Dallas Man Sues Former Landlord over Bedbug Infestation; Landlord Says He Planted Them

Categories: Housing

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"Bed bug, Cimex lectularius" by Content Providers(s): CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack. Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki - http://phil.cdc.gov/phil. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
You feel an itch just looking at this, don't you?
Marquis on Gaston is one of those faux-luxury apartment complexes plopped by one of Dallas' cool neighborhoods (in this case, Deep Ellum), advertising itself with descriptors such as "gated community," "suburban living in an urban environment," "luxurious pool area," "French patio doors," "distinguished community" and the claim that "Marquis on Gaston residents live surrounded by elegance."

If a lawsuit filed by a former tenant is to be believed, some of the Marquis on Gaston residents also live surrounded by bed bugs.

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Finding a Safe Space for Dallas' Homeless LGBTQ Youth

Categories: Housing

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JMSuarez
Roughly 3,400 Dallas ISD students are homeless. Hundreds of these are LGBTQ teenagers.
When they come out, gay teens must often deal with unsupportive, even hostile parents. Sometimes, parents even go so far as to kick the kids out of their homes. If they attend a Dallas ISD school, they become one of the roughly 3,400 homeless students in the district. By some guesses, although it is impossible to put a definitive number to the group, hundreds of LGBTQ youth are homeless in Dallas.

See also: Why There Are 3,400 Homeless Students in Dallas ISD


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A Frisco Homeowners Association Is Suing to Stop Homeless Teens from Moving In

Categories: Housing

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via City House Facebook Page
Since 2006, the City House nonprofit has offered shelter for homeless kids and young adults in two houses in Plano, smack in the middle of residential neighborhoods. City House claims the kids' neighbors never seemed to mind. How does City House pull this off? By operating out of existing houses that look just like all the other nice houses on the street.

"When you drive down the street you shouldn't notice" a difference, says City House spokesman Rob Scichili. "It's a normal house in a normal neighborhood, and that's the way we operate."

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Dallas Homeless Population Sees a Jump in Kids and Families, but Fewer Chronic Homeless

Categories: Housing

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Ed Yourdon
If this is the image you associate with the homeless population, you'll probably be in for a surprise when you look around Dallas.
The number of homeless people in a city on any given night varies, and is difficult to measure. Most cities perform random periodic counts to determine the number and demographic of homeless individuals. In Dallas, counts over the last 10 years indicate that the general population is going up, but the demographic is shifting. Look around, and you might see more women, kids and down-on-their-luck families.

According to a report by Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, the number of chronically homeless individuals is down about 65 percent, and the number of people sleeping outside or in abandoned buildings on a regular basis is down 49 percent. "Chronically homeless" means men and women with debilitating mental illness, substance dependency or other disability who are homeless for over a year.

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Young People Still Hate Dallas

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We're cool! Swear!
You may have seen some of the breathless headlines. "In the heat of summer, Forbes says Dallas is cool." "No surprise that Texas has some of the coolest cities in America." "Dallas Among Top 10 'Coolest Cities in America'."

But here's the deal, Dallas: Houston and Austin have both outcooled us. And it's all because young people hate it here.

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Dallas Is One of the Few Cities in America Where a Young Person Can Buy a House

Categories: Housing

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Geremia
If you're ages 25 to 34, you could buy a house for a really cheap price in Texas. Like, this mansion would be practically free.
Dallas is among the 10 best cities in the country for young people to buy a home, according to a new National Association of Realtors report. "Buying a home," if you're under 35, is an old-timey activity practiced mostly by your parents and grandparents, sort of like using a rotary phone or having a savings account.

The report uses job numbers and housing prices to determine where young people might actually be able to buy something. It surveyed 100 cities across the country and focused on specific data encompassing the 25 to 34 age group. The report excluded 18- to 25-year-olds who are typically less likely to buy homes, owing to crushing student debt and bar tabs. Austin joined Denver, two cities in Utah and five other cities on the list.

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Texas Home-Buyers Pay Highest Closing Costs in Country, Survey Says

Categories: Housing

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Ashley Bischoff
And you thought buying that Manhattan condo was rough.

Texas has the highest processing fees for home loans in the nation, according to a recent Bankrate report, but don't bother asking why. The banks won't tell you. The report zeroed in on closing costs -- the combination fees charged by lenders for processing plus third-party fees for things like appraisals and credit checks. For a typical $200,000 home loan, closing fees averaged over $3,000 in the state.

"We've been doing the survey for 12 years and Texas is usually in the top five," says Holden Lewis, a spokesman for Bankrate. Lewis is a Dallas native but is based in Florida now. "And it's kind of a mystery to me. I don't know why."

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Recent Study Shows Poverty in DFW Suburbs Has Doubled in the Past 12 Years

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Andreas Praefcke
Suburbia ain't all it's cracked up to be.

If you think more poor people are living in the DFW area in recent years, you could be spot-on. Heck, after the 2008 recession you could be one of them. According to a recent Brookings Institute study, DFW, land of the suburbs, is quickly turning into the land of the slums.

Elizabeth Kneebone authored the study. She says the general national increase in poverty levels is a result of the recession. "The overall poverty trend in the Dallas metro area is demonstrating the same trends we've been seeing nationally, but is even ahead of the curve in some ways," she said. "It's even faster than average."

Kneebone found that the population of poor people in DFW grew nearly 65 percent from 2000 to 2012, and that population is becoming concentrated in high-poverty neighborhoods. More than 56 percent of DFW residents below the poverty line live in neighborhoods with similarly high poverty rates, up from 40 percent in 2000. Perhaps most striking, impoverished neighborhoods are increasingly located in DFW suburbs.

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Three Years After City's $850K, Lancaster Corridor Apartments Still Abandoned, Choked With Weeds

Categories: Housing

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The Oakglen Apartments circa 2011, when the City Council chipped in $850,000 toward a proposed redevelopment. It looks much the same now.
The Oakglen Apartments are, for lack of a better term, a craphole. Long-abandoned with boarded-up windows and, unless City Hall made good on its promise to mow the city-owned property on Wednesday after WFAA ran a story about neighbors' complaints, completely choked with brush and weeds.

It's not supposed to be like this. We don't mean in the abstract sense that apartments are built to be inhabited or that property owners, city of Dallas included, are supposed to keep their properties up to code. We mean there were concrete plans, and that those plans were funded with $850,000 in the city's HUD money. Today, the 64-unit Oakglen Apartments are supposed to look something more like this:

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In Dallas, You Need to Make $29,000 Per Year to Afford a Decent Apartment

Categories: Housing

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Dustin Gilbert
Look hard enough and you should be find a quality place like this for $722 per month.
The Washington Post's Wonk Blog yesterday published a county-by-county map of what a worker needs to make to afford a decent one-bedroom apartment.

In Dallas (and Collin, and Denton County) the figure is $13.88 per hour, assuming 40-hour weeks and a full 52 weeks of pay. Annually, that comes out to about $29,000 per year.


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