Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Live in Dallas? Action needed!

Urgent Action MEMO

To: Readers residing in Dallas, Texas
From: Larry James
Subject: City of Dallas FY 08-09 Budget

Message: We have work to do with our Mayor and City Council members. The City Manager of Dallas is recommending cuts in the city’s budget that will have devastating effects on programs that affect the poor and the elderly in our community.



1. People Helping People. A city initiative providing much needed repairs to homes owned mainly by Dallas’ lowest income senior adults, as well as disabled citizens.

Challenge: The budget for this program totals $1,232,284.00. Currently, People Helping People is set to be cut completely from the proposed FY08-09 budget. This would be a blow to several hundred Dallas homeowners annually who need the assistance.

From October 2006 through June 9, 2008 (20 months), this important city program restored and improved almost 700 homes.

The program leverages thousands of hours of volunteer involvement among the faith, civic and business communities in Dallas.

The suggested cuts would be a blow to the Housing Department. This proposal is inconsistent with the city’s stated goal of building capacity inside the Housing Department for the sake of maintaining and developing the city's affordable housing stock.

Action: Contact your council member, and other council members. Voice your support for the People Helping People program. Please email, call, write, and/or visit with members of the City Council today!

2. General Fund Allocation to the Housing Department.

Challenge: Our Housing Department receives less than 1/10th of 1 percent of the annual city budget of over $2.6 billion. Earlier this year, the Mayor’s Work Group on Affordable Housing recommended to the City Council’s Housing Committee an increase in the Housing Department’s allocation from the General Fund to at least ½ of 1 percent of the overall funding plan or approximately $13 million for FY08-09.

The city must invest more of its General Fund dollars in affordable housing if we are to reach our goals as a community.

Case Study: Seattle, Washington, budgets well over $40 million annually for its housing efforts. Dallas, approximately twice the size of Seattle, budgets approximately $22 million annually, with all but $2.5 million of that amount coming from the Federal Government (assuming funding for People Helping People this budget cycle).

Action: Again, please email, call, write, visit with members of the City Council.

The Dallas City Council is in recess during July, but will reconvene in August. Approval of the budget will conclude at the end of September.

Please take action today!

Pass this information along to your network of friends and associates.

To obtain contact information for your district's council member, go to:


Charles said...

Larry, did you mean to put a number in this sentence?

"From October 2006 through June 9, 2008 (20 months), this important city program restored and improved almost homes."

Larry James said...

Yes, I did, Charles! Thanks for catching it--700 homes. I've corrected in body of post as well.