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Hey. The Deadline for Low-Income Artists’ Housing Survey is One Week Away

by Jerome Weeks 24 Jun 2013 11:46 AM

… so fill it out already. The Artspace project ain't gonna happen unless enough area artists indicate there's a real need here.


tk loftsThe Tashiro Kaplan Artists Lofts, a 10-year-0ld Artspace project with 50 apartments near Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle. (Photo outfront: the Everett Station Lofts in Portland.)

We told you about this back in May – and now the survey deadline is zooming up fast. It”s next Monday.

Artists and arts organizations in North Texas are being asked to help a national non-profit developer build affordable housing for artists here. All you have to do is fill out

Artspace is a Minneapolis-based outfit that since 1979 has built 32 housing projects in 13 states and Washington, D.C. I”ve seen their work — it”s top-notch — and they don”t develop a building (new or old) and then flip it for a profit. They manage it; they”re in for the long haul.

They came to Dallas last September to start the lengthy process here, working with the City of Dallas’ Office of Cultural Affairs and its Housing/Community Services Department. Typically, Artspace brings together city departments, local philanthropists, community efforts and low-income housing tax credits to create live-work spaces, offices and communal areas for writers, dancers, painters, musicians, architects, arts teachers and culture-related businesses. Larger organizations can become ‘anchors’ in these projects, which often renovate older buildings but can also involve creating whole-new developments.

So you’ve got only until July 1, next Monday, to take the survey. Artspace is hoping for at least 400 respondents in the area within 50 miles of Dallas, so that includes Fort Worth and Denton. The completed surveys will help Artspace assess our artists’ needs; they”ll help determine what location here might best serve the community, whether additional projects should happen down the line, even how the project’s  live-work-office-and-barista functions might be balanced: the number of efficiencies vs. one- or two-bedroom apartments, for example, or how much commercial space would be welcome to offset the low-income rents.

And if you’re both an artist and the head of a creative organization or an arts-support business, the suggestion is you should fill out both surveys.

Because these projects are partly bankrolled via federal grants, residents must meet federal requirements for affordable housing — meaning their income must be 60 percent or less of the area’s median income. According to Dallas city data, the estimated median household income in 2009 was $39,829. The estimated per capita income was $25,941.