As Dallas continues to see new investment and new housing opportunities, it is critical that affordable options remain available or are created throughout the city, and that the local development community have the capacity to deliver those options.
In September, 2014, [bc] hosted Lab #1 of AIM for Dallas. The lab brought a group of local, regional and national practitioners and experts together to discuss and prioritize the challenges currently inhibiting affordable infill housing production. The group reconvened a second time to determine deliverable solutions for AIM for Dallas goals, discuss housing markets and development cycles as they relate to affordable infill, and apply these goals and market-thinking to realistic development scenarios in Dallas.
Over the course of the fall, [bc] researched the challenges to affordable infill housing that were listed and prioritized at September, 2014’s Lab #1. From this research, [bc] developed case studies exploring solutions to similar challenges from cities around the country. These case studies evolved into a set of goals for AIM for Dallas that would result in deliverable products.
In December, [bc] hosted a webinar where AIM for Dallas’s advisors gave feedback on, modified and confirmed the initiative’s goals.
At Lab #2, advisors suggested deliverables and frameworks for pursuing these goals. Collaboration and information sharing was a common theme across the goals listed. Another theme that emerged was the need for targeted, coordinated neighborhood investments to ensure the most efficient impact. This idea led into a dialogue about the value of market-based awareness in affordable infill delivery. In the final exercise, advisors were divided into four groups with each group piecing together a development plan for a real vacant site within the city, including consideration of market trends in each site’s neighborhood, site configuration and location, and community engagement.
Moving forward, AIM for Dallas will focus on distilling the large set of goals and solutions into five action items, as part of a proposed collaborative. Lab #3 will be held in the Spring with a focus on confirming these action items, establishing a collaborative, and continuing to examine development opportunities as a group.
Affordable Infill Model (AIM) for Dallas is a multi-year project, generously supported by the Citi Foundation, designed to address gaps in the supply and demand for affordable housing in Dallas. The outcome of this process will be a set of solutions intended to guide the city toward a new market-based model for the creation of affordable infill housing through the use of currently vacant land.