In October 2018, The Real Estate Council Community Fund was awarded a $400,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Partnerships for Raising Opportunity (PRO) in Neighborhoods initiative to help design a pilot program for igniting equitable development in three Dallas neighborhoods considered most vulnerable to rapid transition: the Forest District in South Dallas, “The Bottom” in East Oak Cliff, and West Dallas-Census Tract 205.
Over the next year, TREC Community Fund and partners C-Suite Consulting, buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]), The Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas (IUPR), and the Detroit-based Loveland Technologies LLC analyzed the neighborhoods in their present state and surveyed residents and community leaders on the economic needs and challenges they face. The project resulted in a $6 million investment from the PRO Neighborhoods program in October 2019.
As we conducted our research, common themes of the challenges our neighborhoods faced in pursuit of equitable development began to emerge:
- A need for the rehabilitation and expansion of of affordable, attainable housing that limits the frequency with which residents are displaced as development increases
- A need for jobs that pay a living wage and support for individuals either reentering the workforce or those who are considered “hard to hire”
- A need for workforce development programs, job training opportunities, and more accessible business development capital
- A need for neighborhood amenities like grocery stores, childcare services, and laundromats
- A need for increased community participation, education, and leadership development among residents
After a year of community engagement, research, and analysis, we’ve compiled our findings from Community Driven Growth: A Roadmap For Dallas’ Equitable Development into a report to be used in future community planning efforts. We are committed to implementing this plan and fulfilling our mission of Building the City We Imagine.