How Dallas City Hall Put Us Back Behind a 25-Year-Old Eight-Ball on Segregation

Categories: Schutze

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Meanwhile, back in downtown Dallas ...
A scathing federal report on housing policy in Dallas, unveiled this week after two City Council members demanded copies from the city attorney, has stirred local debate about federal desegregation law. But that debate raises two questions.

See also: The Feds Say Dallas City Hall Has Promoted Racial Segregation in Housing Projects for Years

No matter how anybody feels about desegregation, did Dallas defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on a massive scale by misspending federal de-seg dollars? HUD says yes.

And, wait a minute. Is somebody actually claiming that bad behavior by City Hall has caused the city to become more segregated? Yes. A study by an expert witness in the federal investigation (see below) showed that segregation in Dallas was trending downward -- getting better -- from 1980 to 2000 but began to trend upward again from 2000 to 2010. That period happens to coincide with the years in the federal probe.

At that time the city's housing and economic development operations were under the direction of A.C. Gonzalez, now the acting city manager and the leading candidate for the permanent post.

Here is a caution: The expert witness, a sociology professor in New York, was paid for his study and testimony by two real estate developers angry with the city over a failed deal. They were the original whistle-blowers to HUD. So it's fair to wonder if there may have been a thumb on the scale.

But here's a caution to the caution: The specific behavior cited by Professor Andrew Beveridge as the cause of the city's recent re-segregation -- the steering of low-income subsidized housing into minority neighborhoods -- was well-known for years to community leaders in those areas, who complained repeatedly that City Hall was social-engineering their parts of town into permanent poverty.

"We had our own report which said basically this same thing," said City Councilman Scott Griggs of Oak Cliff. He was referring to an August 2011 report from the mayor's Southern Dallas Housing Task Force that showed a dramatic uptick in the share of subsidized housing steered into southern Dallas beginning in 2000 (see even more below).

The city's own report showed that from 1990 to 1991, almost 10,000 low-income tax-credit housing units were created, of which exactly half went into the city's southern sector and half went north. But in the 2000 to 2010 span, another 10,000 units were created, 80 percent of which went south and only 20 percent north.

The complaint made four years ago to HUD by the two developers, Curtis Lockey and Craig MacKenzie, was that the division of Dallas in 2000 into two cities, one white and the other of color, was no accident. In fact it was official policy.

The HUD report says: "The complainant specifically alleges that the city arbitrarily created a boundary that divided the city into two sectors. The Northern Sector is predominantly non-minority and includes the downtown business district. The Southern sector is predominantly minority."

Now here is where the pea gets shuffled between the shells. HUD says the city took $75 million in HUD money that it received in the form of loan guarantees for low-income housing and split it up 50/50 between the two sectors. So we're on a little bit thin ice in drawing lines that divide the city between people of color and people of non-color, but at least the city split the money up evenly between them. But hold on. That's not the end of the story.

According to the complaint -- which HUD has now endorsed and found valid after a four-year investigation -- the city adopted policies by which the HUD money sent to southern Dallas had to be used for what the law said it was for, namely, low-income housing. But the HUD money sent north, most of which went into downtown, did not have to be used for what the law said it was for. And it wasn't.

HUD found that the city used an entire package of policies and procedures to thwart low-income housing downtown: the granting of waivers, lax monitoring and enforcement, a blind eye and even permission to developers to stop providing the low-income units their contracts and the law required them to provide, even after HUD had warned Dallas on multiple occasions not to let people get away with that any more.

The pattern of behavior HUD claims it found at Dallas City Hall expands beyond even that. In one especially telling chapter, the city deliberately forfeited $150 million in federal housing and economic recovery act bonds it had already received -- sent the money back -- after officials discovered that use of the bonds would open the door to more low-income housing downtown.

Lockey and McKenzie allege that City Council member Angela Hunt, who had say-so over their deal because it was in her district, spoke on the phone with Dallas housing director Jerry Killingsworth while he was meeting with the developers, after which, they say, Killingsworth told them, "Angela doesn't want you to have those bonds."

