What's a Million Bucks Worth? When It Comes to Dallas' Housing Projects, Not Much.

Categories: Schutze

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Where did we get our low-income housing ideas from, anyway? South Africa?
You know, I'm beginning to think a million bucks, maybe a couple million, just flat does not matter in today's world, at least if it's "public" money (that would be yours and mine sorta). Maybe whenever people say "a million bucks" on a public document or in a public hearing or something like that, they should add at the end, "plus or minus a couple mil'," and that would take care of it.

I'm thinking about this "Patriots Crossing" low-income housing development on Lancaster Road across from the Veterans Affairs hospital that I told you about a couple weeks ago. At that time the developer went before the City Council, which has been bankrolling him, and said he had spent $3.4 million of the city's money for land.

I said in my article that loan documents showed he had spent a significant chunk of that money on stuff that was not land. By the way, since that article came out, except for council members Scott Griggs and Philip Kingston, no one else at City Hall has uttered a peep about it.

I imagine most of them looking at my numbers, giving it a big old shoulder shrug and saying, "Yeah, that's what he said. He spent $3.4 million of our money on land plus or minus a couple mil'. So what's your problem?"

This came to mind yesterday, because I was looking at the agenda for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs board meeting in Austin today, where they will consider the Patriots Crossing developer's application for an additional $13 million give or take a couple mil' in public funds to build 162 apartments, 33 of which will be rented at rates supposedly affordable to truly poor people.

The total cost for the project shown in the documents is now $22 million, etc. I did a quick calculation to see how much money that would be if you just handed it over to the 33 families who will benefit. When I saw the amount per family, I was really glad I do not believe in numerology. If they just handed out the money, it would be $666,666 per family. They could give them that much money and a roasted goat head, and everybody would be ready for the ritual.

So the other number I noticed was the amount the state is being told the developer paid for land -- $2 million. And we see what he means, by now, right? He paid $2 million for the land ... you know the rest. Here I used to think two million bucks was a huge deal. I feel so petty bourgeois.

The other thing buried in the materials is a letter, which you will find below, from Dallas low-income advocacy lawyer Michael Daniel, warning the TDHC that this project is not eligible for state support under rules the state had to adopt a couple years ago to get in line with a federal court order. The rule has to do with putting tax-supported low-income housing in high-crime areas when there are other places it could go that have lower crime rates.

Just to make sure I got the legal principle involved, I called Daniel. He put it in my language: "It's not eligible," he said. "It shouldn't be there. They shouldn't be building this stuff where people get their butt kicked, where kids have to put up with crime. Why we think it's OK just still boggles my mind."

In his letter to the state, Daniel presents crime data showing that violent crime rates in the area around the proposed development are three and four times higher than rates in other parts of the city where TDHC has helped fund other housing developments.

"TDHC has adopted this as an eligibility criterion," he said. "It should be enforced, and it shouldn't be there."

We all know what this is about. Leave us not be coy. The lower crime areas are whiter and more middle class. The political pressure is to jam all of it into poor, minority, high-crime neighborhoods, just making things worse, which is why the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development has accused Dallas of promulgating a policy of deliberate racial segregation.

All right, just for today, let's not go there. How about this? If it costs that much of our money, plus or minus whatever, and it breaks the rules, and it's got HUD on our case, did we ever consider just not doing it? Hmm? Why not wait for a clean deal? Or don't do a deal?

Oh, I know what it is. We need to cram more and more concentrated public housing into poor, minority, high-crime areas and get more and more poor kids growing up in those areas, because it's such a great way to produce a growing population of happy healthy solid citizens. Plus or minus a couple mil'.

Michael M. Daniel Letter to TDHC Re Patriots Crossing by Schutze

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48 comments
gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

I truly love how ideologues of the crippled white ring (oh. right wing!  So. Sor. Ry.)  variety of so-called eagle thinking works.

Up yonder, there done flies the valiant United States Eagle!  But only the rot wang is the right wing.  The other wang is the wrong wang.  One wang is the patriot wang.  The other wang is either the Antichrist wang or the Communist wang. 

Ain't Amerikkka grate?  More like a cheese grater than truly great.  Pat.  Riot.  Cross.  Ing. 

Four pieces!  Nigger negotiation!  A buck apiece!  Now!

Call me....@

hwy77
hwy77

Not to mention this money is desperately needed elsewhere throughout Dallas for new and improved dog parks.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter


Dallas is under pressure to spend fed/state money apportioned to them.  Otherwise it won't be (apportioned).

