2017 State of Dallas Housing Report

Learn more about AIM for Dallas and bcANALYTICS, and read the full 2017 State of Dallas Housing Report here. 

If you missed the April 25th event, you can watch the presentation and panel discussion here.

Like many cities across America, Dallas struggles with how to provide adequate housing for low, moderate, and middle income households. The city’s history of segregation between the north and south is evident in many ways, as discussed in 2016 State of Dallas Housing. In regards to housing, a 2015 Supreme Court ruling on Fair Housing and the City’s Voluntary Compliance Agreement with The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have put the City under pressure to address historic segregation through their policies and funding allocations. Are opportunities for housing available to all residents, in the north and south?  A holistic analysis of the city’s housing landscape is needed to help better understand current conditions and help shape housing policy to address the needs of Dallas.

The 2017 State of Dallas Housing is just that assessment of Dallas’ housing landscape - its current housing stock, the people that live in the city, activity to construct and sell new homes, and the policies that guide civic and market investments in housing.

Join [bc] for a presentation of the 2017 State of Dallas Housing report followed by a panel discussion on housing affordability in Dallas on Tuesday, April 25th, at 6:30 pm at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.  Panelist include - 

Roy Lopez - Community Development Office, U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Bernadette Mitchell - Director of Housing, City of Dallas
Demetria McCain - President, Inclusive Communities Project
Scott Galbraith - Vice President, Matthews Affordable Income Development

Please RSVP here.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Executive Summary

The 2017 State of Dallas Housing documents the characteristics of Dallas’ housing landscape - the people who live in the city, the houses they live in, and activity to build or sell homes - and identifies major barriers to accessing adequate housing for many of the city’s 1.3 million residents. In a city that has seen sustained increases in housing costs following the 2008 Recession, it appears that many low- and middle-income Dallasites struggle to find housing that meets their needs, regardless of whether they are looking to rent or own. Dallas’ surprisingly low homeownership rate (43%) continues to sit well below peers across the country, but this varies greatly between northern and southern Dallas as well as between the city’s white and minority households.

Dallas’ North-South divide permeates the report. Differences between households, housing, and market activity represent serious issues facing the city’s population. The city’s minority population is highly concentrated in southern Dallas and live in housing that is older and more affordable, although of varying quality, and those that live in northern Dallas are overwhelmingly renters. Opportunities to find affordable housing are limited in the north, often by economic constraints facing more than a third of the city’s households. Despite this, the local housing market operates at the high end of the income bracket, where homes are built and sold that far exceed the financial realities of most households in the city.

The findings in this report highlight the need for adjustments in public policy and reveal inefficiencies in the current marketplace. The recommendations of this report speak to those adjustments and inefficiencies, providing a pathway to building a more equitable city:

Key Findings

  • 68,000 households in Dallas need housing that costs less than $400 per month;
  • Homeownership for Dallas’ minority households falls behind rates of white households: 56% of white households are owner-occupied, compared to 31% for black households, 43% for Hispanic households, and 38% for Asian households;
  • The median sale price of recently constructed homes rose from $145,00 in 2011 to $522,000 in 2016;
  • 32% of homes in southern Dallas are valued less than $50,000, which represents just 6% of northern Dallas houses.


  • The City of Dallas should undertake a thorough review of its Land Bank program;
  • Innovative programs that promote housing affordability should be adopted by the City;
  • Public/Private partnerships to expand market-rate affordable housing for middle-income homebuyers are needed across the City;
  • Local homebuilders should explore opportunities for infill development of housing products that address the needs of low- and middle-income households identified in the report;
  • The City should seek to further Fair Housing through all funding allocations, including HUD funding for single family ownership.

Downtown Dallas Community Audited Public Space (CAPS)

Join [bc] and Downtown Dallas, Inc. for a Community Audited Public Space (CAPS) exercise. Use your knowledge and skills to gather vital information on the quality of sidewalks and streetscapes which will help inform planning efforts in downtown. 

