More Tax-Credit Apartments?

Now that the moratorium has been lifted on tax-credit applications in Dallas, the floodgates are starting to open. The City Council is now considering applications for 13 such complexes.

I know there are different types of units; I do support single room occupancy (SRO) units in moderation as a part of the solution to address homelessness in Dallas. I also generally support senior housing units as long as services for the residents are being provided.

I have the biggest problem with tax-credit apartments that are not focused on a specific niche of residents. Some are even marketed as single-family home rental developments.

The oldest tax-credit apartment complexes have created a glut of units in some neighborhoods. On top of that, many of the newer tax-credit (non-senior) complexes have occupancy rates of 90% or less. That should tell you that we have enough units in certain areas.

I hope that any tax-credit projects that get approved have comprehensive security plans in place. In addition, new tax-credit complexes should be based on tearing down old units and replacing them with new units, and weeding out the thugs as residents are transitioned to newer places.

Some of the highest numbers of crime in Dallas can be found in the oldest tax-credit complexes. It’s not because DPD isn’t working as hard as they can; it’s because a lot of the owners are comfortable with taking their guaranteed rent and not investing in their property in terms of physical structure or safety.

Here are some examples of the oldest tax-credit complexes in Dallas, based on when the complexes joined the tax-credit system.

Apartment Complex Name – Address – (date joined system / date built)
Red Bird Trails 3636 W. Red Bird Lane (1992 / 1985)
Woodhollow 4424 Woodhollow Drive (1992 / 1970)
Surrey Row 7272 Marvin D Love Freeway (1989 / 1988 )
Diamond Creek – 3402 S. Buckner ( 1992 / 1985)
Crestridge Apartments – 6417 Ridgecrest Road ( 1991 / 1985)
Manor on the Park – 3122 Park Lane (1990 / 1965 )

If apartments are to be built in southern Dallas, they should be market-rate apartment complexes. As I talk to developers within my role as a plan commissioner, I try to hammer this point home. Living in such a complex, I can tell you that our complex is fairly safe but we are held hostage in some ways by the other complexes in the area. We are looked at as good pickings because we are perceived as being more affluent than other people in the area.

I understand that some complexes may have a percentage of lower-income units, and I have no problem with that as long as it’s part of a bigger plan. But I do not support arbitrarily dropping hundreds more units into areas that are already saturated with such complexes. Enough is enough.

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