An apartment complex in the Lake Highlands area is one of the first property sites selected for a new Dallas housing program.

Multi-Family Housing Acquisition Corporation purchased two apartment complexes – Deerfield Apartments at Forest and LBJ, and Jackson Square Apartments in Southwest Dallas.

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The corporation was created by the City to acquire and operate decent, affordable housing for Dallas residents. The corporation will contract with property management companies to operate the properties.

“The corporation was started to rescue properties that were in danger,” says Councilman Donna Halstead.

Thirty-five percent of each property will be designated for low-income families. Halstead says in addition to providing affordable housing, the City also will give families services to help them become self-sufficient.

“It’s really a multi-pronged approach,” Halstead says. “There are many things going on to improve the situation with the apartments.”

Gerry Henigsman, chair of the Corporation and vice president of the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, says it is an opportunity to provide better housing for low-income families.

There will be screening criteria for residents, such as criminal background check and employment.

“They’re first-class properties,” Henigsman says. “The fact that apartment complexes have affordable housing does not mean they attract crime.”

Lake Highlands Lock-Up

Several Lake Highlands residents will be sentenced to jail on May 19.

But don’t worry, they’re not hardened criminals.

In an effort to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, they will be placed in a public jail at the Tom Thumb at 8698 Skillman.

The public is invited to see the prisoners, contribute toward their release and issue arrest warrants for friends or co-workers.

The “jailbirds” will be taken into custody by the MDA between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Transportation to and from the lock-up will be provided.

Bail can be raised in advance by requesting pledges for the MDA from friends, business associates and neighbors. Phones will be available in the jail to raise additional contributions.

To have someone locked-up, call Jenny Eckert at 480-0011. Money raised from the Lake Highlands Lock-up will help the MDA provide free care to 1,200 patients in the Dallas area.

Residents Can Become Totally Fit

Women in Lake Highlands don’t have to go far to develop a hard body. A Women’s Total Fitness has moved into the Northlake Shopping Center at Northwest Highway and Ferndale.

The gym will take up about 13,000 square feet at the shopping center, making it the second-largest tenant in the center, says Kim Loseff, with Westdale Asset Management, which manages the property.

Total Fitness is currently working in a smaller 3,000-square-foot area, but its expanded facility will be ready in July, says Andrew Browning, general manager of Total Fitness.

The Lake Highlands facility is the second Women’s Total Fitness in the Metroplex.

“We surveyed the area, and we thought this would be the best spot,” Browning says.

The work-out gym is for women only and is a full-service gym with free weights, aerobic classes and step machines. Browning says workouts can be tailored for clients.

With Women’s Total Fitness moving in, Northlake is almost at capacity, Loseff says. A new Pancho’s moved into the center in February, and Tutor Time Child Care recently signed a lease and will be opening in the next few months. The only space left is the old Tom Thumb location.

“We’ve just been real lucky,” Loseff says. “We’re trying very hard to keep our center active and interesting.”

New & Notes

MOTHER’S DAY AT THE ARBORETUM: Artists from four art organizations will display their work at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens Mother’s Day Weekend, May 7-8. View paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and other crafts among the flowers.

The Arboretum is open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for children.

MOTHER’S DAY OUT: Bethany Lutheran Church is registering for Mother’s Day Out fall term, which will begin Sept. 2. Mother’s Day Out meets Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is for children nine months to four years old. There is a $50 registration fee, and the program costs $40 per month for a one-day week and $90 a month for both days. For information, call 348-9690.