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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.
The majority of these programs provide low-interest mortgage loans or assist individuals or families to qualify for traditional, bank loans.
The sources linked below provide consumer education and advice:
The annual program guide from the Texas Housing Department, linked immediately below, is a comprehensive directory of State and Federal housing-related programs, including homebuyer assistance, home repair assistance, rental assistance, emergency assistance, homeless services, housing and community development and more.
For books, search the Library catalog using the subject heading "House Buying -- United States" or "Residential Real Estate -- Purchasing -- United States".
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. Local nonprofit housing counselors who can help you steer clear of predatory lenders are listed on the websites of FannieMae and the U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development.
The following are government agencies that regulate different aspects of the housing, lending and insurance industries, along with local ordinances.
Several local agencies provide assistance to renters, including counseling, help with locating a subsidized apartment, and legal advice regarding landlord / tenant problems.
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.
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.
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.
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." The Texas Department of Housing maintains a list of certified CHDOs.
Laws and programs are constantly changing. The following sites are a good place to stay current with news about affordable housing.
The Dallas County Home Loan Counseling Center offers FREE classes and workshops regarding credit and purchasing a home.