Camped Out at City Hall for the Latest Briefing on Permanent Supportive Housing

Categories: City Hall
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Now that Steve Salazar's run the City Council's Public Safety Committee out of the briefing room, his Housing Committee is powering through the afternoon in here for a look at the latest on efforts to place homeless folks into permanent supportive housing. With bullet-pointed stats presented in soothing ocean blues, that PowerPoint promises to be a rollicking good time.

You've already seen one of these graphics on Unfair Park: a district-by-district breakdown of subsidized housing and PSH units, showing just how many fall in Carolyn Davis' and Tennell Atkins' districts, and how few are in Ron Natinsky and Ann Margolin's. In fact, says the briefing, 73 percent of the permanent supportive housing units in the city are concentrated in six council districts.

Per a resolution passed early last year, the city's goal is to create 700 new units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless folks by 2014. Of course, putting homeless people into homes is just another one of these namby-pamby City Hall half-measures to cure homelessness. According to the briefing this committee's about to hear, though, at least when it comes to that 700-unit goal, it's so far so good -- the city's on track for 757 units.

That includes adding 33 more units in Cliff Manor -- the big old mess that's got non-member David Freaking Neumann crashing the Housing Committee's party. Among the recommendations tucked in today's PowerPoint: "When PSH units identified, require meeting with appropriate Councilmembers;" and "Brief appropriate Councilmembers and seek names of neighborhood groups and other stakeholders with which to meet." Neumann may have occasion to keep up the righteous mood he brandished earlier in here, poking at DPD's handling of the car chase to Love Field, so between him and MDHA's Mike Faenza (who's here in the crowd right now), there could be some fireworks later.

For now, though, Neumann's rolling things around on his BlackBerry right now, as the committee hears from folks with the Dallas Home Connection, a home-building project sponsored by nonprofit groups, Capital One Bank and the city, with eight developments so far in South Dallas. Ann Margolin praised their "phenomenal, really fabulous" work, while Carolyn Davis provided the lightest moment of the meeting so far, referring to Salazar as "madam chair." Cue the laugh track from city staffers in the corner, and exasperated face-twisting from Ann Margolin.

Next up now, Housing/Community Services Department Director Jerry Killingsworth, who's plowing through the latest numbers of permanent supportive housing units. He's joined by A.C. Gonzalez, Faenza and the city's new homeless czar John Castle, who's been invited to sit up at the table because he's sure the committee's got some questions to send his way.
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