The Dallas City Council voted unanimously to spend $3 million helping homeless residents find housing.

The city will give Housing Forward $3 million to place the homeless in rental properties and assist them with paying rent. The organization must spend $2,750,000 on securing rental unit availability—paying hold fees, landlord incentives, and rental application fees.

In March 2023, Dallas asked organizations to submit proposals “for locating and securing housing units, providing landlord incentives, if necessary, and coordinating supportive services.”

At a city council meeting earlier this week, a resolution called on Dallas to accept a proposal from Housing Forward—an organization based in Dallas and Collin County that aims to “make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.”

The group also claims that “people of color make up a disproportionate share of the homeless population.”

From slavery to segregation, African Americans have been systematically denied rights and socioeconomic opportunities. Other minority groups, including Indigenous and Latinx people, share similar histories. The disproportionality in homelessness is a by-product of systemic inequity: the lingering effects of racism continue to perpetuate disparities in critical areas that impact rates of homelessness.

According to the proposal, Housing Forward will be responsible for identifying potential residential rental properties for the homeless, negotiating lease plans with landlords or property managers, and providing management services.

Housing Forward will also have to ensure that homeless residents participating in the program collect enough rental assistance to keep up with monthly payments and “rapidly” increase the availability of rental units “in bulk.”

Although the contract with Housing Forward will only run for one year, the city will provide homeless residents with assistance for up to 24 months “subject to the availability” of funds.

This new initiative continues Dallas’ efforts to decrease homelessness.

The Office of Homeless Solutions details Dallas’ four-track strategy to eliminate homelessness, which includes increasing shelter capacity, creating inclement weather shelters, subsidizing housing, and investing in “facilities combatting homelessness.”

The office has reported investments and funding—from city resources and federal assistance—dedicated to housing the city’s homeless population totaling more than $20 million.

Citizens have previously criticized the city based on how they spend taxpayer dollars.

Earlier this month, Dallas came under fire for requiring employees to undergo taxpayer-funded transgender re-education training if their coworker comes out as “transgender.”

Employees announce their “transition” to their co-workers at a meeting, and can distribute a “handout about transgender issues,” if they choose.

If the gender-confused employee deems it necessary, they will decide on a date for a mandatory re-education training. According to the document, the training will be provided to the employee’s immediate co-workers “before the date of the employee’s workplace transition.”

Claiming this is to prevent harassment and discrimination, the City of Dallas tells employees that “[t]he likelihood of negative reactions can be reduced by upholding the City of Dallas’ core values of empath, ethics, excellence, and equity.”

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.