Hunt says the Lockey and MacKenzie account is a lie. She says there was no such conversation. "I don't even know what HERA bonds are."

Killingsworth refused to comment. "Not interested in talking," he said before hanging up.

The fact is that the city first granted $102 million in HERA bond financing to Lockey's and MacKenzie's project at 1600 Pacific Ave. After the developers told the city the bonds required a high percentage of low-income units, a requirement they intended to meet, the city withdrew the bonds from their project. Then the city informed the state entity administering the bond fund that it was sending back all of its HERA money for low-income housing, a total of $150 million.

Hunt says her concerns were based on information given to her by staff portraying the Lockey/MacKenzie venture as shaky financially and creating too great a concentration of low-income housing in one building, even though it was the ratio required by federal law. The HUD investigation found that the City Council gave its support to other projects with finances at least as speculative as Lockey and MacKenzie's and with even greater concentrations of low-income housing in one building.

In the HUD investigative report, the tit-for-tat about whether Hunt spoke to Killingsworth and what she thought of the developers' finances all becomes irrelevant. In the end, it's a question of "Look around. What do you see?" For HUD, one thing counts in Hunt's district and in the city at large: The facts on the ground.

Calling Dallas, "The 52nd most segregated city in the country," HUD says one key census tract downtown that got a ton of HUD money is 74 percent white, "in contrast to the city of Dallas, which has a minority population of over 67 percent."

Dallas made the facts on the ground come out the way it wanted, HUD says, "by using methods of administration which have the effect of subjecting persons to discrimination based on race and national origin."

I asked Griggs if he saw parallels or connections between the HUD finding and the 18-year prison sentence meted out three years ago
to Dallas City Council member Don Hill for corruption involving low-income housing supported by tax credits under a different program. He said the parallel he sees is to a much older and bigger court decision, the landmark 1992 Walker consent decree that ended a bitter decade-long fight over housing segregation in Dallas.

"The HUD allegations are at this point closer to Walker than to Don Hill," he said. "Walker essentially was about the city of Dallas Housing Department conspiring with the Dallas Housing Authority to segregate housing. This [the recent HUD report] is saying, if you read it, the city of Dallas Housing Department conspired with the Economic Development Department to segregate housing. So I think the parallel is strongest with Walker."

Which raises the question: If the Walker consent decree two decades ago was supposed to get us past this hump, what happened? How could we back where we started? Stay tuned.

Beveridge Report by Schutze

Southern Dallas Housing Task Force August 4 by Schutze


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118 comments
rusknative
rusknative

EMPLOYEE WANTED....NO IRISH NEED APPLY......WHAT ABOUT THE IRISH ISSUES?

rusknative
rusknative

well.....the guy that WROTE the report is merely another LIBERAL mouthpiece activist using census data and math models...what a joke.


  Dr. Andrew A. BeveridgeOn The WebBioAndrew A. Beveridge, Ph.D., President and CEO of Social Explorer, is a Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.

Since 1993, Dr. Beveridge has been a consultant to the New York Times, which has published numerous news reports and maps based upon his analysis of Census data. He writes the demographic topic column for the Gotham Gazette. Also, he is working on several research projects involving urban and neighborhood change.

He is an expert in using GIS techniques to integrate demographic materials. Aside from his extensive published work he has used such techniques in numerous consulting engagements with such clients as: Time Warner Cable of New York, the Newspaper Association of America, Davis Polk, and Sullivan and Cromwell, as well as with such non-profit organizations as the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Maryland, the Open Housing Center of New York City, Westchester Legal Services, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Capital Defenders Office, among others.

He has taught in the Sociology Department of Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. and M.Phil. in sociology from Yale University and his B.A with honors in economics from Yale College. His research work has received grant and fellowship support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Putnam Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other agencies.

rusknative
rusknative

segregation USED to be only about RACE....but LOW INCOME HOUSING is about LOW INCOME FOLKS, and cannot be influenced by race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.  SO WHERE IS THIS RACIAL SEGREGATION STUFF COMING FROM RE LOW INCOME HOUSING???

