Rapid Rehousing Initiative Receives Unanimous Approval

Photo by Ashley Landis

At Wednesday’s meeting, Dallas City Council members voted unanimously in favor of the R.E.A.L. Time Rapid Rehousing Initiative. But what does that mean, and what happens next?  

Anyone who has spent time in Dallas knows about the homeless population and the camps that pop up around the city. During the pandemic, the number of people on the streets grew as shelters were forced to cut capacity due to social distancing guidelines, and those who were on the verge of losing their housing passed the tipping point. Last year, more than 9,000 people received services related to being homeless in Dallas and Collin Counties.  

The plan will cost over seventy million dollars, most of it coming in the form of Covid-relief funds the federal government paid to Dallas County and several cities. The money will be used to provide housing for 2,700 people over the next two years. People who qualify for the program will be moved into furnished apartments and given rent subsidies for one year. Based on data from similar programs, the city estimates that 85% of the people assigned housing will be stable enough to maintain housing on their own at the end of the year’s assistance. However, the Council recognizes the lack of affordable housing available in Dallas and that this is another issue that must be addressed in the fight against homelessness.  

The initiative will also provide funds to hire one hundred caseworkers to help people transition and find steady employment.  

While there is still lots of work to be done to get the plan off the ground by its October start date, this is a big step forward in combating homelessness in Dallas. “I have never seen in my thirty years in this work, so many people work together, so I know a lot of thought has gone into this plan,” said Paige Flink, Chief Executive Officer of the Family Place domestic violence shelter. 

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