Dallas Morning News op-ed makes economic argument against housing segregation

Dallas Morning News editorial writer Tod Roberson
Dallas Morning News editorial writer Tod Roberson

An extensive opinion piece headlined, Poor assumptions: segregating poverty in Dallas is a money-losing proposition authored by Dallas Morning News editorial writer Tod Robberson offers a carefully reasoned economic argument for tackling the racial and economic segregation I was blogging about last week.

Robberson focuses on the 12 year combined efforts of fourteen North Dallas home owners associations to block in federal court a new public housing development in North Dallas.

Citing the controversial Atlantic article I bogged about last week, which links Section 8 housing choice voucher recipients with an increase in suburban crime, the Dallas Morning News article says…

Certainly, some of the increase in suburban crime can be linked to that migration. But there is no more than anecdotal evidence linking it to subsidized housing — especially considering that subsidy recipients account for only a small percentage of the total migration, says Dr. Timothy M. Bray, director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Dallas has always been a city that finds economic arguments more compelling than social ones.  Robberson makes the economic point well. Citing research from 2008 by Ricardo Bodini, a community economic development specialist, Robberson writes  The Dallas County has one of the lowest housing appreciation rates among the major cities studied.

Dallas County also ranked lowest in terms of “convergence,” which is the ability of urban — suburban areas to bridge their socioeconomic divisions by finding ways for people of varying incomes to live alongside one another.

The lack of convergence and existence of large pockets of poverty in Dallas might be causing our real estate values to be depressed compared to other metropolitan areas, Mr. Bodini wrote in the fall 2007 Williams Review.

So if homeowners in Far North Dallas are really concerned about their property values, they need to do more to embrace the cities rich-or-racial divide — not maintain it.

The Robberson opiion piece is worth a read.

1 Comment

  1. This is nonsense. My property values went DOWN after low-income housing went up… and, also not surprisingly, crime went UP. I can no longer shop at my local grocery store at night because of it. Yes, you can bet that the increase in crime is mostly all due to people the low-income homes grew in. Mostly all single moms you say? Well guess what… a lot of those single moms have boyfriends and friends who visit the area….. I think a lot of people don’t think about this. I don’t understand wanting to “spread out” crime. That in itself is criminal. You work hard in this country to live somewhere safe around other hard-working, law-abiding citizens, and then the government brings in a pays for criminal types to live next to you. Yeah….. makes a lot of sense!!

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