Dallas, North Texas to receive 1,100 emergency housing vouchers to help ‘bring the U.S. closer to ending homelessness’


The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge has announced $5 billion in funds being allocated through the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program as part of the American Rescue Plan.

HUD will provide 70,000 housing choice vouchers to local and public housing authorities, with Dallas and North Texas receiving 1,100 of those vouchers.

“As chair of the Congressional Homelessness Caucus, I am pleased to see @SecFudge & @DallasMayor partnering to bring emergency housing vouchers to North Texas,” U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice (D-Dallas) said in a tweet.

The extra funding and housing vouchers are an attempt by the HUD office to help Americans that are homeless find homes and keep families struggling to stay sheltered in their current homes.

“While most of us spent more time in our homes than we ever have, more than half a million Americans had to spend the last year either in crowded shelters or sleeping outside,” Fudge said, as reported by Focus Daily News. “With HUD’s swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding, we are providing communities the resources to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one. Congress now needs to pass the president’s American Jobs Plan. This once-in-a-generation investment would bring the United States closer to ending homelessness and housing instability.”

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said that the vouchers Dallas and North Texas are receiving will help the city’s efforts in preventing homelessness and helping residents get to stay in their homes, when otherwise it may not have been possible.

“The best way to address homelessness is to prevent it. And the American Rescue Plan Act emergency vouchers that the Biden administration is allocating today will provide a major boost to our efforts,” Johnson said, as reported by Focus Daily News. “We are deeply appreciative of the Biden administration for this much-needed assistance that will strengthen our city.”

Some reports show disparities in the housing choice voucher program due to landlords not accepting the vouchers for certain individuals, like those with a criminal history, the Dallas Observer reported.

According to The Inclusive Communities Project survey of landlords, there appears to be “rampant discrimination against housing choice voucher holders” which “continues to segregate North Texas households,” the Dallas Observer reported. According to the article, of the 1,413 “reasonably priced private market apartment complexes surveyed” only 7% of those located in Dallas accepted the HUD vouchers. It is not against the law to discriminate or refuse anyone that has a housing choice voucher, but it is against fair housing to discriminate against age, race, disability, children and other such factors.

An annual census found that in the Dallas Fort Worth area, approximately 4,570 people were experiencing homelessness, a record for the area. Though last year it was a little lower with only 4,471 homeless, nearly 90% of those were in Dallas County alone, The Dallas Observer reported.

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