Via the Inclusive Communities Project.


Survey: Residential Segregation Alive and Well in Dallas Area

A nonprofit's survey of private apartment complexes found that 26 North Texas cities are essentially out of reach to families using housing vouchers.

The refusal of private apartment complexes to rent to families using housing choice vouchers has reinforced residential segregation in the Dallas area, to the extent that 26 entire suburban cities are essentially out of reach for poor, mostly black, families, according to a new survey.

The survey was directed by the Inclusive Communities Project, a Dallas nonprofit involved in recent years in a couple high-profile lawsuits accusing the state of permitting unfair and racist housing rules. (The organization lost one, struck down by a federal judge last year, while the more recent suit singles out a Texas law that allows landlords of multifamily complexes to reject tenants relying on vouchers.) Of the nearly 2,000 properties contacted in Dallas, Denton, Collin, and Rockwall counties, only 12 percent said they would rent to residents using vouchers. The numbers are starker when the demographics of each zip code are taken into account. Per the Inclusive Communities Project:

Only four percent (4%) of the complexes in majority white non-Hispanic zip codes accepted HCVs, while forty-six percent (46%) in majority Black zip codes accept HCVs.  Although redesigned subsidy formulas have made more units attainable than in the past for HVC participants, participants still have a hard time accessing available rental units for their families.  HCV program participants are predominantly Black in the Dallas region.  While the subsidy program is designed to allow HVC holders to choose reasonably priced housing from the local market, this region-wide refusal to rent to HCV holders in majority white zip codes not only perpetuates residential segregation but places entire cities off limits to this group of apartment seekers.

Complexes in 26 cities refused completely to rent to families using vouchers. Those cities—percentage of black residents in each one’s total population listed to the right—are:

Carrollton, McKinney, Irving, Plano, and Richardson, among others, didn’t fare much better, with 90 percent or more of the properties surveyed refusing to accept vouchers. Dallas doesn’t come off too hot itself, with the complexes that accept vouchers concentrated overwhelmingly in the southern half of the city and county.

None of this is exactly shocking news in light of Dallas’ long, ugly history with the subject, but it’s further evidence that if we want to address segregation in Dallas and North Texas, we should start by encouraging mixed-income neighborhoods and fair housing policies.

You can read the full survey and see more charts here.


  • C Newman

    From the DMN linked article:
    “Says the lawsuit, which was filed in Dallas federal court: state law “explicitly permits multifamily landlords to deny housing to voucher families who can pay the rent, satisfy the tenant selection criteria, and for whom there are no legitimate business reasons not to accept as tenants.”

    I imagine the landlords could almost always point to the legitimate business reasons not to accept voucher families since insurance costs increase when there are any subsidized units.

    • Mavdog

      Did the insurance cos. not be told that increased premiums for apartments with vouchers was a violation of Fair Housing Act guidelines? “Disparate impact”. It is viewed as a form of redlining.

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  • Los_Politico

    Interesting that the guy who runs the organization advocating for Section 8 vouchers lives in the whitest of census tracts. A neighborhood with no Section 8 vouchers properties, per the map.

    Do as I say, not as I do!!

    • Mavdog

      I thought the ICP head is a female. What “guy” are you referring to?

      • Los_Politico

        Opportunity Dallas is leading the push for more Section 8 vouchers locally.

        • Mavdog

          So you are referring to Mike Koprowski? At a loss as to why you don’t just come out and say what you are dancing around….

  • Mavdog

    It appears that the tenant who utilizes a HCV is confronted with a wall around many areas of our area. Likewise there are landlords who refuse to accept a Section 8 voucher for reasons other than the race of the tenant. There is a way to overcome both issues.

    The time has come to get rid of vouchers and go to a straight subsidy for the low income renter. This approach will reduce the possibility of denial being based on race, for the landlord will be liable under fair housing regs for that denial. They could not hide behind section 8 non-acceptance. There would also be a better efficiency to the program and less waste of money and resources the HUD bureaucracy brings.

