DALLAS – A local non-profit organization known for tackling senseless violence in neighborhoods across the city is on a new mission to make an even greater impact across southern Dallas.

Urban Specialists announced it is purchasing 64 lots across the South Dallas-Fair Park area, as part of its new affordable housing initiative.

"This city is 20,000 units short of affordable housing,” said Rod Givens, Urban Specialists’ Director of Finance.

Housing is an area of new territory for Urban Specialists. For two decades, the group’s mission has been focused on stopping senseless violence in the community. Now this new venture will help the organization continue its mission by pushing efforts to help revitalize some formerly vacant and blighted lots, and bringing new families, new energy, and positive change to the community.

Many of the lots Urban Specialists is purchasing and looking to transform are in the Mill City community of South Dallas. “This will be one of the first areas we look at,” Givens explained.

The buzz about the investment opportunity and affordable housing plan is already raising some interest among long-time neighbors. Many are calling it a game-changer.

"If we all came together to really build and invest in this community, this community could look different," Antong Lucky of Urban Specialists said.

In addition to building affordable homes, Urban Specialists’ team says it will also be hiring workers from the community, as it prepares to break ground on lots in the coming months.

“This is going to be a sign right here,” Lucky explained. “This is going to be a sign of what’s to come.”