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Dallas Housing Authority considers selling apartments, building senior housing
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
August 08, 2013 10:34 AM | 2031 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shirley Smith, executive director of the Dallas Housing Authority, stands near the Ridgeview public housing complex.
Shirley Smith, executive director of the Dallas Housing Authority, stands near the Ridgeview public housing complex.
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Some public housing in Dallas may be sold and the funds used to build new senior living facilities.

The Dallas Housing Authority has requested proposals for the sale of the 6.18-acre Ridgeview Complex at 700 Villa Rica Hwy. in Dallas, according to a legal notice for the proposal.

The complex, built in 1981, is zoned as residential but is surrounded by commercial properties, said Shirley Smith, executive director of the authority.

“The development is no longer conducive for residential use,” she said.

Authority board member Kevin Kirby said the 32-year-old complex is no longer a reasonable or safe place to house the residents -- despite it being the newest of the authority’s complexes -- because of its proximity to two major highways.

“I think it is good for the residents [for the complex to be sold] because of the traffic at Villa Rica Highway,” he said.

There are 28 units in the complex, with 25 of them being rented. They are not going to fill the other three units because of the plan to sell the complex.

“We won’t know what we can do until later this year,” Smith said.

To be able to sell the land they have to get permission from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which funds the authority. If HUD allows the sale the land will be auctioned to the highest bidder. The authority hopes to have an answer from the government by December, she said.

The plan is to sell the property for commercial use, and Publix supermarkets already has approached the authority about buying it, Smith said.

If the land is sold then the authority would move the residents to one of the other four housing complexes it operates in the city of Dallas.

With the money gained from the potential sale the authority hopes to build 75 new living units for seniors.

The authority has 157 units now with all but three rented -- and about 150 people on a waiting list. Most of those on the list are either senior citizens or disabled, Smith said. Because of the long waiting list they are not planning on taking applications until the summer of 2014.

The Dallas Housing Authority was established in 1957. Since then it has built five complexes. The other four facilities, a mixture of apartment and duplex styles, are in residential areas.

The authority offers social workers, Boys & Girls Club scholarships, sack lunch programs through other organizations and more to its residents.

“A lot of things are here to help our residents,” Smith said.

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