Spotlight on Texas: America’s Housing Crisis Comes to the Sun Belt
– September 2, 2020
Speakers: Mahesh Aiyer, Director, Citi Community Capital Steffen Fuchs, Senior Partner, Dallas, McKinsey & Company Kourtney Garrett, CEO and President, Downtown Dallas Inc Eric Johnson, Chief of Economic Development and Neighborhood Services, City of Dallas
Moderator: Catherine Cuellar, Director of Communications, Outreach and Marketing, City of Dallas
5 Key Takeaways
1. The lack of affordable housing units is not solely a housing issue, but is closely tied with the economy: The lack of affordable housing affects all segments of community life and is intertwined with a city’s economy and growth. Incomes are not keeping pace with housing cost increases. Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson explains that if people spend the bulk of their money on housing, they are in a weaker position to support their communities and local economy.
2. The historical context of Texas, and more specifically Dallas, is crucial to understanding the housing stock and informing the strategic planning of its city. Its history as an economic and entertainment hub with minimal residential buildings, the savings and loan crisis, and a portion of the housing stock going offline in the 00s all contribute to Dallas‘s low housing stock. All of which translate into an affordability problem, and the reason 60% of residents rent and not own. The challenge has been met with adaptive reuse projects, as explained by Kourtney Garret, to rebuild the housing stock.
3. There are many financial tools available to diversify the housing stock. Financing tools such as tax exempt bond investment, tax increment financing, low income rates, income averaging, and mixed income housing have helped the supply move in the right direction, explains Mahesh Ayer. Public-private partnerships are also essential to ..
4. Development approval processes must be more efficient to allow creative development solutions to flourish. To simplify approval processes, reducing time, uncertainty, and complexity would allow more housing to be built, Steffen Fuchs argues. This lengthy processing time blocks innovation by inhibiting the ability to scale creative ideas. Panelists reasoned for a ‘production‘ mindset over a ‘construction‘ mindset moving forward, to reduce barriers and facilitate/offer mixed use development.
5. A new class of shared-value perspective developers would contribute to inclusive growth. It‘s time for a new class of residential developers who hold a shared-value perspective, and serve to address growing social and economic challenges expresses Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson. We do not have to innovate what we do, but how we do it and how we put it together in an integrative way, to be collectively executed between different city elements.
NewCities is a global nonprofit committed to shaping a better urban future, headquartered in Canada.
We have a decade’s experience curating and producing innovative content about the most important emerging urban trends. We do this through our events, our knowledge-sharing platforms, and actionable research.
NewCities brings a ‘whole-city’ approach – we convene and connect the key stakeholders of the urban ecosystem: the residents, governments, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and business communities of a city.
Our activities are inspired and supported by our global network of members, whose insights help us determine the most pressing topics in cities.