These blighted areas never get better on their own. They only get worse. There is a point whereby the arithmetic allows the entry of "slum lords." Houses and apartments are purchased for peanuts by "slum lords" and put up for rent at a low rent rate to attract renters that sometimes are not the best neighbors to have. Repairs are often not made to rental units. The better renters move out of the area if they can find somewhere to go, leaving room for even more undesirable renters. The areas become slums. Dallas is having a huge problem with this now, with the always attending law suits. This slum condition was allowed to get too far. Tax payers ultimately get the bill, and real estate values tumble around the area.
The above story leads into a pleasant but unexpected apartment tale. It is a tale of combating "slum lording." This tale centers around tax credit financing of apartments. Nearly all this financing is for Seniors or workforce populations. When the legislation creating Housing Financing Corporations was finalized in 1987, there was an unexpected consequence. It was a very pleasant surprise. The creation of the HFC's created financing for Senior and workforce apartments and home financing. It was the tax credit and tax free bond financing that created lower rents and aided in home purchases that Seniors and workforce populations could afford.
The slum lords didn't have a chance. The tax credit deals provided excellent housing at costs that rivaled the slum lord prices. The slum lords lose their tenants to excellent housing, and real estate values nearby remain unscathed from events. Tenants were proud of where they lived.
The HFC's have provided a good tool for cities to use in combating urban decline.
Rowlett development is still relatively young, but the early housing can be preserved, as well as it's values.
When the NIMBYs are running up and down the street decrying apartments because the sky is falling, stop them and ask them which apartments they are shrieking about and what actual proof do they have about doom's day development. You can almost bet that no proof will be offered, but a half dozen over-worn urban myths will be cited. There will be no facts or evidence to backup any allegations. If there is no economic need for any apartments, there will be signals to informed and knowledgeable students of real estate development.
If you have to select friends between ignorant and stupid, pick ignorant. It's sometimes a little difficult, but you can fix ignorant. Stupid is easier because there's nothing to fix. All they have to do is follow the Pied Piper.