Five stories that have North Texas talking: How Dallas-Fort Worth rent compares in the U.S.; there’s a Texas town called Sanctuary; U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s punk rock days; and more.
In the past five years, rent in Dallas-Fort Worth has jumped by more than 30 percent, with today’s average hovering around $1,057, The Dallas Morning News reports. In 2007, the average rent in D-FW was about $708.
The same goes for home prices. In the last half decade, home prices in North Texas have jumped 55 percent. The current median cost of a pre-owned home in D-FW is close to $240,000, according to the Morning News; in 2007, that price was $147,000.
Despite the rise, it’s still cheaper to live in Dallas than popular locales on either coast. But Dallas isn’t the only “bargain” in the state. Houston is slightly cheaper: Average rent is $1,025 and the median home price is $224,500. “Dallas forever was a very cheap place to rent or own, and we still are compared to national averages, but it's nothing like it was pre-recession,” real estate reporter Steve Brown says.
The trend’s likely to continue — home prices in Dallas have been projected to soar 31 percent by 2020. [The Dallas Morning News]
- So many Americans – including Texans – remain homeless despite the country spending billions each year on housing. In the second hour of Think at 1 p.m., NPR reporter Laura Sullivan will discuss the issue with host Krys Boyd. Sullivan teamed up with Frontline on the documentary “Poverty, Politics and Profits,” which looks at the affordable housing crisis. You can watch the documentary at 9 p.m. tonight on KERA TV. By the way, Think is broadcasting from NPR’s headquarters all this week — check out the full lineup of shows. [Think, Frontline]
- The Dallas County district attorney's office is investigating allegations of voter fraud in municipal elections held over the weekend. Assistant District Attorney Andy Chatham tells The Dallas Morning News that the investigation was opened after an "off the charts" number of allegations. The Associated Press reports: “In court records filed Monday, Chatham said that his office began receiving complaints in April from Dallas County residents who said they received mail-in ballots despite not having requested them.” [The Associated Press]
- U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke can relate his punk rock past to his current political endeavors to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. The Houston Press asked O’Rourke about how music has influenced his political career after an event last month. “Playing in bands is about writing your own songs...and just connecting people in a way that is not filtered by corporations or anybody else. You just show up in somebody's town and you make a connection, or you don't, and we're doing that now; we don't take any PAC money.” Read the full interview with the El Paso native. [Houston Press]
- Residents in the North Texas town of Sanctuary would rather not talk about the controversy at the Capitol. On Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 4 into law. In short, it punishes local law enforcement for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. When asked if Sanctuary, Texas is a so-called “sanctuary city,” a resident tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “We’re a little redneck place out in the country where everybody can do their own thing. We’re pretty low-key out here.” According to the Star-Telegram, the city takes “small government to the extreme.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]