African American Population: 23,830
Lake Highlands has the largest concentration of African Americans in North Dallas. It is a large community of contrasts. Along the major avenues are the very dense mostly Black apartment communities and shopping strips. Most are young 20s-30s, working class, single and refer to the area as Skillman/Audilia because those are a couple of the major streets that also cross Forest Lane. Interstate 635 runs right through Lake Highlands and there are thousands of jobs in the area including Texas Instruments. On the many hidden small side streets and cul de sacs are the mostly white middle class single family homes.
During the 1980s The apartment communities of Lake Highlands were sought after by middle class singles, couples, and families of all ethnic backgrounds. African Americans from Southern Dallas and out of town migrants were especially drawn there because of the close proximity to the North Dallas labor market as well as access to Dallas’ best shopping and nightlife. Young black families also choose this area because although it’s in Dallas, the School District is in nearby Richardson, which has a better reputation.
However during the mid to late 90s rental policies were relaxed in some complexes in response to a lower than normal occupancy rate. This brought an element to some of the properties which quickly brought a negative image to the entire area. Many of the middle class apartment dwellers left and were replaced by more working class residents due to the lower rental rates.
Over the last several years action has been taken by these properties as well as the several home owner associations which has resulted in the restructuring of rental policies and even the demolition of several properties. This has brought new development especially to Skillman ave.
Today Lake highlands is home to mostly working-class Black and Hispanic renters and mostly white middle-class homeowners.
African Americans make up more the 50% of the apartment communities which have median household incomes that range from $28,000 to $35,000. Monthly median rent range from $650 to $750.
Statistics in the above paragraphs are from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009, compiled by The New York Times.