Anger over Dallas plan to offer housing for homeless

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on June 9, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 9 at 7:44 PM

Cliff Manor Apartments

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DALLAS - The anger and frustration over a plan by the Dallas Housing Authority to assign up to 100 units in a north Oak Cliff apartment building for homeless, spilled over at the city council meeting today.

Neighborhoods around Cliff Manor Apartments claim they've been blindsided by DHA wanting to add homeless to what has been housing for seniors and the disabled.

The DHA plan for Cliff Manor is to accept residents from the Bridge Homeless Shelter, who primarily are older, female, and some with mental disabilities.

With support from council member, Dave Neumann, who represents the area, some residents spoke out in opposition to the plan before the council today.

But when Mike Faenza of Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, that runs the Bridge, tried to introduce two women approved to live at Cliff Manor, emotions got heated.

"Bringing individuals down as a showcase, as an ambush back to neighborhood leaders. I'm sorry, mayor, this showcasing is not the way you bring people together," said Neumann.

"I was surprised. It did hurt because I just wanted to come down here to see these people and to have them see me and it seemed that he just didn't want us there," said Kathryn Schultz from the Bridge Homeless Shelter.

Neighborhood opponents to the DHA plan want to challenge it through city zoning laws but DHA has said it doesn't need any zoning change.

A big public community meeting on the plan is set for June 21st.

E-mail: bwatson@wfaa.com

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