At 100,000 square feet, it’s not hard to find The One on Google Maps

Cambridge Analytica-Facebook, Mossack Fonseca’s Panama Papers, Saudi Arabia’s corruption crackdown, and the lesser known, but equally telling Paradise Papers, all have one thing in common – the exposure of a global system rigged against the 99.999 percent of us little people. In case you missed these exposures, all occurring in the past 12 months, private palaces like the 100,000-square-foot The One, currently under construction in Los Angeles, unashamedly remind us.

Here in Dallas, you may be remembering the award-winning columns I wrote in 2016 about how real estate non-disclosure enables the wealthy to unequally obscure the true value of their homes. I noted that the top 10 most expensive homes for sale at the time were valued by DCAD at $82 million less than their asking prices.  This discrepancy cheated Dallas out of some $1,904,080 in taxes a year … based on just 10 homes.

Tip of the iceberg stuff was that.

(more…)

One reason people fall out of housing

One reason people fall out of housing

Day by day, many Dallasites inch closer to a financial abyss.  Sometimes it’s self-inflicted, but oftentimes it’s not.  Many who find themselves without a roof simply had a series of misfortunes that were beyond their means or ability to handle. If anyone doubts this, the statistics on the numbers of people who work full time and yet don’t know where their next meal will come from or don’t have enough money to pay an unexpected $500 expense are alarming.  Hand-in-glove with this are the shocking (and increasing) numbers of people for whom rent consumes an outsize amount of their wages. Living paycheck-to-paycheck has become a dream for those living a paycheck or two behind.  Despite reports of the economic recovery, it’s not reached those most vulnerable.

Dallas, with its housing boom, is hardly immune, with rising rents exacerbating what was likely already a tenuous hold on tenancy. The final shove, out onto the streets, is a place infinitely more difficult to escape from than you imagine.

(more…)