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In the end, it didn't matter whether the meeting was open or closed to the public -- because, in the end, there was no meeting at all. Yesterday we noted that council member Dave Neumann's hand-picked Cliff Manor task force was scheduled to meet with Dallas Housing Authority higher-ups at DHA HQ to discuss, yet again, what to do about permanent supportive housing -- both at Cliff Manor, which took in 17 formerly homeless last week, and citywide. But last night an e-mail landed in the Unfair Park in-box indicating that there was no meeting at all. Well, not much of one.
According to Randall White, Neumann said a few words to open the meeting. After which, task force member Dodie Butler, president of the Stevens Park Estates Neighborhood Association, asked to speak. At which point, White writes, "Ms. Butler respectfully asked for written assurances from the DHA, [Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance] and City of Dallas and left behind the attached document. She then said that until the written assurances were received, there was no reason to meet."
With that, the nine task force members grabbed their gear and walked out. They've given all three entities till 6 p.m. today to respond to the document, which follows in full.
Regarding Cliff Manor and PSH, we, the appointed Task Force, have been working continuously in good faith to develop a positive community plan and outcome. After a series of false starts by DHA and MDHA and the City of Dallas, we must reestablish the foundation for good faith negotiations and cooperation.
To this end, we respectfully request written confirmation by DHA and MDHA to the following by no later than 6 pm. Thursday, August 12, 2010.
DHA and MDHA agree to:
1. Pause and maintain the status quo, including taking no actions which place DHA/MDHA in a position requiring additional placements, at 17 PSH placements at Cliff Manor during the duration of negotiations of good faith for not less than six months.
2. During the good faith negotiations, agree to use best efforts to develop a successful Cliff Manor community plan and good neighbor agreement, to include best practices on such vital areas as supportive services, security, qualifications, amenities, and successful client outcome.
3. Immediately develop an enforceable temporary good neighbor agreement and complaint resolution process.
4. Work in good faith with the City of Dallas to implement a successful, equitable city-wide subsidized/supportive housing plan, including a PSH program, which incorporates best practices and is in accordance with the regional fair share provisions of the FHA.
We look forward to your response.