New Initiative Partnerships Introduce Affordable Homes in Dallas Under $300K

Dallas Housing Support

In Dallas, Texas the quest to find a home under $300,000 is a daunting one, particularly for those on moderate to low incomes. However, a unique public-private partnership is offering a new ray of hope to potential homeowners, focusing on making affordably priced houses more readily available.

Key community figures, including Joe Dingman, co-founder and treasurer of Catholic Housing Initiative (CHI), Dallas City Councilmember Tennell Atkins, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, along with a host of builders, lenders, and community members, gathered on Thursday to inaugurate several newly constructed single-family homes in the Five Mile neighborhood.

“Homeownership represents a bedrock of wealth in our society. Data from the census bureau reveals that for half of Americans, their home equity is their only form of wealth,” Dingman said, emphasizing his desire to help more people secure this important asset. Remarkably, CHI, a private nonprofit, secured plots of land from the city of Dallas for a mere $1,000 each, allowing them to construct affordable housing options.

One of these new homes, a 1,500-square-foot property on Gooch Street boasting three bedrooms, two baths, and a two-car garage, is listed at $232,500, while its appraised value stands at $290,000. This significant difference ensures that the homeowner will immediately possess more than $57,000 in equity.

Councilmember Atkins explained the financial benefits for homeowners, “On moving in, they gain $50,000 worth of equity. This is truly a blessing. For instance, if your annual income is $80,000 and you couldn’t qualify for a $300,000 house, you could afford a house priced at $240,000. The $50,000 equity reduces the price, allowing you to afford a house under $300,000, even with an average income.”

Atkins further noted that this project was made possible thanks to voters approving a bond package in 2017 that provided essential infrastructure funding. He pointed out the need for continued infrastructural investments in Dallas, particularly in the southern part of the city, as a critical factor in enabling the development of more affordable homes.

To date, CHI has successfully completed 18 homes in Dallas, with 20 more currently under construction. The expansion of the neighborhood is warmly welcomed by Tammy Derricks Williams, president of the Five Mile Neighborhood Association. Williams anticipates significant growth in her community over the next five years.

A down payment assistance program is available through the city for potential homeowners, though certain conditions apply, including a minimum residency duration in the house. As part of the public-private partnership agreement, the homes are intended for individuals or families earning between $50,000 to $60,000, though this range can vary based on family size.

According to a realtor associated with one of the new homes, there has been an enthusiastic response from potential buyers, with upwards of 80 inquiries for a single property that already has a prospective buyer. This strong interest underscores the critical need and demand for such affordably priced homes in the Dallas area.

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