Recently, the City Council adopted two new policies – the Historic Preservation Incentives and the Neighborhood Renaissance Program – that help older, inner-city neighborhoods and will be of great benefit to East Dallas.

Preservation Incentives

The City Council was working on a strategy that would increase in-town residential development with incentives to developers in order to stimulate housing opportunities.

The result was the Intown Housing Program, finalized in November.

The program’s goals are to maximize the development of mixed-income housing by using incentives to stimulate private development in targeted areas. The program anticipates stimulating more than 5,000 units of housing over the next few years.

As part of this renewal effort, the City extended incentives to promote renovation of eight endangered historic neighborhoods, as well as historic structures in the in-town area.

The in-town area includes Downtown and a one-mile radius – which includes Deep Ellum, Hillcreek and Haskell/Ross.

The City’s Historic Preservation Incentive Program also promotes preservation of historic buildings and revitalization within the eight endangered neighborhoods. Included in the targeted neighborhoods are Peak Suburban and Alcade Street in East Dallas.

The City’s Landmark Commission was directed by the Council to develop alternatives to demolition in the central business district and to preserve the historical integrity of structures in and around the downtown area.

A Landmark Commission Task Force was created to investigate stimulus programs and forward a recommendation to the Council.

As a result, tax incentives proposals were passed in October by the Council to promote revitalization of Downtown, the inner city, and the eight endangered areas.

These incentives include tax exemptions for historic districts and for endangered neighborhoods, as well as tax exemptions based on vacancy, residential conversion and restoration.

Neighborhood Renaissance Partnership

The City’s Neighborhood Renaissance Partnership (NRP) Program is a strategic revitalization process designed to reverse deterioration in target neighborhoods.

The program targets and prioritizes the City’s programs, plans and resources for neighborhoods in decline. It was approved by the Council in December.

The NRP Program is a tremendous opportunity to positively influence negative change in communities. The program focuses on bringing about neighborhood renaissance through encouraging neighborhood partnerships between the City, residents and strong public/private sector participation.

The primary partner/foundation in the revitalization process is neighborhood residents, who are the greatest resources for neighborhood renewal.

Participating departments include Housing & Neighborhood Services, Health & Human Services, Police, Public Works, Economic Development, Planning & Development, and Streets & Sanitation.

In addition to targeting physical community improvements, the NRP Program will seek to strengthen neighborhood capacity, pride, confidence and identity. A multi-departmental effort will be initiated to coordinate service delivery, planning and implementation in neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods will be encouraged to take a proactive role and organize to strengthen their networking, capacity and support systems.

Some neighborhoods are weaker than others due to lack of coordination, training, awareness and resources. Empowered communities are more likely to develop self-help projects, neighborhood pride and beautification campaigns and cleanups. One of the neighborhoods selected is the Mt. Auburn/Santa Fe area in East Dallas.

The City has embarked on these initiatives with promising prospects for East Dallas residents. By working together, we can make East Dallas an even better place to work, live and play.

Please call my office at 670-4048 if we can answer questions or be of assistance.

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