  • JamieT

    Without the ability for insurers to identify and exclude specific risks, shazam: effectively, community rated P&C insurance for landlords. Now higher universal insurance costs –> now higher rents, resulting in – you guessed it – more renters at the margins now requiring subsidies.

  • Cindy Tyndall

    I would also like to see a study done to compare crime rates in areas that accept vouchers vs areas that do not.

    • Cecilio Chavez

      Well, the only problem with your suggestion is that a crime may be committed in one area but the criminal may live in an entirely different area. But I do get your main point. I think you may have meant ..a comparative analysis of a convicted criminal’s residence area relative to his / her voucher status .

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    • WIltonguy45

      they are higher, much higher, so are police calls to any apartment complex that is Section 8 You can get that information from your local police department, its public record.

  • Jewelsouth1

    i could not believe that dallas tx has the worst child poverty rate

  • Sahji Ali

    nothing more than LEGAL segregation. Like someone said, redlining

  • Joel Martinez

    If your so worried about segregation, then give up those s8 vouchers and move where you like. I personally moved away because I got tired of my property being vandalized by people who took no pride in their own community. You don’t need charts or graphs just go in these neighborhoods and look how these people just destroy everything around them for the most part, loiter around, and basically are their own worst enemy. I know you can’t solve a problem without discussing it openly and freely but it seems like your focused more on dividing and pinning one group against another.

  • Boone Nerren

    The problem is there is no management of the recipients within the HCV program. As an owner/landlord I have found over the last dozen plus years that there is a much higher rate of lease violations, skips and damage to rental units by voucher participants. The cities need to start managing the voucher recipients better.

    • Angel Flores

      True that. I also had more problems with Section 8 residents. Since they are home more often they also cause more wear and tear on the apartment and use more utilities (water/electric/gas). The vouchers also did not cover full market rent so had to decide wether to accept lower rent or charge resident the difference which they could not afford in most cases.

  • alexander troup

    Well who wants to live next door to a bunch of bad Hippies who have an organic problem with their back yard and use of a laundry mat….meanwhile there is such a theme as over population that denial has to continue to be apart of this story in its lost vision …and who,s doing the door knocking and who is inside that never went out….to do this story….

  • WIltonguy45

    I’m going to explain how Section 8 works, for those who can’t seem to grasp it.

    Section 8 is a VOLUNTARY program established in 1974 under the Nixon administration. The purpose of the program was to provide SHORT TERM assistance to low income people to move into better neighborhoods and give them time to get established, it was NEVER intended to be a lifetime entitlement, Nor has it EVER been a mandatory program that any one has to participate in.

    Flash forward 40 years and all of these “housing advocates” and socialist political hacks are screaming their uneducated heads off about landlords not excepting Section 8, guess what people, THEY DON’T HAVE TO.

    Misguided cities across the country are usurping Federal guidelines by passing these mandatory Section 8 acceptance laws, which are unconstitutional. There are several court challenges underway right now in numerous states. At least one of these will go to SCOTUS where it will be found unconstitutional and all of these laws will have to be rescinded.

    Do you have any idea of how many millions of tax dollars will have been wasted coming up with these laws and defending them in court? How many units of public housing could have been built with the money wasted on this social engineering scheme, which is what it is.

    If you are a landlord you DO NOT have to participate in the Section 8 program. If you are in one of the cities that have passed one of these unconstitutional laws, sue the city, if there is not already a lawsuit and DONT advertise your properties. Use word of mouth amongst your close social contacts. Don’t advertise, don’t put up signs, nothing. In this rental martket you can find a market rate tenent with not problem.

    Keep your current tenants happy, if they are good tenents don’t raise the rent, keep things fixed so they will stay. You do not want to get into a government contract with HUD, you will sign away most of your property rights and you can end up losing your property if HUD goes after you for something.

    Keep things on the DL until SCOTUS rules on these laws. You do not want the headache.