The Dallas City Council is considering a new $32 million housing budget amid a city-wide crisis of homelessness and vagrancy.
During a Wednesday council meeting, council members unanimously authorized the preliminary adoption of the $32,788,405 budget, which federal taxpayers would fund through grants issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
If the budget is officially adopted, HUD will allocate $9.6 million of taxpayer money from its “Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS” program to the City.
In addition, HUD would direct $13.8 million in Community Development Block Grant funds, $6.4 million in HOME Investment Partnership money, and $1.2 million in Emergency Solutions Grant cash to the City.
The complete proposed budget can be found here.
A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held before the City Council on May 24.
Wednesday’s consideration of the matter followed the City Council’s adoption of a new housing policy. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, City leaders approved Dallas Housing Policy 2023 last month in an effort to align municipal housing programs with the Racial Equity Plan adopted by council members last year.
Council Members Cara Mendelsohn and Adam McGough voted against this policy.
Mendelsohn asserted that through such policies, the City “exacerbates racial issues” rather than addressing the underlying causes of poverty.
Meanwhile, homelessness and vagrancy persist throughout Dallas. At the same time, City leaders focus on “equity-driven” policies and “Housing First” solutions despite research having shown that such initiatives are “doomed to failure” because they “begin with an inadequate diagnosis of the causes” of homelessness and fail to adequately address underlying issues like mental illness and drug abuse.
A “one-stop-shop” approach to homelessness has seen success with the nonprofit Haven for Hope in San Antonio. This model is favored by Dallas residents, according to a survey conducted by The Dallas Express. Regardless, such a model has yet to be tried in Dallas.
Polling from The Dallas Express suggests that most Dallas voters believe homelessness and vagrancy are still serious problems throughout the city.