Dallas admits housing payment plan did not help the needy

The Dallas City Council admits the COVID-19 mortgage and rental assistance program failed to help the people who needed it most.

Many people in the city’s poorest areas did not apply and therefore received nothing.

The rate of Hispanic families receiving assistance was very low, even though Hispanic residents make up more than 40% of Dallas’ population.

“I said we will end up with reporting that we served in a way that was not equitable or helped most needy residents. That day is going to come. Today is that day,” said Councilwoman Cara Mendelsohn.

City workers who handled the program admit the first-come, first-serve system did not address equity.

They accepted thousands of applications and only a small percentage of people actually received money from the program.

“This is funding from the federal level to make sure we have a recovery. That recovery should be across the city. If not we will let marginalized populations continue to be further left behind and this is all in our control,” said Councilman Adam Bazaldua.

Dallas plans to distribute another $10 million in federal funding as part of the mortgage and rental program.

City leaders said this time they will work with non-profit groups to make sure the money gets to those who need it the most.

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