas Housing Policy 2033, which would finally establish goals to ensure equitable housing for residents of different races.

Why it matters: It would update the city's first housing policy, a lengthy document adopted in 2018 in the wake of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development into the use of federal funds apparently unaccounted for between 2012 and 2014. It didn't address racial discrimination.

Flashback: A 2021 consultant's report documents Dallas' racial disparities in housing and highlights a timeline of segregation in the city.

  • For example, Dallas was the first Texas city to impose housing segregation by race in 1916.

By the numbers: An estimated 14,000 affordable housing units have been added in Dallas since 2018 but the city still needs 20,000 more, according to the council briefing.

  • The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area needs about 100,000 affordable housing units to meet current demand.

Details: Under the updated policy, the city should increase affordable rental units by 10% each year until Dec. 31, 2033.

  • The policy also calls for a similar increase in the production of affordable homes.
  • And, city staff would be required to produce annual reports measuring the progress.

Of note: The plan also calls for "anti-displacement investments" to keep people with deep roots in neighborhoods threatened by gentrification. (Think West Dallas.)

  • The city will determine criteria for those investments by December.

What's next: City Council is expected to approve the housing plan in April.


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