And the other side of the coin is the accusation that if the monies were spent in so-called "white, middle class" areas, it would raise the ire of the politicians who represent the protected classes, as identified and defined by HUD.

South Dallas politicians are NOT going to be in favor of spending housing money in areas they believe already disproportionately receive most of the taxpayer monies.

The demographic who reads your stuff is not the crowd that needs convincing.  And the bunch that needs convincing is in absolutely no mood to change their minds about where the free money goes.

So Mr. Schutze, meet Mr. Rock and Mr. Hard Place.

James080
James080

This project illustrates that City Hall is either totally corrupt or totally inept. Pick your poison.



ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

The median house price in Dallas it ~$107k.  So basically, we could take the money, $13MM and buy 121 homes and give the homes to the "po' folks".  


That way we have a win win situation.  The lower end of the economic spectrum gets the trappings of the middle class for nothing and they are dispersed all over the area.


Or, the money could be given to Habitat for Humanity.  They seem to do a good job of developing affordable housing for the "po' folks".

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com


Who was the city council rep for this land back in 2009? Hill? At the time, was this land in her District 5?


WylieH
WylieH

Why not reach out to the two other guys who appear to be involved in this deal:  Vernon Smith, Jr. and Mike Sugrue?  Smith is the son of former of a prominent original developer in Oak Cliff developer who was also Mayor Pro-Tem, City Councilman and President of the Salesmanship Club.  Sugrue is a prominent North Dallas developer who was recently named Dallas Builder of the Year.


mcdallas
mcdallas

I would LOVE to say I'm surprised.  Unfortunately, I'm not.  And remember, folks, these stories are focusing on the City of Dallas.  I wonder what would happen if the examination moved out toward our suburbs (including those in the "southern SEKTORR")??


hurleypic
hurleypic

Nice to see Mike Daniels working for the greater good, i thought he was on the other team.

86753091
86753091

TDHCA will be sued again if they award tax credits to this project. I cant believe COD would be stupid enough to submit such a project in this area. 

ruddski
ruddski

" I did a quick calculation to see how much money that would be if you just handed it over to the 33 families who will benefit. When I saw the amount per family, I was really glad I do not believe in numerology"

But you do probably believe in the "war on poverty", or the "stimulus", or "food for the common goat which always starves" forgetting that you have to factor in the requisite graft which must grease the wheels of the good intention express.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

I suppose we could ask the council members who sign off on these things in their districts?

gordonhilgers
gordonhilgers

It is so BOR ING being pre-fab poor in Dal-Assed, the peasant's grave of America. 

86753091
86753091

@holmantx  


For some reason my comment was deleted:


Its called federal laws, so the hard part is coming..............there is no choice, so people in between a "rock and hard place" can either follow the laws or go to jail! Now, that is the real hard place! 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@holmantx  

Mmm, not sure you got this one. The federal and state money is just there. Nobody else wants Dallas to go get it. Lots of other places will take it if we don't.

The law, and therefore the pressure, is to spend the affordable housing money in North Dallas."Fair housing," by law, is racially integrated housing., not housing that reinforces and increases already existing segregation.

South Dallas leaders want it spent in South Dallas because they do not want racially integrated housing, because South Dallas, anomalous among American urban black communities, has never believed in or desired racial integration. MLK Jr. preached against black people who had accepted their own inferiority and therefore accepted racial separation. The South Dallas preacherocracy has always accepted both and was always a particular thorn in King's side and in the side of his father, MLK, Sr.

White Park Cities leadership believes segregation here violates no law, because black people accept and even desire it. But that assumes white Park Cities leadership and black South Dallas leadership can re-write the national law of the land for themselves, a delusion from which both have suffered since the outcome of the Civil War. I for one am glad both of them are equally wrong in this regard.  

wcvemail
wcvemail

@James080  I went hunting quotes, and beyond Hanlon's Razor and other good ones, found this winner:

"... idiocy is all pervasive, whereas intentional malice tends to go away occasionally." (Dumas) He went on to say, I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because rogues sometimes rest." 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@dallasdrilling.wordpress.com  

This is a Vonciel Hill deal, and anyone who questions any aspect of it is accused of racism by her. Hill is very influenced by rich North Dallas people.

86753091
86753091

@mcdallas  


This deal has really gone bad and getting worse. They (insiders) started out with a ridiculous deal, once it died, they ran for the usual (low-income housing deal). Then, HUD Findings came out, ICP sued TDHCA and this kind of a project which would perpetuate segregation is dead on arrival. 


