Building on the roughly 76 million square feet of vacant land already zoned for multifamily housing could create badly needed rental housing units and slow the growth of rent prices.
If Dallas were to develop the 475 vacant lots already zoned for multifamily housing in the city, it could build as many as 100,000 new housing units, reports Alexandra Both in an analysis on RentCafe. Both points out that “That’s more than the total number of apartments built in the city since 2000.”
RentCafe created a map of vacant lots and zoning restrictions in Dallas, revealing the zip codes that could house the most new rental housing. The RentCafe analysis found that, in addition to the 76 million square feet of vacant parcels already zoned for multifamily housing, “in total, Dallas has more than 494 million square feet of vacant land scattered around 3,152 parcels that could be used to build more housing” if rezoned to allow multifamily development.
According to Both, “Through strategic rezoning, the city could unlock even more potential for affordable and diverse housing options, that would not only alleviate the housing shortage but also drive Dallas towards a more equitable future.”
Developers blame the city’s long, uncertain permitting process and high fees for discouraging more construction. A bill proposed in the state legislature, House Bill 14, would let developers use a third party contractor to perform reviews and approve permits if the city doesn’t do so within a 15 day deadline.
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HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.