In a 9-6 nonbinding vote, Dallas City Council members expressed approval for an amended bond package proposal that makes the greatest allocation to housing in Dallas history but cuts spending for homelessness initiatives in the bond by more than half.

That was the outcome of a meeting on Wednesday when the council tossed around spending ideas, from how much should be used on City Hall improvements — which ended up being nothing — to how much should go toward housing initiatives and a number of projects and departments in between.

The straw vote provided direction for City Manager T.C. Broadnax on how to prepare for the bond election in May and help determine which projects will be funded. The proposal informally adopted by the council was based on amendments submitted by Council Member Tennell Atkins (D8).

It includes the following allocations:

Streets and transportation — $500M

Parks and recreation — $310.5M

Public safety — $90M

Cultural arts facilities — $75.2M

Discretionary — $75M

Housing — $61M

Flood protection and storm drainage — $52.1M

Libraries — $43.5M

Economic development — $29.2M

Homelessness — $8.5M

Information technology — $5M

Stemmons Municipal Center — $0

City Hall — $0

Some council members favored the original proposal that would have allocated $100 million for housing and $20 million for homelessness initiatives. Although the proposal that ultimately passed cut nearly 40% out of the original housing allocation, it is still the largest allocation for “affordable housing” that the City of Dallas has considered, according to Council Member Paula Blackmon (D9).

The lack of “affordable housing” in Dallas has been top of mind for council members in recent weeks as they discussed whether to revise City zoning and development codes to allow for the construction of tri-plexes and four-plexes in single-family residential areas.

In addition, the proposal council members voted for cut the legs from under homelessness initiative spending in the bond, chopping off more than 57% of the original allocation of $20 million. How the City intends to use the reduced $8.5 million allocation to address homelessness has yet to be determined.

In Dallas and Collin counties, the number of people homeless people exceeded 4,200 last year. Recent surveys show that Dallas residents are dissatisfied with the City’s response to the issues of homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling. Meanwhile, council members have expressed interest in developing City-sanctioned homeless encampments.

As The Dallas Express has previously reported, the “one-stop shop” model utilized by Haven for Hope in San Antonio has been credited with a 77% reduction in unsheltered homelessness in the city’s downtown area. Some local stakeholders are working to deploy the model in Dallas as it has polled favorably among residents. However, it is unclear whether City officials will support the effort.