Now, there is no where for the rats to run and hide. The question is: Who are "all" the rats? That needs to be answered regardless how dirty and inside it gets.  

wcvemail
wcvemail

Good quotes, good effort from him -- even a dead clock is right twice a day, so I'll suspend lawyer jokes for the rest of the day in commemoration. 

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Montemalone  Did you go to the dentist today, undergo some anesthesia? Or did you recently happen to read some Ike-era junior-high civics textbook? Have a nice lay-down and a cuppa, then check the present date and location.

AtoZ
AtoZ

@JimSX   How the heck did the Park Cities suddenly slip into the narrative?  I thought you were talking about South Dallas and North Dallas. I suppose the implication is that the nefarious, mustache-twisting Park Cities elite control North Dallas?  Do you think this is 1970?  Why on earth would they?  Do you really think there aren't enough wealthy white folks in North Dallas nowadays to steer their own boats?  But you have to have a stock villain to make your scenario hold water, don't you.  And the Park Cities is a prosperous white area, so in JimWorld they're already evil per se.  So why not use them.  Gotcha.


Anyway, I'm glad to see you admit that this is your personal crusade, and absolutely no one else's desire.  Two groups of people who are apparently fine living apart, but they're damn well gonna live together anyway, because Jim Schutze, his lone self, wants it that way, and is going to continue to write the same column over and over and over again until he gets his way.  So who's the real manipulative mustache-twister here?  How about some Schutze-imposed busing while you're at it?  That worked out really well, too.  


And for that matter, where's your vitriol for the Asian neighborhoods?  The hispanic neighborhoods?  The other folks of common heritage who tend to collect and live in close proximity to each other (as people have throughout human history)?  Why is it okay for those people to live as they please, where they please, but black people alone have to be led out of their neighborhoods by Jim "Moses" Schutze?  Everything you write carries the connotation that black people somehow can't take care of themselves, and need your superior vision and guidance.  You, sir, are no MLK, junior or senior.   

wcvemail
wcvemail

@JimSX @holmantx  "...South Dallas, anomalous among American urban black communities..." really? Not challengingly, but curiously. I don't believe I've ever heard you say that, unless it was in "The Accommodation" which I promise I'm going to read all the way through one of these years. 

No other such community in the country? Dang. That's special in a not-good way.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@JimSX @holmantx  

so we're in agreement.

nobody in this town wants to spend the free money where you want it spent, probably because integration is not the principal motivator.  There are greater forces in play.

But I would not leap to the conclusion that the absence of the desire to integrate means racism is present.  That would merely be a loose application of the word, to put it diplomatically.

This is where Disparate Impact fails miserably, as a measure of racism.

The absence of integration does not translate smoothly to deliberate segregation hence, racism.

Consider the flea!—incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage. - Mark Twain

WylieH
WylieH

@JimSX @dallasdrilling.wordpress.com  And by "influenced by," one could say "financially backed by."  Reading her campaign finance reports, it is interesting to note that the vast majority of her financial support comes from old money North Dallas and Park Cities families, Jack Bewley (Yellow Cab), CH2M Hill (the company that apparently got paid $19 million to do some work on the Trinity River), TREC (Texas Real Estate Council), etc.


She gets very little financial support from the people who live in her district.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @bmarvel @holmantx  

These guys can Google "most segregated cities in America".  Dallas isn't even rated.  A variety of sources. Those rustbucket towns dominate and Detroit is at the top.

Yet they drone on, and advise everyone who will listen.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@bmarvel @holmantxI won't debate the Dallas racial divide, but I've got to question you on a couple of things.

First, Denver.  Makes a good showing of paying lip service to progressive integration.  In reality, Denver is just doing the same neighborhood shuffle most large urban centers do.  I don't know what sort of neighborhood 5-Points was in the 60's, or E. Colfax, but by the late 70's and through the early 90's, these were no-mans' lands, ignored by the City elite, inhabited by the unfortunate.  Sometime in the late 90's, 5-points began re-gentrification and has become a pretty trendy, hip neighborhood by all accounts.  Of course, if the Cherry Creek crowd is going to spend money in 5-Points, the previous denizens are going to have to be shuffled off somewhere else, so that has been what is going on.  Just Like Dallas.

