What Makes Schutze Happy? Easy: The Promise of Affordable Housing in Downtown Dallas.

Just came from that joint meeting of the Downtown Connection Tax Increment Financing District board and Downtown Dallas Development Authority (please don't ask me what any of that means), and I am happy to report that Ted and Larry Hamilton's Atmos Center project is a go, with, matter of fact, tons of affordable housing units in it.

I will be reporting on this in more detail in my column next week. I need the weekend to rest up my writing muscles before I attack the task of explaining to readers what a "Downtown Connection TIF board" is. For now, just think of it as some kind of official City Hall type of a thing.

The bottom line is that this project, a restoration of a cluster of old buildings toward the east end of downtown, will finally bring a bunch of apartments on-line that working people will be able to afford to live in.

You may not remember, but last summer I sent my intern, University of Dallas student Elliot Kaiser, out into downtown to see if he could rent a cheap apartment. He could not, of course, because there weren't any, in spite of millions of dollars in state and federal tax subsidy poured into downtown renovations over the last couple decades.

The experience was humiliating and insulting for Elliot, which pleased me, because my object, of course, was to prepare him for a career in journalism.

Anyway, more on this later. It's good news for downtown.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze