2018: Property Values Spike, Start of Equity Plan

Long-time residents of West Dallas have seen several changes in their neighborhood, such as the construction of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Trinity Groves. However, one change that residents may not have foreseen is the rise of property values. West Dallas residents like Raul Reyes Jr. have raised their families in this part of Dallas for several decades before it became “…an increasingly popular choice for homeownership only minutes from the city’s bustling Central Business District” (Ebby Halliday, n. d., para 1). However, not everyone in the community is benefitting from rising property values.

Wilonsky, 2019

When property values increase residents also see their property tax bill increase. For low-income residents, this increase leaves them with a high bill. Families may not be able to pay their property tax, forcing them out of their homes. While there have been several economic investments in Dallas, “…these opportunities haven’t been the most advantageous to residents or aligned with their needs” (Vuagh, 2021, para. 11). For example, Pete Hernandez’s home was built more than 80 years ago by his father and had an appraisal of $26,360 in 2016. A year later, that number changed to $75,690. While the $800 that he paid in property tax was something that he did not have to worry about, the new bill (which he estimates will be around $2,300) comes with uncertainty as he is unsure of how he will pay (Formby, 2017).

Formby, 2017

In 2018, when West Dallas residents saw their property values spike. That was also the year that Raul Reyes Jr. brought together leaders from the community to develop an equity plan to ensure that the community has a voice in the development of their community. The West Dallas Community Vision Plan was eventually formed. Several organizations including Trinity Park Conservancy, West Dallas 1, Downwinders at Risk, and SMU’s Budd Center partnered with residents and leaders to create the plan. While other initiatives have been developed throughout the years, community members and leaders continue to push for a plan that involves the community and their vision for the future of West Dallas. In 2021 the West Dallas Community Vision Plan put out a call for steering committee members (Mitchell, 202).

“Over the past five year the West Dallas community has seen a wave of market-rate multi-family units, new developments like Sylvan 30 and Trinity Groves, and a steady rise in land sales which all have attributed to real estate values doubling, and in some cases tripling, year over year. This fast-paced gentrification has left many long-time residents struggling to pay their property taxes and have forced some to relocate to less expensive parts of the city” (Builders of Hope, n. d.).


Builders of Hope. (n.d.). Revitalize West Dallas. https://www.bohcdc.com/westdallas

Ebby Halliday. (n.d.). About West Dallas. https://www.ebby.com/west-dallas-homes-for-sale-dallas-tx

Formby, B. (2017, May 12). A lawmaker might have just lost his fight to address West Dallas gentrification. The Texas Tribune. https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/12/legislative-maneuvering-ensnares-residents-gentrifying-west-dallas/

Mitchell, K. (2021, May 12). Goal of neighborhood-led West Dallas plan is ‘teeth,’ accountability. Dallas Free Press. https://dallasfreepress.com/west-dallas/goal-of-neighborhood-led-west-dallas-plan-is-teeth-accountability/  

Vuagh, J. (2021, May 17). Can a neighborhood-led plan curb gentrification in West Dallas? Dallas Observer. https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/west-dallas-wants-to-shape-its-own-future-with-a-neighborhood-led-plan-12020965

Wilonsky, R. (2019, January 11). This is what happens when a new West Dallas devours the old one. The Dallas Morning News. https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2019/01/11/this-is-what-happens-when-a-new-west-dallas-devours-the-old-one/