The demand for affordable housing is rather heavy across North Texas right now. An increasing number of families are searching for affordable housing, but agencies say there just are not enough options.

That’s why a popular developer, Matthews Southwest, is partnering with Dallas-based shelter Family Gateway. The two teams are working to provide more families with possible solutions.

“The face of Hutchins is changing,” said Bernice Matthews as she looked at renderings of the new complex, Gateway at Hutchins. The longtime resident says there is a noticeable boom of construction taking place in the rural southern Dallas County city of Hutchins.

Officials break ground on Gateway at Hutchins
Officials break ground on Gateway at Hutchins

City leaders stood on a mound of dirt, holding shovels, on Monday. The were dedicating a site on J.J. Lemmon where construction of the new affordable housing complex is taking shape.

It is the latest sign of growth in the city, about a mile from Dallas Inland Port.

“Dallas Inland Port is home to thousands and thousands of jobs,” said Scott Galbraith, Vice President of RMGM Developers Matthews Southwest. “Many of the employees have to travel considerable distance to get to and from work.”

Galbraith and his team with Matthews Southwest are known for their high-end residential and commercial development projects around Dallas. Their buildings include the Omni hotel, South Side on Lamar, Nylo Hotel, and South Side Flats, among others.

The developers are now partnering with the non-profit Family Gateway to build a 336-unit complex for qualified families.

Construction has begun on an affordable housing complex in Hutchins.
Construction has begun on an affordable housing complex in Hutchins.

“We are in the trenches with families who are homeless,” said Ellen Magnis, the executive director of Family Gateway. “In Dallas we have a shelter that has 30 rooms, that has at any given time 100 people in it.”

Magnis says Gateway at Hutchins will offer amenities like child care, a fitness center, and social service resources for families trying to get back on their feet.

“It’s one more option for them, in an environment where there is very few options,” Magnis explained.

Neighbors recognize the rural location does have some challenges when it comes to public transportation.

State Representative Helen Giddings said community partners are working on that.

”We know that we are not in DART,” Giddings said, “but even though we are not in DART we have to solve the transportation problems. It’s in everyone’s best interest.”

Family Gateway is also looking at providing shuttle services to the Inland Port for its future tenants.

Neighbors have said they hope the new complex will spark even more growth in the city.

The site where Gateway at Hutchins will be built.
The site where Gateway at Hutchins will be built.