Community-led Vision Plan for West Dallas Launches
Builders of Hope CDC Builds Partnership to Create a Neighborhood Plan for Greater West Dallas
Multiple community organizations join the effort in partnership with community leaders to propose policy changes for neighborhoods
The West Dallas Community Vision Plan (Plan) is a grassroots, community-led vision and platform for neighborhood policy and investment. Informed by rapid development in West Dallas and the immense economic potential of Harold Simmons Park, Builders of Hope CDC (BOHCDC), Trinity Park Conservancy (the Conservancy), West Dallas 1, Downwinders at Risk and the SMU Budd Center have partnered to develop this Plan in close collaboration with West Dallas residents who will serve as the client and leaders of the Plan as part of a community Steering Committee. This work is made possible with generous support from the Communities Foundation of Texas and their W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund.
The partnership will be made up of these organizations as subject matter experts overseeing various aspects of plan development, including engagement, fair housing and urban planning. In coordination with West Dallas 1, Downwinders at Risk will serve as the environmental justice expert for this planning process, and the SMU Budd Center will work on community collaboration and Design Thinking.
Over the past decade, West Dallas has attracted massive real estate and economic investment that has brought millions of dollars into its 15 neighborhoods. While this investment presents opportunities, it is not always aligned with resident needs and priorities. The adopted plans in this area have not kept pace with neighborhood change. This is a challenge for residents, who are stretched thin to assert their needs across dozens of zoning, education, transportation, and planning conversations, as well as the public and private entities working in this geography. The result is a persistent gap between resident needs and developer and public sector activities, despite many well-intentioned efforts. The partnership, together with neighborhood members, recognize that it is time to bridge that gap and create a single Plan, supported by a broad coalition of neighborhood leaders and stakeholders, that identifies a shared, equitable vision for the future, including jobs/economic development, housing, education, transportation/connections, and the environment.
“The West Dallas Community Vision Plan will actualize equitable development and empower local residents with the necessary tools to shape the future of their community,” said James Armstrong, President and CEO of BOHCDC. “This community-driven process will help impact and protect the West Dallas community for generations to come. I want to thank all of the organizations for partnering with community leaders and making this meaningful and much needed investment in West Dallas. Once adopted, the West Dallas Community Vision Plan will be a model for other neighborhoods in our city that are experiencing rapid gentrification. A major win for West Dallas, the Trinity Corridor and the City of Dallas at large.”
This Plan will define an overarching community vision that can drive future policy and decisions in three key ways:
- Informing City of Dallas adopted plans, including the upcoming City Comprehensive Plan.
- Informing future Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) in this area.
- Increasing resident leadership/capacity for advocacy to advance the Plan.
“Harold Simmons Park is a transformational project for the City of Dallas, and the Conservancy wants to work with community partners to make sure that the community surrounding the Park is able to participate in the economic opportunities that it will bring,” said Tony Moore, President and CEO of the Conservancy. “Community voices will lead this effort and having partners like BOHCDC and all the other organizations only catalyses how important this work is and the need to get it done.”
The Plan will be completed in four steps through 2021 and 2022. BOHCDC and the Conservancy are currently reviewing past policy plans, conducting a fair housing assessment and looking to identify potential steering committee members. As new developments arise information will be available on the BOHCDC and Conservancy websites.
Click here to apply for the West Dallas Community Vision Plan Steering Committee.
About Builders of Hope CDC
Builders of Hope Community Development Corporation is a multifaceted community development organization devoted to transforming Dallas by building thriving communities and energy efficient quality affordable homes. Over the past 20 years, BOH CDC has been a leader in creating and sustaining equitable and affordable housing through single family development, community engagement, and policy. The approach we take to community development consists of three strategies – revitalization of areas that are experiencing suppressed land values due to lack of public investment; stabilization of communities undergoing gentrification marked by fast pace increase in land values; and diversification of mixed income housing in areas where affordable housing is limited or nonexistent. Through these strategies and grassroot community engagement and financial literacy we have produced over 500 homes, been a partner in building 4 major subdivisions, and increased economic mobility by creating nearly $45M in wealth for families in South, East, and West Dallas.