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

It seems the black "leadership" here has hurt blacks more than the longstanding white cabal, by cashing in so heavily for its own pockets.

You kmow the nsa has the calls made by these clowns...if only....

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

As Stan Laurel would say, "Well this is certainly a fine mess you've gotten us into."


Suspend the finger pointing for now.


There is only one mission for the elected and unelected who seem to be in charge of this, and that is how are we going to extricate ourselves with the minimal amount of cost to the taxpayer.


Check your egos at the door.


Try not to screw this up anymore than you already have, because it's been a team effort so far.


You are going to keep whining until you make the national press.

BettyC1
BettyC1

Jerry Killings worth was point man on requesting waivers from HUD and they were all approved by Dallas City Council And City Attorney they all knew what was going on,Killings worth did what Council members ask,and he would tell a developer what Council member said I attended many meetings as consultant and he was always very honest in his answers, however he helped to give developers HUD money meant for low income housing using the waiver system and HUD had to approve waiver so they are also at fault.City just approved 25.million in HUD housing money for developer to renovate old Plaza hotel that happen about 6 months ago,they ammended their HUD to give that money away and Council approved it.All this is on Council agenda week after week they do wrong in public.

RichGans
RichGans

well according to the above...either hunt is lying or Lockey and his other partner are lying..yet Jim says all three parties never lie and have tip-top character. which is it?

finley5
finley5

"Lockey and McKenzie allege that City Council member Angela Hunt, who had say-so over their deal because it was in her district, spoke on the phone with Dallas housing director Jerry Killingsworth while he was meeting with the developers, after which, they say, Killingsworth told them, "Angela doesn't want you to have those bonds."

Hunt says the Lockey and MacKenzie account is a lie. She says there was no such conversation. "I don't even know what HERA bonds are."

Killingsworth refused to comment. "Not interested in talking," he said before hanging up."


Regarding Angela Hunt claiming "I don't even know what HERA bonds are": 

1) Isn't this what a politician says when they know they are in deep shit, claim ignorance.

2) If she was telling the truth about not knowing what a HERA bond is, why didn't she research it? There is this thing called the internet that would tell you in about 5 minutes. 

3) If her ignorance was true, it just exposes the flawed structure of a young person with their first real job out of law school making decisions regarding millions and millions of dollars involving complex development/partnership matters. 

4) Killingsworth will not say a word. He would not support Angela's ignorance claim or denial. I am sure Killingsworth has clear instructions from City Attorneys that he will be sued if he harms the City of Dallas by exposing them. Matter of fact, I hear they even threaten to criminally prosecute insiders that speak out. 

Angela Hunt is JUST A LIAR!!! 

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

Now you know when Suhm got wind of the initial proposal to bring HUD residents into downtown, she called one of her minions, John Crawford aka Mr. Downtown. The shit hit the fan and then you throw in some Citizens Council, and here we are.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Maybe as a defense we can put up our latest rendition of our Redistricting Map.  

Just show HUD it's like herding cats around here.  People won't stay still.  In fact I would like to see a morphing map on Youtube from 1960 to present.  That'll hypnotize 'em.

What was that last bout between the Hispanics and the Blacks if not a redrawing based solely along race/ethnicity lines?

Oh well.  Look on the bright side.  

If people only stay in their domicile 3 to 4 years on average then sell, once we lock the no-reportable income crowd into subsidized housing generation over generation, they will stop moving around.

Then the Terrorists, er, Democrats win.

halldecker
halldecker

Most incredible news,  there's 51 cities more segregated than Dallas.


I don't see how that's possible.

ryan762
ryan762

Oh, it's A.C. Gonzales fault? Well, he's very sorry and promises never to do it again. So let's give him a raise.

