A West Dallas groundbreaking Thursday by a faith-based nonprofit group is an answer to prayers for affordable homes in an area where most new houses are too costly for the people living there.
The group called “Builders of Hope” launched what it calls “Revitalize West Dallas.”
The new plan will put new houses on a group of 20 vacant West Dallas lots acquired from the City of Dallas at very low cost.
“It's overwhelming of course,” said Keiara Armstrong.
She is born and raised in West Dallas and she is the buyer of the first house to be completed by the group in this new program.
The Builders of Hope leader is West Dallas Pastor James Armstrong. He’s not related to Keiara Armstrong, except for the fact that he also was born and raised in West Dallas.
“I felt the fear that the West Dallas I knew would be no more,” Armstrong said.
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Going up fast in the area are big, expensive new houses that are priced far higher than what many West Dallas families can afford.
“It’s mind-blowing you know. But thanks to builders of hope I don't have to worry about that,” she said.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson is also from West Dallas.
“We all need to be committed to insure that West Dallas will always have a place for people who made it great in the first place,” Johnson said.
The Builders of Hope formula starts with using vacant lots it gets from the city for about $1,000 each. Cooperative banks are involved. And grants of federal housing money from the City of Dallas and Dallas County help subsidize the homes.
“We have an affordable home crisis in Dallas and Dallas County,” Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia said.
The Revitalize West Dallas homes will sell for around $200,000. And the Builders of Hope formula provides buyers with up to $80,000 in immediate equity when they close on the property.
“To be able to have such a strong foundation to be able to raise my kids up, it's incredible,” Keiara Armstrong said.
She’ll be able to raise those two children and stay in the neighborhood where she grew up.
Builders of Hope is also working in South Dallas and has plans to expand elsewhere in Dallas County.
Other Dallas nonprofit builders are also working to address the affordable housing need.