Dallas South News Wire (Dallas Home Connection)
Members of the Dallas Home Connection have long been champions of community development and neighborhood revitalization in Southern Dallas. They applaud Mayor Rawlings’ visionary GrowSouth plan to infuse public and private investment as well as branding that will capitalize on the strengths of Southern Dallas.
With the Mayor’s vision and expertise at the helm, it’s a great time to be on the forefront of mixed income housing and community developments in this area.
Unfortunately, a new problem is undermining the efforts of the Dallas Home Connection builders (Builders of Hope, EDCO, ICDC, and South Fair) and their collective goal to achieve neighborhood revitalization in Southern Dallas: recent legislation passed by the Department of HUD now allows residential short sale and foreclosed sales comparables to be included in the determination of the appraisal values for new construction and refinancing of homes.
Residential land appraisals in Southern Dallas, already relatively low, are now being pressured downward because of the high rate of foreclosures, many of which could have been prevented had the buyers worked with builders like those in the Dallas Home Connection who diligently vet all mortgage services to protect their clients from predatory lenders, making sure they get the right kind of loan at the right time.
However, the Dallas Home Connection builders must now contend with “comparable” values in neighborhoods with high foreclosures, and as a result, appraisals are less than the needed mortgage loans for the qualified buyers that the Dallas Home Connection brings to the table; so much less that the builders are often facing a $20K gap/loss.
In addition, Norman Henry, CEO of Builders of Hope and member of the Dallas Home Connection said, “The government will be increasing fees for FHA buyers (i.e., the premium rate will go up to around 2%), and will make it even more difficult for buyers to get FHA loans by requiring more reserves, higher credit scores, and higher mortgage insurance premiums.
As a result, the old ways of helping families buy a home will not work in the future. Main street is being asked to bailout the problems caused by Wall Street.
These changes will affect everyone’s ability in Southern Dallas to buy, refinance or sell their homes. We need to keep working towards creative solutions to provide housing options for our community.”
Qualified homeowners that come through financial and mentoring programs offered by the Dallas Home Connection boast less than a 2% foreclosure rate; they are the hard-working families that provide stability in the midst of revitalization efforts in Southern Dallas.
The future of mixed income residential development in Southern Dallas highly depends on the success of such homeowners getting the loans they need from lenders after all other financial supplements like the down payment assistance offered through Enterprise Community Partners have been applied.
These are the homeowners who are changing the face and reputation of Southern Dallas. The Dallas Home Connection encourages their buyers to become active members in their neighborhood associations for which the builders provide support. This is in alignment with Mayor Rawlings’ goal to strengthen and engage neighborhoods in order to create a context where citizens do the small things that make a big difference overall.
The Dallas Home Connection advocates for strong representation by the City Council members in their homeowners’ districts, and they also provide community programs such as job training and small business incubation.
Overall the Dallas Home Connection is in alignment with Mayor Rawlings’ GrowSouth vision for the revitalization of Southern Dallas as a great place to live, work, and raise families. But the efforts of the Dallas Home Connection to stabilize Southern Dallas neighborhoods with strong homeowners will all be for naught unless the new legislation changes in how property values are assessed or private funding becomes available to close the mortgage gaps facing the community development builders in the Dallas Home Connection.