Photo: Supreme Court of the United States

Photo: Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court made a long-awaited ruling on whether tax subsidies for low-income housing in Dallas created segregated neighborhoods. The Texas Tribune has the most detailed report on the ruling, in which the high court ruled 5 – 4 against the state of Texas.

Under the Low-Income Tax Credit program, run by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the state gives federal incentives to private developers to build or rehabilitate low-cost apartments, essentially engineering parts of a city’s geography.

The Inclusive Communities Project, a nonprofit devoted to fair housing issues, sued the TDHCA in 2009, arguing that the state doled out tax credits in Dallas in a way that packed minorities into poor neighborhoods and spared white neighborhoods from development of low-income housing. The result is that neighborhoods throughout Dallas remain segregated, the project argued.

We’ve talked before about how a massive, concentrated influx of public housing can affect a neighborhood, sometimes dragging down surrounding property values and creating a ghetto environment. One can hope that this will lead to a more inclusive plan to create and sustain economically diverse neighborhoods.

On the flipside, I’m sure that this ruling will have some wide-reaching affects on Dallas housing and the creation of new affordable developments in the city.

We’ll have more details and analysis as it becomes available.