Will There Be Affordable Housing For Artists In Dallas?

Dallas could soon have affordable artist housing. While some Dallas residents complain that what the Arts District lacks is pedestrian traffic, the proponents behind this new project argue that what it needs is more artists. Robert Meckfessel, an architect and arts supporter, is hoping to remedy this situation by creating affordable housing for artists with his nonprofit, Le Reunion TX. The group has recently applied for $1.1 million in low-income housing grants to subsidize these residences at a new development to be called Flora Lofts. Although the group faces tough competition, the prospect of the change they could bring to Dallas is enormous.

The proposed housing development would stand six-stories tall on Flora Street near two arts buildings: the Nasher Sculpture Center and Museum Tower, a high rise of luxury condominiums.

According to Meckfessel, artist housing has always been part of the planning for the Arts Districts, and up until now, there have been few options that artists could afford. The proposed Flora Lofts would encompass a combination of subsidized housing and market-rate housing, with retail spaces on the ground floor. In the building there would be 39 affordable housing units with rent from $360 to $790 each, with 8 penthouses priced at market rates.

If this new development is given funding, potential residents would be required to prove financial need and to provide a portfolio of their artistic works to apply. The entire process to gain funding is challenging, with a City Council vote scheduled soon for a final application approval, followed by a complex scoring system which typically narrows the pool of applicants by 70% before the final vote. The Flora Lofts groups will not know if they are approved to receive this tax credit until the June 25 vote by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

While the decision has yet to become final, if all goes well, the Dallas Arts District could soon be bustling with a few new residents.

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+Patrick Glaros empowers people to find their best home loan option. Through planning and education, and a goal-oriented approach, Patrick and the team at Dallas Mortgage Planners have one common goal: Help clients make an informed decision to choose the best home loan for their unique situation. Find other articles written by Patrick.

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