Americano
Americano

The only segregation in America today is that done by the non-white races.  They segrigate themselves.  Oh, and blame whitey.

Obummer
Obummer

Huh? Yo ah knowz ah would fly down dere an' fix dis here if ah didn't gots ta spend so darned much tyme creatin’ mah uh Obummercare-complaints website.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@JimSX


I'm so confused.  Are we really. really segregated or not?  Or are we only half-assed segregated? And is our segregation relative and should we be judged by other segregated towns and cities based upon where they fit in whatever list is composed?  Or do we stick with HUD's definition based upon their criteria?


We aren't as bad as we used to be.  How's that?


But HUD has the stick.  So what do they want right now?


And today, it seems that South Dallas leadership is pulling against the effort by keeping subsidized housing (federal dollars) in their districts.  Do they want these finite dollars spent in the northern climes or are they actively pulling to keep the dollars in their segregated districts?


Maybe we should just split the decisions into two parts - the immediate and the long range.  We first need to minimize the damage coming at us by claimants and HUD action.  We are going to have to throw some money and promises at them, and show contrition.  Triage.  Stop the bleeding and stabilize the situation.


Then we can address the problem locally.  If HUD and the courts are going to use Disparate Impact as the measure of racism and segregation then we have some real problems with taking the fed money.  Because the ward politics which dominate municipal governance around here will continue to exacerbate the problem since these big chunks of money are driving the root problem.


But right now we should take care of what's at our economic throats.  This is not going to have a happy ending if we continue to co-mingle the decisions that have to be made since the short term is being drowned out by who is at fault (finger-pointing).  Turf Wars.

jeb1970
jeb1970

Check out the Pew Study. Dallas is the 2nd most segregated.

finley5
finley5

@holmantx Agreed, because what corporation would ever want to move itself and its employees to a city that is still segregating its black citizens in 2013? I am sure said corporation would have black employees. The loss is astronomical when the national press gets all over this story. 

WylieH
WylieH

But.... it's the responsibility of City STAFF and the City ATTORNEY to stay abreast of the regulations and ensure compliance.  They have a duty to inform Council about these regulations and to advise them if they appear to be heading down a path that would violate the law.


Instead, the City staff and City Attorney actively promoted illegal policies without telling the Council that certain actions could get them into major trouble.

jeb1970
jeb1970

Do not forget AC Gonzales was head of both the Housing department (Jerry Killingsworth's boss) and the Economic Development Department (Karl Zavitkovsky's boss), so he is ultimately accountable for the wrongdoings of both departments that caused this travesty, both with 1600 and the broad systemic segregation issues. And we can blame Suhm for the False Certifications.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@finley5 

This stuff comes at council members in a big muddy river. We give them no independent research staff. The manager's staff deliberately floods them with information, then hides the ball. A council member who Googled every single technical issue involved in a  vote would  starve and die of insomnia because they would be Googling  24/7. I do not claim to know who is telling the truth about this incident. I do know Hunt has never lied about anything that I know of. That just isn't how she rolls. Her statement about not knowing what a HERA bond is is completely credible to me. And would staff have a motive to put the blame on her for bad stuff it wants to do anyway? Bear in the woods question, man.

The problem is that Lockey and MacKenzie also have been completely credible from the beginning. HUD checked them out with an investigation that probably outshines the John Wiley FBI probe, and HUD endorsed every single thing they ever said. So who does that leave?  

BettyC1
BettyC1

Everyone living large downtown are being subsidized by HUD so they are no different then people on section 8 are in public housing.Call Ted Cruz or Tea Party and report.

zzz0
zzz0

@halldecker Its not possible when your talking about large cities, but there are cities that are more segregated simply because there are so few people (small towns in the south). If your looking at the top 20 metropolitan cities, its #2. 



holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@halldecker 

Until this legal conduit is broken, it will be a target rich environment for claimants and HUD.

