HUD No. 05-122
September 9, 2005
JACKSON RECOGNIZES DALLAS HOUSING AUTHORITY AS A MODEL FOR HOUSING DISPLACED FAMILIES
DHA and Metroplex Housing Authorities mobilized quickly to help evacuees
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today cited the work of the Dallas Housing Authority (DHA) in rapidly mobilizing to find temporary housing for 120 families forced to evacuate their homes in the Gulf Coast region. As the former director of the DHA himself, Jackson applauded the swift response of local housing officials in Dallas to quickly match vacant public housing units with families in desperate need of a place to live.
Almost immediately after evacuees began arriving in the Dallas area DHA began coordinating with other neighboring public housing officials in Plano, Mesquite, Garland, Lancaster, Arlington, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Tarrant County and Dallas County. DHA and their local partners then began to determine the individual needs of public housing residents and persons receiving Section 8 rental assistance. As a result, DHA has placed approximately 1,000 persons into rental units while local church groups provided food, clothing, air mattresses, blankets and toiletries.
"We've asked Public Housing Authorities around the country to look within and find room to house families who may have lost everything and the Dallas Housing Authority, together with their Metroplex partners, answered the call," said Jackson. "Working with local faith-based organizations, DHA is helping these families put their lives back together."
In addition, DHA asked landlords to waive security deposits and to spare evacuated tenants the cost of utilities for three months. DHA is also issuing special vouchers that communicate to potential landlords the urgency of finding temporary homes for displaced families. So as not to delay the placement of evacuees, the housing authority plans to conduct unit inspections in the near future.
Earlier this week, HUD provided PHAs around the country guidance on how to offer housing assistance to uprooted public housing residents and Section 8 voucher holders from declared disaster areas. In addition, HUD established a single toll-free housing hotline, 1-888-297-8685, to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The number operates from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Deaf, hearing-impaired or other persons requiring TDD/TTY services can call 1-800-877-8339.