Friday, February 19, 2010

"Not Welcome" in Frisco

What follows is a report on a propsed affordable housing development in Frisco, Texas, a far North Dallas suburban and one of the most affluent communities in the nation.  The report describes a plan to open up living options to low-income persons. 

The reaction of a rather large number of Frisco citizens is interesting, but not too surprising to me. 

Read it and let me know what you think. 

Here's how the report begins: 

Frisco affordable housing plan gains board's support but meets resistance
Friday, February 12, 2010
By VALERIE WIGGLESWORTH / The Dallas Morning News

In a first of its kind effort, Frisco is helping developers build affordable housing with money from a nonprofit in Dallas.

The catch: The partnership with Inclusive Communities Project Inc. requires some of the low-income apartments be available first to certain Dallas Housing Authority clients with Section 8 vouchers.

That has some people in this affluent suburb concerned.

"How does this help residents of Frisco?" asked Mark Walsh, who raised concerns in an e-mail to his neighbors. "It's helping Dallas Housing Authority people to move to Frisco."

Betsy Julian, president of the nonprofit, said Dallas residents want what everyone wants: attractive communities with amenities, good schools and low crime rates. Frisco fits that bill.

"Our mission is to promote healthy inclusive communities, and if there's no affordable housing, it's not an inclusive community," she said.

The two apartment complexes proposed on vacant lots in Frisco are dependent on acceptance into the state's Housing Tax Credit program. The competitive program provides federal tax incentives for developments with rents at below-market rates. Developers in the Dallas region have applied for more than $92 million in tax credits for 60 projects. The state has about $10 million available for the region this year.

To read the entire report click here.

What would it be like to live in a community with continual awareness that you and yours were regarded as "a real problem"? 


Cody said...

I just have to think that it is lack of understanding.

One of my favorite poetic lines ever comes from the Prayer of St. Francis and goes something like, "May I seek more to understand than to be understood." That is the only way I can do my job each day.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the Dallas Housing Authority trying to improve the areas where Section 8 housing already exists? Oh, because it's not about helping anyone; it's about Developers and their associates receiving tax credits, that tax-paying citizens afford them.

Anonymous said...

@ Cody

Orrrrrrr, they are upset about the increase in crime and decrease in their property values that are likely to accompany the Section 8 voucher housing in their fair little burg.


Sometimes, it not a lack of understanding, it's the exact opposite. (Though I, too, love that line in said prayer.)

Cody said...

@ Anonymous Person

It could be that "they are upset about the increase in crime and decrease in their property values that are likely to accompany the Section 8 voucher housing in their fair little burg," aaaaannnd that there is a lack of understanding.

In fact, I was assuming that what you said was true when I wrote my first comment.