Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dallas City Councilmember Jerry Allen Responds in a Mature Manner to Permanent Supportive Housing

So let's see...

There really is more than one way to respond to the prospect of poor people moving into your neighborhood (if you're a resident), or your district (if you're a city council member).

You can act rude and unkind, pandering to the more base instincts and fears of your constituency. You can reflect the negative stereotypes held by your constituency...

Or you can be measured, civil, willing to withhold judgement - even welcoming about the prospect of people starting life anew in your area. You can actually lead by demonstrating the most mature attitudes within your district.

What a notion!

"The Dallas Housing Authority has plans for five new initiatives that would provide homes for 160 chronically homeless and formerly incarcerated people."

"The residents would receive rent subsidies and treatment services at existing privately run apartment complexes in Lake Highlands , Vickery Meadow, Far East Dallas and Plano."

"The news follows controversial plans to move 100 chronically homeless people into a north Oak Cliff public housing tower, which neighboring residents have opposed."

"The Oak Cliff residents have complained of a lack of public notice about the housing for the homeless at Cliff Manor. The city has scheduled a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Methodist Dallas Medical Center to discuss the project with the community."

"MaryAnn Russ, president and chief executive of the housing authority, said last week that her agency would open up to 600 homes for the homeless, including the ones at Cliff Manor. She would not release the locations. On Sunday, the agency published a legal notice in The News announcing 160 additional units spread among the five area complexes..."

"One of the complexes sits in northeast Dallas' Vickery Meadow area, which has struggled with crime over the years."

"Frank Nuchereno, board chairman of the Vickery Meadow Improvement District, said he had heard about the plan and added that a similar permanent supportive housing development in the area, Pebbles Apartments, has not caused any problems and has been maintained well. He expects the same from the new project, but he said he hopes the housing will be spread throughout the city and not just in Vickery Meadow."

""I would hope the neighborhoods in Dallas give these people a chance," he said."

"Dallas City Council member Jerry Allen, who represents Lake Highlands, said he was not aware of plans for two in his district."

""It does not come as a surprise that I was not aware of them because that's not the history," he said. "There's no history of making us aware of these.""

"Allen said his district already has one of the city's largest concentrations of permanent supportive housing. But he said he did not plan to oppose the new units. He said he was pleased that residents would get the support they need to move forward with their lives."

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