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Dallas City Council increases financial assistance as part of homebuyers program

On Wednesday, Dallas City Council voted to increase the amount of financial assistance offered under the traditional DHAP program and Targeted Incentive Program.

DALLAS — Dallas City Council approved changes to its Dallas Homebuyer Assistance Program, or DHAP, Wednesday.

DHAP is made up of two programs:

  1. The traditional DHAP program helps people buy a home within Dallas city limits
  2. The Targeted Occupations Homebuyer Assistance Program is designed to help those who have a direct impact on the Dallas community – that includes people who work in educational instruction, librarian services, healthcare, and protective services – buy a home

Under both programs, qualified homebuyers must meet certain income requirements.

On Wednesday, Dallas City Council voted to increase the amount of financial assistance offered under the traditional DHAP program and Targeted Occupations Homebuyer Assistance Program.

“We've increased our funding to up to $50,000 in homebuyers’ assistance, which helps cover down payment and closing costs,” City Of Dallas Housing Program Manager Tammi Southall said.

In addition, City Council voted to approve an extension of the DHAP program, called the Dallas Anti-Displacement Homebuyer Assistance Program, or DHAP 10.

“That program is there to encourage current city of Dallas residents to stay in the city of Dallas,” Southall said. “We're going to provide up to $50,000 in assistance.”

DHAP 10 will provide Dallas residents, who have lived in the city for at least ten years and have a “household income between 50%-120% Area Median Income,” with a maximum forgivable loan of up to $50,000 per household.

General funds for the new DHAP 10 program will not exceed $1 million, city council announced Wednesday.

“That would be about 20 households we’ll be able to serve for the Anti-Displacement Program (DHAP 10). But we also have federal funds for our traditional DHAP program where we have about $800,000 in that program. And then with the targeted incentive program, we have about $250,000 in funds as well,” Southall said. “So we have plenty of funds available to go all the way around.”

Dallas City District 12 Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn was the only one who did not vote in favor of these changes and additions to the DHAP program Wednesday.

“I really think that [the whole plan] needs to go to the housing committee for us to look at before it comes to full council,” Mendelsohn said“I don’t think it’s had the oversight that it should.”

Perhaps more discussion is needed, real estate broker Todd Tramonte told WFAA.

“Believing the best in everyone, I think that's what we can say,” Tramonte said. “But more thought, potentially selling this a little bit better might potentially make more funds available, which might make more homes available.”

Click here to read more on the income requirements for potential homebuyers to qualify for DHAP.

In addition, only homes under $271,000 qualify for the traditional DHAP program.

“The thing that has stood out about this program and programs like it for a long time is that because of the restrictions -- and there have to be some -- but there are very, very few homes and very, very few homebuyers that actually fit the criteria,” Tramonte said.

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