Dallas Leaders Endorse Housing Policy Goals to Fix Historic Inequality – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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The Dallas City Council on Wednesday approved what several members called a historic statement about righting past wrongs.

Council approved 11 housing equity goals that are the result of months of public comment and consultancy work.

The goals recognize the unequal conditions that exist primarily in South Dallas that inhibit equitable housing and investment.

Councilor Casey Thomas pushed the issue, saying a similar equity approach will be applied to other areas of city government.

“The first step is to recognize the fact that we have implemented discriminatory policies against people of color and today is the first step in that journey when it comes to housing,” Thomas said. “We are committed to filling the infrastructure gap that exists primarily in the southern part of the city. This vote will say that we are serious about it. We are serious about implementing dollars.

Many people in the city council chamber on Wednesday wore buttons supporting the 15-0 vote by which the issue passed.

One of the public speakers was Mar Butler, who grew up in West Dallas and runs the Dallas Cred program to stop violence before it happens.

“I can be with people on the street every day. I know their pain. I see him. The only way we can truly change and be this Greater Dallas is to develop a sense of inclusion,” Butler said.

Other members, including Jaime Resendez, echoed the unequal spending commitment that will be needed in infrastructure to improve neglected areas.

“We have to understand that if we’re going to level the playing field, it’s not just about distributing resources evenly,” Resendez said. “It is fundamental. This has an impact on the quality of life, economic development, education and, above all, public safety.

City housing director David Noguera said implementing the goals will be an ongoing project with performance metrics to measure success.

“In many cases, we already have programs in place that aim to achieve these policy goals. In other cases, we have to develop them,” Noguera said.

North Dallas Council member Jaynie Schultz said private investment will be needed to meet the targets.

“And I ask you, our lenders, to join us in this important effort. I am so proud to be able to vote for these recommendations,” Schultz said.

The 11 objectives of the comprehensive housing policy are as follows.

  1. Create a CHP vision statement articulating how the affordable housing playing field will be leveled for all racial groups and across the North/South divide.
  2. Create a comprehensive, citywide strategic roadmap to coordinate HPC’s suite of tools while leveraging community partnerships to address the vastly different needs for change across city sectors.
  3. Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals for the HPC that point to the desired state.
  4. Strengthen connections between CHP and neighborhood revitalization strategies that leverage infrastructure improvements, economic revitalization, and general mixed-use planning to lay the foundation for increasing generational wealth in historically Black communities and brunettes.
  5. Add a CHP focus around solving the huge infrastructure deficit that has persisted in South Dallas for generations.
  6. Use an “All 14 Districts” model to combat the pervasive “Not in My Backyard” (NIMBYism) in all Dallas neighborhoods.
  7. Create a dedicated revenue stream commensurate with the scale of the affordable housing shortage in Dallas.
  8. Expand and refine existing cogeneration programs to create a comprehensive and integrated strategy to prevent displacement during neighborhood revitalization.
  9. Use the CHP to mandate the education of city staff, policy makers and the public about what racial equity means in the context of affordable housing and community development.
  10. Strategically use Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding in high-opportunity areas with low poverty rates and distressed areas with higher rates.
  11. Amend the CHP to include debunking strategies to help dispel affordable housing myths that fuel NIMBYism.
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