New Homeless Housing Project in Development

Homeless encampment | Image by Ron Southern/Shutterstock

A new “temporary housing” project for the homeless is coming to Dallas as a result of a partnership between the City and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Office of Homeless Solutions director Christine Crossley briefed the Dallas Area Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness (DAPEH) on the project on Thursday via a memo.

Council Member Cara Mendelsohn (District 12), who chairs DAPEH, noted that under its current plan, the project will not directly cost Dallas taxpayers as it will be entirely funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).

Crossley also briefed the Dallas City Council Housing and Homeless Solutions Committee on the project in November, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The project initially faced resistance from committee members when it carried a price tag of $3 million that the City would have borne, but now seems to be welcomed by officials as the current plan no longer involves direct taxpayer spending.

AHF purchased a former hotel at 2330 W Northwest Hwy in January and later approached the City with the idea to partner up and use the facility for homeless services. After working with staff, Crossley brought the proposal to City leaders. The former hotel has 200 units, 152 of which would be designated as temporary housing to be “used for low-income individuals, preventing homelessness.”

The remaining 48 units would be designated as “permanent supportive housing” (PSH) for those already homeless. The PSH units may be funded with vouchers from the Dallas Housing Authority. Furthermore, additional units may be transitioned to PSH as more vouchers become available, according to Crossley’s presentation.

When the proposal initially came to the Housing and Homelessness Solutions Committee, council members questioned whether Dallas needs yet another housing facility for the homeless, considering that the City already owns four locations that were purchased for homeless housing but remain vacant.

Meanwhile, Dallas residents continue to be frustrated with homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling throughout the city, according to surveys.

The City has yet to pursue the “one-stop-shop” model utilized by Haven for Hope. The model has been credited with a 77% reduction in homelessness in downtown San Antonio. This model has polled favorably among Dallas residents, and some local stakeholders are now aiming to bring the model to the city. However, it remains to be seen whether local governments, including the City of Dallas, will support this effort.

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