HUD loan to help open downtown living to moderate-income residents



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Posted on March 29, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 29 at 10:50 PM

DALLAS -- At 20 years old, Jarrod Woodard has his own place, goes to school, and works at the Dallas County Courthouse.

He’s pretty independent, except on laundry day. Friday evening, his mom was helping him lug a week’s worth of dirty clothes to her house, because after he pays $570 per month for rent at his efficiency apartment, plus an additional $75 for parking, he’s too broke to go to the laundromat.

“You want to stay [downtown], because it’s closer to everything," Woodard said. "It’s closer to a lot of stuff that you want to be close to, but at the same time, you're paying more than what you should be paying.”

Even so, Jarrod feels lucky to be living in a redesigned building, which had the cheapest rent he could find.

It was the first part of the redevelopment of the Lone Star Gas buildings. The second phase can now begin because of a $11.75 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It will create 123 new apartment units. More than half of those will be geared toward moderate-income people and families.

“I love downtown!” said Greg Gunter, who lives in the same building as Woodard.

Gunter said he likes the convenience of downtown living. He’s close to work and family. He said affordable housing exists in downtown Dallas, but there’s just not enough of it.

“It’s just a matter of can Dallas build the infrastructure to help the people who don’t have a place to live, and then provide enough affordable housing for people who want to live in an interesting and diverse area like downtown?” he said.

The Dallas City Council recently approved money to redevelop the Farmer’s Market, and improvements to the nearby historic Lone Star Gas Buildings would be the finishing touches on a project several years in the making.