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Dallas Voters Approve $82M In Bond Funds Aimed At Housing Relief

A dire housing crunch in Dallas could see some relief after voters greenlighted roughly $82M aimed at stimulating the production of affordable units and curbing homelessness.

The funds were approved as part of the city’s Saturday bond election. Voters passed three housing-related propositions by an average vote margin of 71.7%, according to data from various counties compiled by WFAA.


Proposition G included roughly $72M in bond funds for economic development, more than half of which will help developers finance housing projects that include affordable units. That package was approved by 68% of voters.

Meanwhile, 70% of voters approved Proposition H, which allocates more than $26M to affordable housing infrastructure upgrades in Southern Dallas. Another $19M for Proposition I was approved by 77% of voters to shelter and rehome the city’s unhoused population.

James Armstrong III, president and CEO of community development corporation Builders of Hope, said the evening’s results were the fruit of many months of hard work on the part of affordable housing practitioners and advocates. To see those efforts align with the will of the people was an encouraging sign for the future, he said.

“This is more than just dollars being passed in a bond election,” he said. “These funds represent economic mobility for the family that needs it most. I’m excited that we live in a city where the tide is changing and affordable housing is becoming a priority.”  

The housing-related funds are the most ever set aside by the city of Dallas but represented only a fraction of the $1.25B bond package, more than 75% of which was allocated to roads, parks and public safety. Each proposition passed by between 68% and 87% of the vote.

Results remain unofficial until canvassed. Only about 6% of Dallas County voters and 7% of Collin County voters turned out to cast ballots.

Approval of the bond won’t increase taxes for Dallas residents, though they will pay $51M in interest, KERA previously reported. Council Member Cara Mendelsohn had spoken against using bond funds to pay for housing, instead advocating for federal, state and local tools already at the city’s disposal.

Most of Mendelsohn’s District 12 is concentrated in Collin County. The majority of those constituents voted against Proposition H, with Proposition G passing by fewer than 20 votes, she said in a social media post following the results.

“It is no surprise that Far North Dallas supports key city functions like streets, parks, public safety and IT, and questions the use of bond financing when other, less expensive, options exist,” Mendelsohn wrote. “Overall, the City of Dallas voters’ insatiable desire for government services and debt, puts us on an unsustainable financial path.”

The Dallas area is short about 33,600 rental homes affordable to its lowest-income households, according to a 2023 report from the Child Poverty Action Lab. Without intervention, the gap is projected to grow to 83,500 rental units by 2030.

The Dallas Housing Coalition had previously advocated for $200M in bond funds to help stem the bleeding. The roughly $82M approved by voters isn't enough to solve the city’s affordability crisis but should help scale the production of federally subsidized and middle-income housing, said Ashley Brundage, coalition board chair and CEO of Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s going to be more than a surface scratch, for sure,” she said. “My hope is the dollars go pretty far, but it’s definitely not as much as we wanted, and our fight is not over.” 

Now that bond funds have been secured, Brundage said the housing coalition will turn its focus to guiding policy through the rewrite of Forward Dallas, the city’s long-term planning document that will influence the production of housing through land use regulations.

“This bond package for housing, homelessness and economic development is like a door opening for us,” she said. “There’s so much more potential after this.”