Second, the whole desire not to integrate = desire to segregate.  Perhaps you, like Jim, need to look  at  your filters instead of through them.  Maybe you're not seeing a desire to do either, merely a resistance to change that is as ingrained in humans as deeply as any other instinctive behavior.  This resistance to change is not malevolent, it is not progressive nor is it conservative.  It just is.  You can't overcome this resistance to change by offering alternatives.  Telling the people of S Dallas that they need  to integrate with those in the CBD or uptown isn't going to make them any more likely to embrace the idea and vice versa.  If you want it to change, you have to find a way to motivate the population past the resistance to change.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@bmarvel  

Now see, I'm not going to resort to the easy marginalization by labeling you with an ugly name however; I do believe you have fallen prey (yea - a victim of in today's parlance) to an old fallacy.

Post hoc/ergo hoc/proctor hoc def. 'After this, therefore because of this.' Strictly, the fallacy of inferring that one event is caused by another merely because it comes after it. More loosely, the fallacy (characteristic of superstitious beliefs) of assuming too readily that an event that follows another is caused by it without considering factors such as counter-evidence or the possibility of a common cause. (Causality.) The name appears to derive from Aristotle's Rhetoric.  e.g. if you see a crow and then something bad happens then the crow is a harbinger of bad omens (or it simply is a common inhabitant of your surroundings and you seek to find some understanding for what happened by attributing part of what happened to it out of coincidence rather than a compelling logical basis).

Or to let you down easily, let us just agree that the racists and the racialists have formed a partnership to a common goal (ha!). Free Fed Money!

Unfortunately for the citizen these two tribes, who are in charge, aren't going to cop to the plea and will fight HUD over this.  They too do not like being called ugly names.  Particularly that one.  And especially since they righteously think their hearts are pure (unconscious racism/racialism).

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@JimSX  

And your only proof of racism, as newly defined by HUD and accepted by you, is that these Patriot Crossing(s) exist (or that a downtown development was denied).  That statistics and statistics alone (Disparate Impact) is your sword and shield.

Just so we aren’t talking past each other.

In effect you assert, prove to me it is NOT racism (proving a negative).  And under this new and improved system of regulatory jurisprudence, statistics are Fact, Motive, and Intent.  In effect, statistics prove conspiracy, and Cause and Effect is reversed.

After all, when looking through that prism what else can it be?

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@JimSX We're on the same track in daylight headed in the same direction. I think. But it's not as though this official if secretive policy is something new in the history of Dallas, is it?

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@WylieH @bmarvel@holmantxRead it -- twice. The year it was published. The Good Jim at his best.

Probably do holman a heap of good to read it, though.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Just to make sure we're not passing in the night, the HUD accusation against Dallas has nothing to do with separatism through patterns of voluntary association. The accusation is that Dallas officials conspired to carry out official if secretive policies aimed at keeping people of color and other protected groups out of downtown while using federal de-seg funds to redevelop downtown. In other words, the accusation is one of deliberate action based on a belief that people of color and people of non color cannot occupy the same ground.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@holmantx"absence of integration does not translate smoothly to deliberate segregation"

No, but I think it translates roughly. 

The question is why is Dallas less integrated than almost any other major American city? It's one of the first things first-time visitors notice. Denver, my own city, was well on the path to integration when I left in the 1960s. Other cities where I've lived and worked have have made progress (though no city is truly integrated).

But a casual drive through Dallas suggests Dallas just never made the effort, never really had the will to integrate. To not have the positive will to do a thing is indistinguishable, it seems to me, from having the positive will to not do the thing. The desire to not integrate is identical to the desire to segregate. And segregation is racism, pure and simple. No matter who supports it. It's, My people don't want to mix with your people.

"Disparate impact," to pick up your phrase, which really explains nothing? Dallas' City Hall turns its blank concrete backside to South Dallas, where the infrastructure shows signs of years of neglect. When did you last drive through South Dallas? Notice the conditions of streets, alleys, infrastructure? That's not accidental. That's what racism produces.

Is it still racism if the South Dallas power structure supports it? Of course. it's an unholy alliance between those interests in white Dallas who have no desire to see the city integrated and those interests in South Dallas who profit by this arrangement. Which Jim has argued all along.

If you have an alternative explanation for this state of affairs, holman, we'd love to hear it.


WylieH
WylieH

@wcvemail @WylieH @JimSX @dallasdrilling.wordpress.com  A big part of the vote gathering appears to involve making "donations" to key South Dallas churches... the pastors pocket the money and then direct their parishioners to vote for the issue at hand (i.e. for the toll road, for the convention center hotel, etc.).

86753091
86753091

@WylieH @JimSX @dallasdrilling.wordpress.com  


So common sense tells us that the "rich folks" in the park cities pay her to do their work. Come on, lets just face the blatant truth. She is a total sell out of her own people, in my opinion.  

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