Real Estate

Market Value Analysis to Guide Dallas Housing Policy

Market Value Analysis to Guide Dallas Housing PolicyA new Market Value Analysis provided to Dallas City Leaders Wednesday is the basis for new housing and economic development polices from City Hall. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018)

A new Market Value Analysis provided to Dallas City Leaders Wednesday is the basis for new housing and economic development polices from City Hall.

The MVA was produced by the non-profit group Reinvestment Fund, which has done them for 2 dozen other cities and states.

The maps produced by the group generally show North Dallas areas with the highest values in purple color and Southern Dallas neighborhoods with lower values depicted in yellow and orange.

City Council Members who could already see the existing neighborhood conditions with their own eyes wanted to know how the new MVA would lead to improvement.

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Councilman Tennell Atkins said meaningful changes in the value stressed areas will require money.

“If this is a tool, how do we use it on a time line? And how do we finance it and where is the money going to come from to make sure we’ve got better neighborhoods?” Atkins asked.

Less than a year on the job, new Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said the MVA will help produce the housing and economic development policies that Dallas does not have to better use the money and programs that Dallas does have.

“It’s about how we focus them, and staying intentionally focused and disciplined on, once a policy is created, living up to the policy as a city,” Broadnax said. “The dollars are there, it’s just about again, the discipline to focus those dollars with meaningful intention on what the policy is outlined that we spend it on.”

One extra challenge for Dallas is federal orders not to put affordable housing only in poor neighborhoods. Two new high rises proposed this week may help, with hundreds of units reserved for workforce housing and reduced rent downtown and near Knox-Henderson. Tax credits are one tool to help finance new construction that includes dedicated affordable housing.

But city council members who represent Southern Dallas neighborhoods shown as low value expect to see the MVA make a difference in their districts, too.

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“How do we reach the point of changing the color and what does it take to reach that goal?” asked Councilman Dwaine Caraway.

The experts said the changes could happen faster in pockets of yellow closely surrounded by higher value areas. And the measures could carry various price tags.

The historic Freedmans’ Town neighborhood called Joppa off I-45 and Linfield Road is an example of a Southern Dallas community that’s produced improvement in recent years.

In 2006, the city completed a bridge to cross the railroad tracks on Linfield Road into Joppa so emergency vehicles would not be blocked by freight trains.

Abandoned houses have been cleared over the years and Habitat for Humanity has built around 100 new homes. New city streets support another section of new Habitat homes going up now.

“The development in Joppa is awesome,” said community leader Temeckia Derrough.

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She and her family moved into a Habitat home in Joppa 11 years ago.

“It was affordable for me to raise my kids here and accomplish being a home owner,” she said.

Despite the improvements, the neighborhood is still shown in yellow on the new MVA map.

Derrough said constant city support in maintaining the community park and from code enforcement officers are examples of small things that go a long way in keeping the neighborhood desirable.

“With the new market value analysis, I think they are aware now, so we should see more development in the southern sector,” Derrough said.

The city will spend two more months listening to neighbors at a series of community meetings before finalizing a new housing policy. Dates and locations will be announced on January 20th.

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