Council approves change to Comprehensive Housing Policy

Addition of Neighborhood Empowerment Zone program promises to bring more affordable housing options for middle class families

Dallas, TX – The Dallas City Council approved the establishment of a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ) program within the city’s Comprehensive Housing Policy. This will spur the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing in seven areas in the city, including LBJ/Skillman and Hamilton Park, Casa View, Vickery Midtown, the Forest District west of Fair Park, the Bottom and Tenth Street Historic District, West Dallas, and neighborhoods near Red Bird Mall.

“The staff and I are excited to roll out the NEZ program,” said David Noguera, director of the Department of Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization. “This program is especially good for long-term homeowners, many of whom have raised their families in these neighborhoods, and who are struggling with rising property taxes. The program also benefits middle-income folks, especially young families who would choose to live in Dallas if they could find a home they can afford.”

In these zones, developers, homeowners, and landlords may qualify for development fee reimbursements and a 10-year City tax abatement if they do one of the following:

  • Build a new home on a currently vacant lot and sell it to a household making at or under 120% of area median income (about $100,000 for a family of four)
  • Spend at least $5,000 renovating their own home and have a household income at or under 120% AMI
  • Spend at least $10,000, bring their single-family or duplex rental unit up to code, and reserve it for households under 60% AMI (about $50,000 for a family of four)

In addition, for homeowner repair and for new construction, those in educational instruction and library occupations; healthcare practitioners and healthcare support occupations; and protective service occupations, including firefighters and police officers, with a gross household income under 140% AMI, are considered eligible households.

This program will encourage homeowners and landlords in areas with rapidly rising property values to invest in their properties and receive some help with the potentially higher tax bill. It will also incentivize new middle-income home construction on vacant lots.

Staff will create an application process and hold community meetings this spring, and the city will begin accepting applications this summer.

For more information, visit the NEZ page on the Department of Housing & Neighborhood Revitalization website: www.dallashousingpolicy.com