Helping voucher holders find opportunity neighborhoods in the Dallas Metroplex

Find out if an address is in a Walker Targeted Area? or may be eligible as a Historically Off-limit Area.?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Para ayuda en Español por favor contacta (214) 743-4602.

 

Language and Terminology

What is a Walker Targeted Area (WTA)?

What is a Historically Off-limit Area (HOA)?

What is a census tract?

What does “met standards” mean?

 

Finding Housing

Can you help me find housing?

Do you have a vacancy list?

What areas should I be searching to find something quicker?

Do you know which zip code qualifies for ICP financial assistance?

Why don’t you help with certain areas?

 

ICP Assistance & Process

What is the process of getting assistance?

What if I need help after I move in?

Do I need to come into the office?

 

Landlords

I’m a landlord. How do I get my property on your program?

 

Surrounding Public Housing Authorities

I have a voucher but don’t live in the Dallas area.  How can you help me?

I don’t have a Dallas Housing Authority Voucher.  Will you help me?

 

Inclusive Communities Project

Who is ICP (Inclusive Communities Project)?

Where can I find more information about or from ICP?

 

Troubleshooting

I can’t get this website to work right. What should I do?

The address that I searched didn’t show up. What next?

 

New Resource Available for Housing Choice Voucher Holders' Housing Searches

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What is a Walker Targeted Area (WTA)?

A “Walker Targeted Area” is an area defined by the court in the Walker v. HUD case.  WTAs are census tracts where (according to the most recent Census data):*

  1. the poverty rate is 22.3% or lower;
  2. the Black population is 25.7% or lower; and
  3. there is no public housing.

ICP does not decide what is or is not a Walker Targeted Area. If you have a Walker Settlement Voucher, which is a special voucher issued by the Dallas Housing Authority, you must find housing in a Walker Targeted Area.  Some Walker Targeted Areas are also Historically Off-limit Areas—but not all.  Like regular DHA housing choice vouchers, Walker Settlement Vouchers may be used in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties.

*Some pre-determined exceptions may apply.

 

What is a Historically Off-limit Area (HOA)?

A “Historically Off-limit Area” is defined by ICP as a Walker Targeted Areas with additional qualities.  These are areas that tend to have more opportunities.  HOAs are census tracts where:

  1. the income falls at or above 80% of the area median income;
  2. the poverty rate is no more than 10%; and
  3. the public schools are high performing.

 

The first two factors are based on the 2010 Census data and determine whether an area is “Historically Off-limit Area eligible”. To see if an address is confirmed as a “Historically Off-limit Area”, the elementary and high schools must be checked.  The zoned elementary school for the address must have “met standards” and the zoned high school must have a 4-year graduation rate of 85% or greater. Standards and rates are determined by the Texas Education Agency.

 

For For 4-year graduation rates, go to https://tea.texas.gov/acctres/dropcomp/years.html (Choose “Class of 2018 Four-Year Rates” under Four-Year Rates. Click on “Campus-level data” undunder “Data Download”.).

For For 2018 elementary school accountability reports go to https://rptsvr1.tea.texas.gov/perfreport/account/ (select the year with a drop-down list).

Families with children find confirmation of the elementary and high school ratings of particular interest as choosing a home is often the same as choosing a school.

 

What is a census tract?

United States Census Bureau divides counties into small areas called “census tracts” to help them count the population and get other information about the people living there.  Each census tract is assigned a unique number (example: 305.28; 71.02; 402.00).  The census count is taken every ten years, and the most recent count was done in 2010.  Census tracts generally have between 2,500 to 8,000 residents.

In the Dallas Area, census tracts tend to be smaller than zip code areas.  So, one zip code may have many different census tracts within it.  Also, two addresses across the street from each other may be in different census tracts. 

What does “met standards” mean?

The Texas Education Agency rates all public schools based on state test scores and related factors.  The 85th Texas Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 22, establishing three domains for measuring academic performance of district and campuses: Student Achievement, School Progress, and Closing the Gaps.  Districts and campuses receive a rating of A, B, C, D, F for overall performance, as well as for performance in each domain.  For detailed information about ratings, go to: tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/accountability/academic-accountability/a-f-resources.

