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OUR VOICES: District 4 – As We Are Now “$7.9 Million Approval”

By Carolyn King Arnold

Working to create and maintain affordable housing throughout Dallas, promote greater fair housing choices, overcome patterns of segregation and concentrations of poverty through incentives and requirements; that’s the city of Dallas Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Board’s purpose and goal.

However, the real question that must be answered is: What is the difference between neighborhood revitalization and neighborhood gentrification?

When neighborhood gentrification takes place (most often) you’ll see a demographic shift and property values rise. Wealthier residents move in, rehab or build new homes and replace poorer residents. That happens because the current poorer residents (even though they owned their homes and property) can’t afford to pay the new higher tax rates.

Neighborhood revitalization is a community-oriented approach to economic and demographic shifts. Its focus is not to displace people but to maintain the neighborhood’s character while adding new residents from different racial backgrounds earning middle to higher income levels.

Our focus this week in District 4 is Affordable Living Opportunities, specifically the Dallas City Council approval of more than $7.9 million in federal funds for a planned affordable housing community — The Terrace at Southern Oaks Project.

The Terrace at Southern Oaks is estimated to take about 24 months to construct. This LDG development will include features such as a swimming pool, business and fitness center, and spacious floor plans. It also speaks highly of how the city of Dallas and the private sector can partner to create mixed-income housing.

The facts remain, District 4 desperately needs high-quality housing that can meet the diverse needs of individuals and families living in this area. The Terrace at Southern Oaks” was approved (thank you very much) by the City of Dallas because historically we did not fund infrastructure and housing development plans in low-income areas.

The money for this project comes from the Community Development Block Grant ($4.4 million) and HOME investment funds ($3.5 million). The good news is this project, affordable units on Corinth and others under discussion signal District 4
is on its way to climbing out of the basement of affordable housing opportunities.

Together we will transform today’s District 4 into a thriving district where jobs, community pride, respectable affordable housing and the essentials of quality of life are commonplace for all residents.

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