Monday, February 21, 2011

Central Dallas CDC News: Dallas Observer report on Downtown affordable housing

The following most interesting column by Dallas Observer writer, Jim Schutze reveals the something of the growing importance of the work of the Central Dallas Community Development Corporation.  Worth your time if you care about affordable housing in Downtown Dallas. 

Dallas City Hall gets whopped upside the head for its low-income housing policy

By Jim Schutze Thursday, Feb 17 2011

Tell me first. To be a cool place to live, what does downtown Dallas need? Action. Tons and tons of people, not all super-rich, not all homeless, either.

But that's the problem with downtown. Rich people in the towers. Desperadoes in the alleys. Long empty sidewalks between.

For that to change, downtown needs to become affordable to jobsians. Not rich. Not poor. Not white, black or brown. Just people with jobs.

Guess what. I think maybe that door just cracked.

In a small room in the bowels of City Hall at 8:30 in the morning on one of those hard weather days last week, an obscure body voted to change direction on the renovation of a handful of old office towers—known as the Atmos Project.

It was the first hint of a whole new thing, and it only happened because some guys whopped the city upside the head with a two-by-four. I will come back to that, of course, because I know you love head-whoppings.

The important thing is this: The city board, whose name is too long for me to mention yet, voted to put way more subsidized low-rent apartments into the Atmos re-development deal than originally planned.

For decades, Dallas has taken federal funds designed to foster low-income housing downtown and used the money instead to make downtown hotsy-totsy. The result is what you see now—notsy.

Click here to read the entire essay and get to the part about the Central Dallas CDC. . .

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