Normally, ratings are released in the late summer or early fall and are based, in large part, on the previous school year’s statewide testing. ICP uses these most recent available ratings.

 

Can you help me find housing?

Our Mobility Assistance Program counselors are available to assist voucher holders in finding and accessing housing in Historically Off-limt Areas throughout Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties.  Housing search assistance does not guarantee that a particular unit will be made available by a landlord.

 

Do you have a vacancy list?

No. Vacancies in Historically Off-limit Areas tend to go quickly.  Check with your ICP counselor for up to date housing search assistance.

 

What areas should I be searching to find something quicker?

Some cities and counties tend to have more Historically Off-limit Areas (HOAs) than others.  The map on the opening page of the Opportunity Moves website will help you see where WTAs and HOAs tend to be.  Look for parts of the map that are colored orange or yellow.  Not all Walker Targeted Areas or Historically Off-limit Areas have available vacant housing.  Dallas Housing Authority voucher holders may find that, in addition to your own search, working with an ICP counselor may help provide a better idea of where available housing in WTAs and HOAs may be.

 

Do you know which zip code qualifies for ICP financial assistance?

Because of a lack of resources, ICP does not currently offer move-related financial assistance.  However, those with DHA Walker Settlement Vouchers may qualify for DHA funds. Contact DHA for details at (214) 640-6837.

 

Why don’t you help with certain areas?

Neighborhoods that are not Walker Targeted Areas or Historically Off-limit Areas, where ICP does not provide financial assistance, tend to be places where several voucher holders have been able to move without the extra assistance of ICP.  ICP targets its mobility resources for voucher holders who are trying to move to or remain in WTAs and HOAs that are harder to access without ICP assistance yet offer a number of opportunities.

 

What is the process of getting assistance?

Processes vary depending on the type of assistance that is being requested by the Dallas Housing Authority voucher holder and the voucher type.  Types of assistance range from housing search assistance, landlord negotiations, fair housing counseling, referrals to social service agencies and other post-move assistance.

If you are preparing to move with your Dallas Housing Authority voucher, our counselors will likely be at your relocation briefing at the housing authority.  There, you will get the chance to sign-up to request our move-related assistance.  If not, call us.

If you do not see an ICP counselor at your relocation briefing or if you have a non-move related concern (such as a fair housing complaint), give us a call at (214) 658-1330.

All levels of assistance will first require a counselor to do a brief telephone assessment, which is like a questionnaire.  This takes about ten minutes.

 

What if I need help after I move in?

Post Move assistance is available.  A post move counselor is available to provide community resources, school information, and neighborhood amenities.  A counselor is available to help you with landlord, education or similar matters that may come up after you move.  ICP continues to host Voices of Vision events which provide education, networking, and support. Please call for event information.

 

Do I need to come into the office?

After you have signed up with ICP at a DHA briefing or called and been assigned a MAP counselor, your counselor will tell you if you need to come to the office.  In most cases, counselors make it convenient by accepting calls, faxes, emails and U.S. mail from clients. (Example: The required assessment is done on the telephone.)  They are periodically out of the office on business, so call before making a trip.

 

I’m a landlord. How do I get my property on your program?

ICP does not put properties on Dallas Housing Authority’s (DHA) voucher program.  If you have a property in a WTA or Historically Off-limit Area that you would like our clients to know about, please email us about the property at map@inclusivecommunities.net.  Include the unit’s address, zip code, number of bedrooms and type of unit (apartment, condominium, townhouse, single family detached) and contact information.  Units must be located in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall or Tarrant counties.

A landlord who decides to rent to an ICP client while trying DHA’s Section 8 voucher program for the first time may qualify for a landlord bonus from DHA.  Call (214) 640-6837 for further information.  Landlord bonuses may be available from ICP, if necessary, to reduce the reasonable rent to an acceptable level.  If you want to know more details about the bonus process or other benefits of renting to an ICP client, give us a call at (214) 658-1330.

Several landlords also list their properties on www.goSection8.com.  DHA’s landlord services department provides detailed information about participating in their voucher program.  Go to DHA’s website for additional information: https://dhantx.com/business-partners/landlords/.

 

I have a voucher but don’t live in the Dallas area.  How can you help me?

