Often population booms result in gentrification. KERA North Texas reporter Courtney Collins has been tracking the impact growth is having on West Dallas in a series called “One Crisis Away: No Place To Go.”
“West Dallas is a very interesting neighborhood because for a very long time, it was kind of business as usual there,” Collins says. “It was a poor neighborhood, it struggled for a long time with industrial pollution and some crime issues – especially back in sort of the ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ era there was a lot of criminal activity in West Dallas.”
Collins says the demographics have shifted somewhat from a poor white community, to an African-American community and, now, a predominantly Latino community. But she says the biggest change came in 2012 when a new bridge connected West Dallas to downtown.
“After that, development just started springing up everywhere,” Collins says.
The future of about 305 rental homes built in the 1940s have been in limbo as they were found non compliant with updated code regulations. Families were told they needed to move by June 3 or face fines. But this week they were given another option: the buy their homes for $65,000. A judge also extended the deadline tenants face to October 2.
“Many people are going to try to jump at the opportunity to try to make this happen,” Collins says.