On the morning and afternoon of Saturday, March 25th, volunteers will work alongside [bc] to explore the heart of downtown Dallas through a series of data gathering activities. On Saturday, April 1st, [bc] will lead designers, engineers, and planners to audit some of the most complex spaces in downtown, focusing on the areas that bridge between the inside and outside of the downtown “loop”. During these events, we will record the physical condition of downtown’s public realm focusing on the sidewalks, their width, materiality, amenities and their interaction with the street.  

Public knowledge is indispensable in understanding the experience of place within the city. CAPS will reinforce the community led advocacy already taking place in downtown and will also help develop tools and strategies for documenting and addressing issues in downtown's public spaces and sidewalks. The results will aid in neighborhood efforts to 

  • Advocate for high quality public spaces
  • Enhance public safety through street and sidewalk treatments
  • Enhance the public realm through the addition of active public spaces
  • Provide community driven, qualitative analysis to supplement quantitative measurements of downtown 
  • Increase collaboration between community members

During each of these audits, participants will start by running through a CAPS training followed by small groups assignments to complete the audits. Facilitators will lead each small group through several blocks, gathering opinions and data on the sidewalks and streetscapes of the area. With the facilitator's guidance, auditors will record the physical condition of downtown's public realm focusing on the sidewalks, their width, materiality, amenities and their interaction with the street.  

We are calling all volunteers to join us in auditing the city on March 25th and April 1st. Additionally, we are looking for facilitators to lead the auditing groups on March 25th. Three trainings will be held before the community event for those interested in acting as a facilitator for small groups of volunteers. If you are interested in being a facilitator, please sign up for one of these dates: February 25th, March 2nd, and March 4th

This initiative is supported in part by Downtown Dallas Inc. (DDI) and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). To find out more about the National Endowment for the Arts visit www.arts.gov.  To find out more about Downtown Dallas Inc., visit www.downtowndallas.com.

AIM for Dallas Launches Website

See more posts about AIM for Dallas here!

AIM for Dallas program launches website.  AIM for Dallas promotes innovative practices and concepts in order to increase the number, the quality and the pervasiveness of low and middle income housing in Dallas ultimately increasing housing and neighborhood choice for those households.  The website brings together resources for home buyers including neighborhood matching services and home purchasing navigation services, as well as the latest research on housing affordability and innovative concepts to address housing affordability in Dallas.

Little Free Libraries Code Amendment Update

See more posts on Little Free Libraries!

On October 26, 2016 the Development Code Amendment regarding Little Free Libraries in the City of Dallas was heard by the Dallas City Council:

  • Item 60. A public hearing to receive comments regarding amendments to Chapter 51 and Chapter 51A of the Dallas Development Code, Section 51-4.217 and Section 51A-4.217, “Accessory Uses,” providing regulations for book exchange structures as accessory outside storage and an ordinance granting the amendments.

The adopted motion was to “treat landscaping, ornamental structures (front yard accessories) and lawn furniture by right,” meaning no new code restrictions would be placed on “book exchange structures” or Little Free Libraries.

  • Voting Yes: [14] Rawlings, Alonzo, Wilson, Griggs, Medrano, Thomas, Callahan, Young, Clayton, McGough, Kleinman, Greyson, Gates, Kingston
  • Voting No: [1] Arnold  

While the City of Dallas will not restrict the size or location of Little Free Libraries on private property, if you are considering placing a LFL on your private property, we recommend contacting you HOA (if applicable) for any restrictions that may affect your library structure.

Our thanks goes to everyone who contacted their councilperson and expressed their opinion of the Development Code Amendment!

See lfldallas.org and the links below for more resources for Little Free Libraries!

Little Free Libraries: Dallas Development Code Amendment

The proposed Dallas Development Code amendment that will affect current and future Little Free Libraries (LFL) in our community. Free outdoor little free libraries encourage vibrant, connected public spaces and help to increase access to books throughout our community. 

