The City of Irving's Housing and Redevelopment division has announced plans to apply for federal Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing (PRO Housing) grant funds. This competitive grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, aims to identify and eliminate barriers to affordable housing production and preservation.
A 15-day public comment period on the proposed application will commence on October 13, 2023, and conclude on October 27, 2023, at 5 p.m. During this time, residents are encouraged to provide their input on the city's plans to enhance affordable housing opportunities within the community.
All comments must be submitted in writing:
- Email email@example.com
- Mail to City of Irving, Housing and Redevelopment Division, 825 W. Irving Blvd., Irving TX 75060
- Submit in-person to the Housing and Redevelopment Division, First Floor, Irving City Hall, 825 W. Irving Blvd.
Additionally, a Public Hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 7 p.m. The hearing will take place at Irving City Hall and will be conducted as part of the regularly scheduled City Council Meeting. Residents are invited to attend the hearing, where further information about the PRO Housing grant application will be shared.
The Housing and Redevelopment division's application summary emphasizes the pressing need for affordable housing options for low- to moderate-income families within Irving. The city currently offers several programs benefiting individuals residing within its limits, such as home restoration programs, a first-time homebuyer down payment assistance program, homeless prevention services, and housing-related social services.
Challenges faced by low- to moderate-income individuals in Irving include the significant increase in housing costs. Housing prices in Irving have seen a dramatic rise, making it increasingly difficult for low- and moderate-income homebuyers to purchase homes and putting renters at risk of eviction. Notably, the availability of "entry level" homes priced under $200,000 has declined from 65.5% of home sales in 2011 to less than 6% in 2022. Meanwhile, homes priced from $400,000 to $750,000 have seen a substantial increase, accounting for 35.4% of home sales in 2022.
Over the past three years, Irving's apartment rental market has remained strong, with consistently rising rents and low vacancy rates. Average asking rents for apartment units in North Irving have surged from $854 in 2007 to $1,492 in 2022, marking an increase of $638 or nearly 75% over 15 years. In South Irving, average asking rents have risen from $663 in 2007 to $1,088 in 2022, an increase of $345 or 64% over the same period. However, average hourly earnings for private-sector workers in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) have not kept pace with these escalating rents.
The city currently has 2,254 affordable housing units subsidized by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Still, Irving faces the risk of losing 1,062 of these units within the next three years due to the expiration of affordability restrictions. Additionally, most of the existing LIHTC units are located in census tracts with poverty rates of 13% or greater, surpassing Irving's poverty rate of 8.3% for families and 10.8% for individuals.
The City of Irving recognizes the private sector's reluctance to invest in multifamily rental housing in South Irving. There have been no new multifamily units constructed since 1990, and there has been a lack of reinvestment in aging multifamily units. One area where private investment has occurred in South Irving is the conversion of owner-occupied single-family homes into rental housing, leading to a reduction in owner-occupied properties and a decrease in the supply of moderately-priced for-sale housing.
The City of Irving is now turning to the PRO Housing grant in its ongoing efforts to address these critical housing challenges and make affordable housing more accessible to its residents.