The Obama administration passed new affordable housing rules earlier this week that could have a major impact in the North Texas area. Recent months have seen a heightened debate over the affordable housing problem in Dallas and how to fix it. The new rules will help to provide an answer to that and speed along the process. The idea behind the new rules is to allow those receiving housing benefits to live in more desirable neighborhoods and less segregated communities, which will in turn create less segregation.
Currently, almost all of the Dallas County affordable housing is located in west and south Dallas, the new rules will require that to change. Before, it was lawful to group affordable housing into one area, however that is no longer the case. The new rules will require affordable housing and people with housing assistance to be spread out among neighborhoods. So for example, instead of a whole block dedicated to families needing affordable housing, now maybe two families who need it with the rest being normal housing. The affordable housing will be much more spread out than before. Along with this, affordable housing funds must go to more desirable neighborhoods and work to reduce segregation. In turn, many hope this will also improve schools based on less segregation and more funding. Instead of schools in west and south Dallas being underfunded because of the area all schools should be funded the same. There will not be an “affordable housing” area anymore.
As for the full change this will bring to Dallas, only time will tell. Many hope this is a good step in the right direction to solving the affordable housing problem.