The city of Dallas is asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to withdraw or change its findings that the city violated policies for financing low and affordable income housing.
The city’s written denial of wrongdoing came Friday morning in a lengthy response to HUD’s claims.
Dallas maintains HUD used outdated, incomplete and incorrect information in concluding the city erred in how it funded and approved low-income developments.
The HUD investigation "ignored most of the city’s substantial accomplishments to develop affordable housing – many of which could not have been achieved without HUD’s active support and approval,” the city’s letter states.
The four-year federal investigation found that the city misused federal financing aimed at creating low-income housing throughout Dallas.
The HUD inquiry comes as critics claim that Dallas is fostering economic and racial segregation by returning to a practice of placing nearly all its low-income housing in the southern part of town, home to some of the city's poorest residents.
An independent analysis by the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce found the city has placed more than 80 percent of its low income units in predominantly minority neighborhoods in the southern part of the city since 2000.
Here are highlights from the city’s response:
- The city says it’s been a strong proponent of fair housing and affordable housing and has worked with HUD to serve low- to moderate-income families. “The city wants to continue working cooperatively with HUD and further advance the objectives of fair and affordable housing.”
- The city says it had already been in the process of developing an affordable housing strategy. It says it’s already taken steps to increase the affordable housing supply in the central business district. It says it’s already provided funding for the Citywalk at Akard project, and is also providing funds for the Atmos, Flora Street and 1701 Canton developments.
- In its letter, the city says it would be unconstitutional to use race when determining the location of affordable housing. “The city would welcome HUD’s suggestions and guidance as to how the city can legally consider race in awarding incentives in light of caselaw preventing such consideration,” the letter states.
What do the allegations say about Dallas?
Last month, on KERA's Think, host Krys Boyd examined what the allegations say about Dallas with Scott Griggs, vice chairman of the Dallas City Council housing committee, and Ken Smith, who leads the Revitalize South Dallas Coalition. Listen to that discussion here.
Following is a summary of the city’s response to HUD, which was due today.