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New Dallas program seeks input on neighborhoods from residents

Kicks off with block party

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A new City of Dallas program called “InspireDallas” kicked off with a block party on Saturday to help the City get input from residents on how to improve their neighborhoods. More on the new program from The Dallas Morning News:

If you want to find out about a neighborhood, ask the people who live there.

That’s the principle behind Inspire Dallas, a new city housing initiative.

A block party Saturday on Swiss Avenue kicked off the effort to ask residents how their communities should be improved.

“We want to think of housing in terms of creating a sustainable neighborhood,” said Peer Frank Chacko, assistant director of the city’s planning and neighborhood vitality department. “We’re integrating education, housing, transportation, parks.”

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Theresa O’Donnell, the department’s chief planning officer, said she wants residents to point out what’s working where they live — and what is lacking.
“We want people to come talk to us,” she said. “No one knows our neighborhoods better than those people who live in them.”

The website for Inspire Dallas describes the initiative in this way:

The goal of InspireDallas is to create proactive strategies that can enhance and sustain neighborhoods by building on our existing strengths, leveraging our assets, and identifying critical missing components. How will we accomplish this ambitious plan? It all starts with learning from our residents, listening to your stories and understanding what you can share about Dallas neighborhoods. With your help, we will begin to create our sustainable neighborhood plan block by block. We will work together to craft a plan that envisions Dallas as a hometown for all who seek a healthy and equitable community, where families can prosper and children thrive. Our hometown, with a character distinctly Dallas.

The Dallas Morning News article also shares one of the reasons the new program began, and the issues it is trying to addresss:

City Council member Rick Callahan, whose district includes Pleasant Grove, said Inspire Dallas is one response to a Housing and Urban Development Department investigation that found the city’s affordable-housing practices had promoted discrimination and segregation.

“It is a diligent effort to address that,” Callahan said. “We want to make sure our HUD money is used wisely and efficiently.”

The initiative can help create affordable housing throughout the city.

“We want people to succeed and have services in their neighborhoods,” he said. “We don’t want to jam people in a certain area.”

Photo: InspireDallas (Facebook)

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