May 23, 2022 - News

Dallas houses more than 600 people in rapid rehousing plan

Dallas homeless encampment
Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

More than 600 people from about 300 households have been housed since October as part of a public-private partnership to find homes for locals experiencing homelessness.

Driving the news: The Dallas rapid rehousing program aims to move 2,700 people into housing by October 2023 through the use of American Recovery Plan Act housing vouchers and private donations to encourage landlords to accept the money.

Why it matters: Overall homelessness in Dallas and Collin counties decreased this year, but chronic homelessness has drastically increased since before the pandemic.

  • Chronic homelessness means someone hasn't been housed for a year or longer.

By the numbers: The 2022 annual Dallas homeless census conducted in February found 1,097 people experiencing chronic homelessness, up from 587 in 2018.

  • Meanwhile, only 172 permanent supportive housing units have been added during the same time period.

What's happening: Street outreach declined during the height of the pandemic meaning fewer social workers were meeting with people experiencing homelessness to help them navigate the complicated housing system.

  • "This leads to more people aging into chronic homelessness," Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance president Joli Angel Robinson said during the state of the homelessness address this month.

Details: Dallas rents are typically around $1,600 a month, nearly 19% higher than last year. And the number of available units is limited.

  • That makes it difficult for the lowest income people to find homes, which is why Dallas' program includes landlord incentives funded by private donations.

Threat level: Homelessness organizations said the demand for their services has increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Last year, there were 1,000 more calls than usual at Family Gateway, a nonprofit that assists families experiencing homelessness.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that more than 600 individuals from approximately 300 households have been moved into housing, not 300 individuals. 

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