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AC Gonzalez Housing Memo

AC Gonzalez Housing Memo

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Published by Schutze
city of Dallas investigation and reorganization of all housing programs
city of Dallas investigation and reorganization of all housing programs

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Published by: Schutze on Mar 04, 2014
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08/17/2014

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Memorandum
DATE
February
28
 
2014
CITY
O
D LL S
TO
Honorable Mayor
and Members of
the City Council
SUBJECT
Upcoming hanges
in
the Housing
and
ommunity
Services Department
I
wanted to make
sure
you
are
apprised of some immediate
and
upcoming changes
in
the Department of Hous
i
ng
/
Community Services. These changes
are
designed
to
enhance
transparency
and
accountability
in
Housing
programs
 
policies,
development projects
and
transactions.
Many of these
adjustments
are
currently
underway,
and
others
will
take some time
to
design
and
implement. Overall,
I
m
confident
these actions will
make
a
positive difference
moving forward.
Within
the
next 30 days,
we
will accomplish the following:
Begin
the executive
recruitment
of
a
Housing
Director
with
national
caliber credentials
and
expert
i
se in
housing programs.
Transfer
responsibility
for
all
property transactions
(excluding
Land
Bank functions)
from
the Housing
Department
to
the
Real
Estate
Services Division of Sustainable Development
and
Construction.
Conduct
an
internal review
by
staff independent
from
the Housing Department.
The
Office of the
City Auditor
will
enter
into
a
procedures
engagement
with
the City
Manager s
Office to ensure the proposed
procedures
meet the
City s
needs for
n
independent
assessment.
The
following
projects
will
be
examined:
o
Review
all
program
and
project
approvals along Bexar
Street
to
verify consistency
with Council
direction
and
adherence to
all
applicable
rules
and
regulations.
o
Review
and
analyze
all
property
transactions
along
the
Lancaster Corridor
associated
with
Housing/Economic
Development
projects,
including
Patriot s
Crossing, Lancaster Village, Opal
and
Lancaster-Kiest
Shopping
Center
to
verify consistency
with
Council approvals
and
identify
any
potential conflicts
with
existing
policies,
rules
and
regulations.
Additionally,
there
are
a
number
of
procedural changes that
staff
will
execute
as soon as
possible.
Prior
to full
Council consideration
and
action,
development projepcts
that contain
both
Housing
and
Economic Development
incentives, subsidies
or assistance
will be
briefed at
both
the Housing Committee
and
the Economic Development
Committee. Staff
will also coordinate with the Chairs of
the
Housing
and
Economic Development Committees to convene
joint
meetings
on
a
quarterly
basis.
The
ultimate
goal
is
to
improve communication, increase
transparency
and fine
tune our processes
so
that
everyone
is
fully-informed.
Staff
has
also been
instructed
to immediately
begin the
recruitment
and
hiring of
a
Compliance
Officer
whose
duties
will include the
oversight
of
all
projects
to ensure
strict compliance
with
all
applicable City, State
and
Federal regulations,
policies, ordinances
and
procedures. Looking
out
to
the
next several weeks,
staff
will undertake
a
number of
new
initiatives.
We are
working
with
Councilmember
Davis to convene
a
Housing Committee retreat
in
early
March
to receive direction
and
guidance
from
the
committee
members
on
recommended
actions
and
changes.
The
Office of Fair Housing
is
planning
a
Regional Fair Housing Summit
in
April (Fair Housing Month)
in
collaboration
with the Fort Worth Regional Fair Housing
Equal
Opportunity
Office (FHEO). While
still
in
the
planning
stages,
we
will invite partiCipation
from
the
North
Central Texas Council of Governments
(NCTCOG) and
many of our suburban neighbors.
We
welcome
their involvement
and
attendance
at
this
event to learn about
issues
and
opportunities
in
our region from
national
and
regional-caliber
Fair Housing experts. Lastly
 
we
are
developing
a
strategy to promote
non-profit
and
Community Housing Development
Organization
(CHDO)
activity
that focuses
on
outreach
and
engagement, building
capacity
of existing
non-profits, increasing
the
number
of new
non-profits,
and
strengthening
financial capacity.
Dallas, the City that Works: Diverse, Vibrant and Progressive

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