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Why Are Families Leaving Dallas For Suburbs?

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Embrace an urban lifestyle or trade it all in for the suburbs? It is an age-old debate, and the City of Dallas on Wednesday will take a major step toward keeping families in the Big D.

Poor housing options and a lack of desirable neighborhoods are among the real problems facing the city. Members with the Dallas City Council on Wednesday will discuss these issues and an improvement plan called Neighborhood Plus.

City manager A.C. Gonzalez will take center stage at the Wednesday meeting. He launched the Neighborhood Plus plan last summer, and the numbers do not lie. According to documents that were posted online, which Gonzalez will present at the meeting, the City of Dallas has a higher vacancy rate compared to the overall four-county region.

The documents state that 11 percent of housing units sat empty in 2013.

One page of the report shows how several parts of Dallas -- especially in the northwest, central, downtown and uptown parts of the city -- are filled with mostly renters. Another page explains how nearly 55,000 homeowners earn less than $35,000 per year, and many are just one crisis away from losing their homes.

The presentation includes more than 100 pages of information.

Less than half of all Dallas residents are actually homeowners. The city wants to increase that amount to the other side of the 50 percent mark.

The goal of the report is to help Dallas leaders know how to make neighborhood improvements that will not just attract new families, but also encourage existing families to take pride in where they live. The city aims to alleviate poverty and work to bring in more middle-class families.

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