BettyC1
BettyC1

AC had nothing to do with this started years ago ,back when City Place was developed and 25 million of HUD money went to build first group of apartments.

ryan762
ryan762

@Americano I live way up in Collin County, and my street is about as racially mixed as it could be (we are short on Asians for some reason). There are fifteen houses on my block. Of those, seven are occupied by white families (including mine), 5 are occupied by African-American families and three are occupied by Hispanic families.

If we're segregated, we're not very good at it.

finley5
finley5

@holmantx @JimSX With your line of thinking: Mayor Rawlings has the opportunity to be a true leader and come up with a global settlement to stop the bleeding, or , he can create more problems by backing/supporting the establishment that got us in this mess. 


Rawlings time to shine or fizzle out. His political future is the only thing at stake for him. 

jobe3
jobe3

It really doesn't matter where Dallas ends up on the segregated list, we know it's segregated, and we know it's gotten worse over the past decade due to city hall housing practices and policies. End of story.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

I wish it was that complicated.

jobe3
jobe3

I do not disagree with you at all! This City Attorneys office, along with this City Managers office have taken the stance of breaking laws or pushing the envelope and litigating their way out! That method has now hit the largest brick wall in the free world!

BettyC1
BettyC1

You are correct Council members trust city staff and when they have no independent knowledge of subject they don't know what questions to ask.

finley5
finley5

@JimSX We all know Angela Hunt has been on the right side of most issues during her tenure, so she had no need to lie. Nobody, including me, questions her intelligence, but character is truly tested when your on the wrong side and you have every reason to lie. She now finds herself in the rare position of being on the wrong side of the biggest matter she has ever been involved in. 

Ex. Nixon didn't get impeached because of Watergate, it was the cover up that did him in. Same for Clinton, it wasn't the blow job that did him in, it was the cover up ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky"). 

Now, Hunt is no President, but she is human, and she finds herself in the middle of what will be an enormous debacle for Dallas. There is plenty of blame to go around to other CIty Hall insiders, as mentioned by others, but her hand was right in the middle of it, as stated by HUD. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

caveat: HUD did not endorse every legal argument in the Lockey/MacKenzie complaint. i am talking about them personally, their word and their integrity. No one has ever scratched it.

finley5
finley5

@zzz0 @halldecker Yeah, Dallas is the 2nd most segregated in the top 20 metro cities, behind Houston. 


Yep, Texas takes the chocolate cake on segregation in America.  

jeb1970
jeb1970

How about instead of challenging legislation, we just follow all laws, including the federal ones when were using federal monies!

WylieH
WylieH

Wouldn't the HUD projects on City Place land be in compliance with the intent of the law, since they were promoting integration north of the dividing line?

jobe3
jobe3

Not possible!

ryan762
ryan762

Oh. Sorry for taking the information in the story above as correct.

Americano
Americano

@ryan762

I do not doubt that.  Once people get out of the "hood", they like to stay out of the "hood".  My point was that if there is segregation, or even segrigation as I put it, it ain't whitey's fault.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@finley5 @holmantx @JimSX


It is difficult in our weak mayor form of governance for a ribbon-cutting mayor to overcome an establishment (both white and black) that exerts such control over city management.

finley5
finley5

@BettyC1 OH great, so Council members no nothing and have no idea what to ask, yet they are making multimillion dollar decisions based on what City Staff tells them to do. Then why do we have elected officials at all? Why not just let City staff run the entire damn city without checks and balances? 


I call bullshit on this. Angela Hunt seemed pretty up to speed on the Trinity River Levee issues/etc.........

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@jeb1970


Because South Dallas wants their share (in fact they want more than their fair share) of the federal largesse.  This compounds the problem with HUD since, statistically, it exacerbates the segregation numbers.  Have you been paying attention?


It's not like Dallas Blackocrats haven't gone to jail over hogging all the money for personal gain.

ryan762
ryan762

Unless they didn't provide the requisite affordable housing.

BettyC1
BettyC1

You are right in this case City of Dallas is using Federal money to segregate and that is a violation of of law.

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