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After damning audit, City of Dallas seeks feedback on racial equity and housing

Exterior of Dallas City Government Building
Library of Congress
/
Wikimedia Commons
City officials want to hear what residents think about ways to make housing policies more fair.

The city is hosting a series of public meetings next week to gather input from city residents about recommendations to make the city’s housing policies fairer and address decades of unequal development.

The citywide town hall meetings will start on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and take place throughout the week at locations throughout the city.

During the meetings, city officials will be discussing recommendations presented by consultants hired by the city to conduct a racial equity audit of Dallas’ Comprehensive Housing Policy. The audit was released late last year.

The 2018 housing plan did not go far enough to address the dramatic inequities produced by decades of city policy that disadvantaged and under-invested in Black and Latino neighborhoods while helping white neighborhoods thrive, the audit concludes.

A presentation on the audit and its recommendations, as well as the full report, are available on the city’s website.

The audit says the city’s housing policy is “silent” on racial equity, despite the vast disparities created in part by city housing policies in the past. That tilted playing field continues to make it harder for many of the city’s lower-income Black and Brown residents to find safe, adequate and affordable housing and access economic opportunities.

David Noguera, director of the city’s Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, said city officials are looking for feedback on the recommendations laid out in the report.

“We’ve got 11 recommendations, and some of those recommendations focus on neighborhood revitalization – everything from infrastructure improvement to improvements in the overall quality of life for people who live in those areas,” he said.

Other recommendations include dedicating funds to address the city’s affordable housing shortage and creating programs to avoid displacing lower-income residents in gentrifying neighborhoods.

Noguera said the public input will help inform efforts to revise the city’s housing policy. He expects a draft of that updated policy to be presented to the city council to vote on in April.

The city is collecting input from residents on the racial equity recommendations and housing by phone, email and via public meetings.

Phone: 214-670-3644

Email: HousingPolicy@dallascityhall.com

*Meetings:

Monday Jan. 17, 2022
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Dallas City Hall Council Chambers, 6EN
Streaming: bit.ly/racialequitythjan17

Tuesday Jan. 18, 2022
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Dallas City Hall Council Chambers, 6EN
Streaming: bit.ly/racialequitythjan18

Wednesday Jan. 19, 2022
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Dallas City Hall Council Chambers, 6EN
Streaming: bit.ly/racialequitythjan19

Thursday Jan. 20, 2022
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Dallas City Hall Auditorium, L1
Streaming: bit.ly/racialequitythjan20

*The city changed the times and locations of the public meetings after KERA published this story due to concerns about high rates of COVID-19 infections in the city. The times above have been updated to reflect the new times and locations.

Got a tip? Christopher Connelly is KERA's One Crisis Away Reporter, exploring life on the financial edge. Email Christopher at cconnelly@kera.org .You can follow Christopher on Twitter @hithisischris.

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