Dallas Passes Bond Package Including $82 Million for Affordable Housing and Homelessness

Voters in Dallas, TX, overwhelmingly approved a $1.25 billion bond package in a special election on May 4 that will allocate approximately $82 million to increase the supply of affordable homes and help address homelessness. The package consists of 10 propositions that will collectively finance road improvements, city facilities, economic development, other local infrastructure, and housing. Although housing advocates initially pushed for $200 million in dedicated housing funds, the package’s $82 million for affordable homes marks a historic investment from Dallas.  

“With this nod from voters, the Dallas community is sending a strong message to our policymakers and other cities that ensuring housing affordability matters. We look forward to putting these bond dollars to the most efficient and equitable uses in the coming years,” said Bryan Tony, managing director of BGT Strategies and a member of the Dallas Housing Coalition. “Though we did not achieve as much funding as is needed, this is a start for Dallas and will hopefully provide clear proofs of concept for future citywide bond programs.”

The Dallas Housing Coalition, a fast-growing group of more than 215 nonprofit and for-profit organizations committed to supporting the development of affordable housing in Dallas, began organizing around the bond package during summer of 2023. The coalition hosted a rally at City Hall in September 2023 to push for $200 million in bonds for affordable homes in the 2024 Capital Bond Program. According to the Dallas Housing Coalition, a $200 million investment could have leveraged about $2 billion in private development to create 15,000 subsidized homes and repair more than 500 homes. Advocates also hosted educational events, testified at public meetings, and generated media coverage to build support for the bond package’s housing allocation.  

The Dallas City Council ultimately finalized the $1.25 billion capital bond package on February 14, 2024, allocating approximately $82 million for housing and homelessness. Although this allocation fell short of advocates’ request, it amounts to a 78% increase over the city’s total housing bonds in the past seventeen years; since 2006, Dallas has only approved $46 million in bond funds for affordable housing.  

Following the City Council’s announcement of a final bond package, the Dallas Housing Coalition organized to win public approval for the bond measures in the May 4 special election. The Dallas Housing Coalition focused its advocacy on the three components of the ten-part bond package that dedicate resources to housing and homelessness. Proposition I makes a $19 million investment in permanent supportive housing and short-term housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness. Proposition G provides $72.3 million for economic development efforts, including $36.6 million specifically earmarked for mixed-income housing financing. Proposition H allocates $26.4 million for infrastructure supporting affordable homeownership development. The Dallas Housing Coalition created a toolkit that summarized the propositions, outlined opportunities for supporters to get involved, and included sample talking points, social media messaging, and graphics to spread the word about the campaign. 

The entire bond package ultimately passed with overwhelming support from voters, as did the three housing-related measures: Proposition I passed with 79% support, Proposition G passed with 70% support, and Proposition H passed with 74% support. According to the Child Poverty Action Lab’s Housing Calculator, the bond funds will collectively enable the creation of more than 3,000 affordable homes.  

As housing advocates celebrate a milestone election victory, they are also pushing for further steps to increase the supply of affordable homes and address the city’s affordability challenges, which have the greatest impact on the lowest-income people. NLIHC’s Gap report finds that in the Dallas metropolitan area, there are only 17 affordable and available homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.  

“The Dallas Housing Coalition is now turning its attention to ForwardDallas, the first update of the City of Dallas’ comprehensive land use plan since adoption in 2006. As more housing reform opportunities arise, the Coalition is well-positioned to continue representing the interests of its members and housing advocates from across Dallas.”

Learn more about the Dallas Housing Coalition at: www.dallashousingcoalition.com/ 

NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes campaign will continue to track and report on housing and homelessness ballot measures throughout the 2024 election cycle. An archive of ballot measure summaries and analyses compiled by Our Homes Our Votes is at: www.ourhomes-ourvotes.org/ballot-measures