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The city of Dallas is still trying to get a grip on a two-year backlog of building permits.

City leaders told builders on Friday they were making big changes that should begin to improve the problem in two to three months.

Dallas’ builders’ update came after a recent town hall meeting in which dozens of builders told city leaders that if the city can’t expedite its permitting process, then they will have to look for new builders. other places to build.

Since the pandemic caused the Dallas building permits office to collapse, Dallas Builders Association President Phil Crone has urged the city to do something about the costly issues.

“If you want affordable housing, you can’t make it expensive to build. Building is more expensive when permits are delayed,” he said.

But the problems of vacancies at a virtual permit system persist.

Dozens of builders rang at city council last week.

“It still takes more than seven weeks. I know that for a fact. How? We applied in December. I just got it. It took seven weeks,” said Jeff Dworken of JLD Custom Homes. “Over seven weeks cost me $8,000 in interest and carrying costs for my small business.”

RELATED: Dallas residential building permit backlog cleared, city officials say

Now, with record inflation, there is even more urgency as builders see each week’s delay causing prices to rise.

“I absorbed five figures of lost revenue due to delays,” said Richard Miller of Richard Miller Custom Homes. “I’ll have to look in other cities if we can’t fix it soon.”

Linda McMahon is President of the Real Estate Council. She said it also costs the city directly.

“For every three months of delay in permitting, that’s more than $31 million in lost revenue for the city and $9 million in lost revenue for the City of Dallas alone.

The builders said the city needed to act quickly.

Will Mundinger, an outside expert, was hired five months ago to troubleshoot the issues.

“I wish people knew that we’re not always the bad guys,” he said.

Mundinger said the solution will still take time.

“I’m sorry you went through some tough stuff. I would like to tell you that you won’t see these things again, but I don’t,” he said. “But I’ll tell you, we’re taking it very seriously. I think we’re getting better. It will take time to fix. We don’t want the fix to be quick and easy. We want it to be long-lasting.”

After his interview with city leaders, Crone said he was more optimistic than he had been in a while that this time around the city was doing the right things, starting with hiring a new chief of staff. building and get private plan reviewers.

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