A One-two Punch: Dallas Must End Housing Segregation to Reduce Chronic Poverty

Dallas is a city divided by bad housing policies. By intent or default, city policies encourage affordable housing in southern Dallas and market-rate housing in much of the rest of the city. That has resulted in concentrated, generational poverty in predominately African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods south of the Trinity River.Bottom line: Dallas will not address chronic poverty until it comes to grips with how housing policies have divided this city along racial and income lines. In a new report, Mike Koprowski, executive director of Opportunity Dallas, a newly formed research and advocacy organization, echoes that conclusion. Dallas, he says, will remain unequal and become increasingly poorer until the entire community embraces a comprehensive housing plan. The plan needs to provide minority residents near the poverty line with the economic mobility that comes with living closer to "high-opportunity areas" in predominately white and wealthier neighborhoods. Those are tough words from the former chief innovation officer at the Dallas Independent School District, but the community needs to heed them. From our work on the Bridging Dallas' North-South Gap and Finding Lifelines for the Working Poor projects, this editorial board has heard over and over again about the need to link low-income workers in high-poverty and minority neighborhoods with jobs, and their children with educational opportunities, that don't exist where they live now.   Continue reading...

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