The City of Dallas is eyeing two vacant, City-owned lots in East Dallas and one in Lake Highlands to turn into affordable housing units.

The neighborhood properties under consideration are 2011 N. Haskell Ave. and 1805 N. Haskell Ave. In Lake Highlands, the lot is at 12000 Greenville Ave. The locations were chosen because of easy access to quality schools, public transport and major employment centers, Monica Hardman, director of the Office of Homeless Solutions, told WFAA.

About 10 units could be built on each of the Haskell Avenue lots. Money for the facilities would come from a $20-million fund in Proposition J, which voters approved in November 2017. Developers have until Aug. 15 to submit their proposals for the spaces.

Hardman stressed that the units are not homeless shelters, and that the properties would “look and feel like any other market-rate development.”

“The only difference is that we require supportive services to be available,” she says.

In an annual census, researchers found that there are about 3,700 homeless people and only 2,000 beds in Dallas emergency shelters. Dallas simply does not have the room to accommodate the growing homeless population.

In Lake Highlands, some expressed concern about how the housing might negatively affect the neighborhood, impacting crime rates and property values. At an informational meeting hosted by the City, one attendee said, “We have federal dollars going to fight crime in this area, and you’re going to throw water on a grease fire.” District 10 Council Member Adam McGough also resisted the plan.

Nearly 60 percent of the City’s budget goes toward the police and fire department.

Some studies have actually found that in low-income areas, affordable housing helps revitalize the neighborhood. Additionally, public housing lease agreements are fairly strict, enforcing rules on criminal activity, drug use and maintaining the household.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.