ICP and the Opportunity Moves website only provide move related assistance for voucher holders who are moving to locations within Dallas, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, Rockwall, Ellis and Kaufman counties.  If you want to relocate to the Dallas area from out of town, talk to your housing authority about porting.  Vouchers have a portability feature that involves an agreement between your housing authority and one in the area where you want to move.

There are a handful of other housing mobility counseling programs across the country.  To read more about housing mobility in other parts of the country, visit http://www.housingmobility.org/other-mobility-programs/.

 

I don’t have a Dallas Housing Authority Voucher.  Will you help me?

One-on-one counselor-assisted mobility help is provided to voucher holders in the Dallas area. However, ICP’s hope is that all low-income families and persons in the Dallas area who are seeking housing in Historically Off-limit Areas will find our Opportunity Moves website to be a helpful resource.  The cost of obtaining a unit in these areas without a voucher may be difficult because there are few units that may be affordable to you.  ICP recognizes this and is working to increase the amount of accessible housing in Historically Off-limit Areas that low income persons can afford.  The 2011 introduction of zip code-based fair market rents and payment standards have been a start.

If you don’t have a voucher and wish to get one, you may want to periodically contact local public housing authorities to ask about getting on their housing choice voucher waiting list.  Public housing authorities’ waiting lists open and close at different times and waiting times can be from months to years.  Here is a list of some local housing authorities:

Dallas Housing Authority
https://dhantx.com/

Dallas County Housing Agency
http://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/dcha.html

Denton Housing Authority
http://www.dentonhousingauthority.com/

Fort Worth Housing Authority
http://www.ftwha.org/

Garland Housing Agency
http://www.ci.garland.tx.us/faqs/categoryqna.asp?id=40

Grand Prairie Housing & Neighborhood Services
http://www.gptx.org/index.aspx?page=326

McKinney Housing Authority
http://www.mckinneyha.org/

Mesquite Housing Office
http://www.cityofmesquite.com/housing/

Plano Housing Authority
http://www.planoha.org/

 

Who is ICP (Inclusive Communities Project)?

The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP) is a not-for-profit organization that works for the creation and maintenance of thriving racially and economically inclusive communities, expansion of fair and affordable housing opportunities for low income families, and redress for policies and practices that perpetuate the harmful effects of discrimination and segregation.

The Mobility Assistance Program is ICP’s housing mobility counseling program that serves low income families who participate in the Dallas Housing Authority's Housing Choice Voucher Program. MAP works to ensure that families are made aware of and have access to high quality rental housing in lower poverty, historically off-limit areas of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties.  MAP is committed to providing the families with whom we work a wide range of services, including housing search assistance, and counseling designed to help them access good schools, safe neighborhoods, employment, and a healthy environment.

ICP is not the Dallas Housing Authority, and we do not administer any housing vouchers. Our MAP counselors are different from DHA caseworkers/LPs.  ICP clients may find that they will need to communicate with both their ICP counselor and their DHA caseworker/LP to address their individual situations.

To find out more about ICP, go to www.inclusivecommunities.net.

 

Where can I find more information about or from ICP?

ICP website: https://www.inclusivecommunitiesproject.net

ICP on Twitter: @ICPDallas

ICP on Instagram: @ICPDallasTX

ICP on Facebook (for voucher holders): @ICPMAP

 

I can’t get this website to work right. What should I do?

OpportunityMoves.org was created to be used with most internet browsers (examples: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari).  It was not created as a mobile app, but access to most of the site’s features will likely work on your smartphone.  If you continue to have problems, email info@opportunitymoves.org.

 

The address that I searched didn’t show up. What next?

The address look-up feature is linked to Google Maps.  If Google Maps cannot find the exact address (not just the street or block), then it won’t show up on OpportunityMoves.org.

 

You may also search for an addresses’ census tract information by going to:

 

http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml

 

  1. Click on Address Search
  2. Enter the address
  3. Press go
  4. The census tract will appear on the 5th row

 

 

http://www.ffiec.gov/geocode/default.aspx 

 

  1. Enter the address
  2. Press search
  3. The census tract will appear in a box titled tract code

New Resource Available for Housing Choice Voucher Holders' Housing Searches: Maps & Data Showing Crime Near City of Dallas Low-income Housing Tax Credit Complexes

https://www.danielbesharalawfirm.com/lihtc-crime