Dallas Pushes Reform to Seized Land Program After News Story Highlighted Abuses

Dallas is dotted with empty lots in need of redevelopment - land seized by City Hall for back taxes that only hurts neighborhoods by standing empty.But a program created to put that land back into use was suspended after a Dallas Morning News investigation revealed that the city had sold dozens of lots to a Mexican entrepreneur with a theft conviction and questionable sources of funding. The man, Jose Santos Coria, had transferred some homes intended for low-income families to relatives who already owned houses.Now, some nine months after the program was suspended, it may be on the verge of coming back, freeing up inexpensive properties for redevelopment, often in the city's poorest neighborhoods. But when and if it does come back, it will be with tighter regulations on how property is sold and developed. City Council members reviewed the changes to the land bank program in the fall and signaled no opposition to the planned reforms at a meeting Wednesday.  Continue reading...

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