The Inclusive Communities Project directed a survey of private market-rate multi-family apartment complexes in the Dallas region. There were 1901 properties in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Rockwall counties surveyed. Only twelve percent (12%) of those surveyed said they will rent to families with a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV). Only four percent (4%) of the complexes in majority white non-Hispanic zip codes accepted HCVs, while forty-six percent (46%) in majority Black zip codes accept HCVs. Although redesigned subsidy formulas have made more units attainable than in the past for HVC participants, participants still have a hard time accessing available rental units for their families. HCV program participants are predominantly Black in the Dallas region. While the subsidy program is designed to allow HVC holders to choose reasonably priced housing from the local market, this region-wide refusal to rent to HCV holders in majority white zip codes not only perpetuates residential segregation but places entire cities off limits to this group of apartment seekers.
There were 26 cities where market rate apartment complexes refused one hundred percent (100%) of the time to accept HCVs, and included the cities of Addison, Allen, Flower Mound, Frisco, Prosper and Sachse. Municipalities in which ninety percent (90%) or more of the private market properties refused to take HCVs included Carrollton, Coppell, Denton, Farmers Branch, Grapevine, Irving, Lewisville, McKinney, Plano, and Richardson. In the City of Dallas, complexes in council districts 12 and 14, refused vouchers 96% and 95% of the time, respectively, with both placing in the upper range of the council districts with the most apartment complexes.
While numerous news reports predict that rising rents in the Dallas area are taking a toll on local renters, renters using HCVs have and continue to bear the burden of market exclusion. With the state of Texas and cities like the City of Dallas allowing discrimination against voucher families to take place (unless the voucher holder is a veteran) and private market apartments discriminating against voucher holders, we will never desegregate the Dallas region and allow families of color to move to well-resourced areas where they think their children can best thrive.