Here are few of the highlights on how the code amendments and how it affect current and future LFLs:

  • Proposed amendments are rigid on location and size.  Size and location requirements in the front yard limits LFL to small boxes located in very specific locations that leave no scope for creativity.
  • Under the proposed amendments, there is no possibility for the existing LFLs to be grandfathered in as the proposed requirements will be applied retroactively.
  • A survey of existing LFL in Dallas found that more than half of the LFL would become illegal if the new amendments are passed as presented. The vast majority of those are located in front of single family homes, designed and built by families.
  • It also means that out of 19 LFLs available to be purchased online on LFL National site, only 3, would be allowed under the proposed amendments.
  • No other big cities of Texas - including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and El Paso - have any code regulations for LFLs. Other cities around Dallas - Frisco, Plano, Fort Worth, Richardson and Irving - do not have any code regulations for LFLs. Only one suburban city, Pearland has rules that disallow LFLs.

Dallas City Council will be considering the proposed amendments at the next council meeting on October 26th, 2016 at 9 am, in City Hall

CLICK HERE for a brief description of the LFL program in Dallas, research on how the
proposal affect LFLs, and a copy of the proposed amendment.

We encourage you to reach out to your council member to express your opinion on the proposed amendments and attend the council meeting on October 26th to make your voice heard during the public hearing.  

If you have any questions about the attached document, please feel free to contact us at lfldallas@gmail.com or inform@bcworkshop.org.

Press written about the code amendments include: 

Designer Social: July 2016

[bc] invites you to join us for a DESIGNER SOCIAL on WED, JULY 27th from 6:30-7:30pm at 416 S ERVAY ST, DALLAS, TX, 75201.

Designer Socials are opportunities to meet peers, share work, and test ideas in a small group setting with local designers. Throughout 2016 [bc] will continue to share local opportunities, programs, and resources in the Dallas area for designers, architects, artists, engineers, landscape architects, and other design-related professionals to get involved in community-based projects.

At this Designer Social we will share the following opportunities to get involved in your community:

  • Ashley Hollon and Melanie Wood will share how the AIA Dallas' Young Professionals Committee aims to direct young professionals to give back to the community through design. Their mission: Providing networking, professional development and opportunities to give back to the community through design for unlicensed, newly licensed and other young professionals up to 10 years after registration.
  • Patrick Blaydes and Amruta Sakalker will discuss the proposed code amendments affecting existing and future Little Free Libraries in Dallas, and how designers can become advocates for public space. Read more about Little Free Libraries / Libros Libres here.
  • PARK(ing) Day Dallas organizers will share how designers can get involved in this year's event on September 16th, 2016. Attendees will be able to register to reserve a parking space on Main Street to transform into a park for the Downtown Dallas event or sign up to assist other participants with their design or construction needs.

[bc] is convening active and interested designers and design-related professionals to share our experiences and to learn how to build our capacity to help others. At each social we ask attendees to answer questions about their experience with community-based work. Read the recaps of our Designer Socials in February & April!

If you would like to share about a local program or project that you are involved in at our Designer Socials, let us know! Email elizabeth@bcworkshop.org for more information, and sign up to our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on volunteer & partnership opportunities!

Welcome Patrick Blaydes!

Patrick Blaydes is a Housing Associate with buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.   Patrick's work revolves around expanding the quantity, improving the quality and broadening the pervasiveness of affordable housing in Dallas, thereby allowing for a greater degree of personal housing choice for residents of affordable housing.

With roots in Dallas that go back five generations to the first century of Dallas's history, Patrick has had both personal and professional experience with a number of different communities throughout Dallas.  Patrick has worked in private, public and non-profit organizations throughout the past decade with experience in comprehensive planning, transportation planning, neighborhoods planning, affordable housing development, CDBG programs, and working with the homeless in the community.

He attended Austin College majoring in History and Political Science, and graduate school at the University of Texas at Arlington focusing on Urban Affairs.