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Sun Jan 3, 2016, 02:56 AM

Dallas Struggles to Overcome Segregated Legacy

DALLAS — By most accounts, census tract 166.05 is not a particularly desirable place to live. Tucked between two major highways in southwest Dallas, the neighborhood is characterized by clusters of ramshackle, one-story houses, huge swaths of vacant land and big warehouses and storage centers.

More than 40 percent of people living in the census tract have incomes below the poverty level, a proportion that more than doubled since 2000, according to U.S. Census data. Crime rates and levels of slum and blight are also high, according to the Dallas-based housing advocacy group the Inclusive Communities Project.

Federal rent assistance programs shouldn't be used to place poor families in such a neighborhood, the project believes. And yet more than 100 families who receive federal rent subsidies known as Housing Choice Vouchers through Dallas County have been placed there.

Such placement “perpetuates segregation,” the group wrote in a strongly worded letter to the Dallas County Housing Agency in October. The vast majority of Dallas County’s 4,200 rent-subsidy users are black, and they are being steered to “minority-concentrated, high poverty areas,” the group said.

Read more: http://www.texastribune.org/2016/01/02/dallas-struggles-overcome-segregated-housing-legac/

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