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Finding Affordable Housing

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Created by the Dallas Public Library's Urban Information Center, this page describes resources available in the Dallas / Fort Worth area to help locate and obtain affordable housing. In addition, it discusses options for those needing assistance or repair to their homes, as well as sources for emergency housing. The last section includes information for developers of affordable housing. If you notice omissions or have ideas or suggestions, please send us an email.

  1. Information for Homebuyers
  2. Information for Renters
  3. Minor Home Repairs & Utility Assistance
  4. Where to turn in an emergency
  5. Developing Affordable Housing

1. Information for Homebuyers

Housing Programs, Agencies & Organizations

The majority of these programs provide low-interest mortgage loans or assist individuals or families to qualify for traditional, bank loans. They may also provide assistance with down payments, closing costs, and tax credits. 

Consumer resources

The sources linked below provide consumer education and advice:

Beware of so-called predatory lenders.  They specialize in loaning money to people with poor credit.  They frequently charge hidden fees and interest rates that are way above the average.  Information on local nonprofit housing counselors who can help you steer clear of predatory lenders is available on the website of FannieMae and a listing of Texas counselors is available through the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development.

Books

For books, search the Library catalog using the subject heading "House Buying -- United States" or "Residential Real Estate -- Purchasing -- United States".

Regulatory Agencies & Local Ordinances

The following are government agencies that regulate different aspects of the housing, lending and insurance industries, along with local ordinances.

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2. Information for Renters

Several local agencies provide assistance to renters, including counseling, help with locating a subsidized apartment, and legal advice regarding landlord / tenant problems.

Agencies, Programs & Organizations
Online Publications

NOTE: The publications linked above are provided for information only and are not meant to be comprehensive or to convey legal advice. Other laws and regulations may apply, and you are advised to seek the assistance of a competent legal attorney.

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3. Minor Home Repairs & Utility Assistance

Programs aimed at assisting the needy, elderly or disabled with fixing up their houses or providing adaptive aids (e.g. wheelchair ramps or grab-bars) are listed below.  Visit our Community Information Database and search for the subject heading "utilities" for some groups that provide help with bills, or make your home more weather tight, which can reduce your utility bill. 

Agencies, Programs & Organizations

Be aware that unscrupulous individuals often prey upon homeowners in the wake of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.  The Federal Trade Commission has published an informative online alert, After a Disaster: Repairing Your Home, which explains how to avoid getting ripped off.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency maintains a useful website with information about what to do after a natural disaster.

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4. Where to turn in an emergency

If you are at risk of harm, call the police at 911.  If you are experiencing a personal crisis and are about to lose your housing or need to seek emergency shelter, the resources highlighted below may be of use to you. 

Finding Emergency Shelter

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5. Developing Affordable Housing

The City of Dallas devotes a percentage of HOME grant funds to local Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO's), defined by HUD as "a private nonprofit, community-based service organization whose primary purpose is to provide and develop decent, affordable housing for the community it serves."

Government Agencies & Programs
Useful Websites - Nonprofit
Books & Other publications
News

Laws and programs are constantly changing.  The following sites are a good place to stay current with news about affordable housing.

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