The Dallas Morning News

District 3 council candidates differ on affordable housing

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them Black and Hispanic.

Both candidates hope to address public safety and code enforcemen­t within the district.

Thomas said there are concerns about gunfire, car breakins and street racing in District 3. He said he wants to work with the southwest division of the Dallas Police Department and other city officials to help address these issues.

“I am encouragin­g our Southwest police substation to ramp up its sting operation in the area, and to consider impoundmen­t and permanent seizure of vehicles of repeat offenders of street speed racing,”

Thomas said.

Foster said he wants to hire more police officers, increase command staff and offer mental health services to the police. He also wants to see an improvemen­t in city services.

“By most estimates, we’re between 800 and 1,000 police officers short in the city of Dallas, and in District 3, the average code one response time is eight minutes,” Foster said. “That is unacceptab­le to the citizens of this district.”

Code compliance is not applied equally across the district, Foster said, and trash and litter are a constant issue.

Foster also wants to address homelessne­ss in the district by creating a task force to track homeless people throughout the county and provide them with mental health resources and additional temporary homes.

“Let’s try to target and work with local agencies, charitable organizati­ons and others,” he said. “Let’s get 2,000 homeless off the street.”

The candidates approach the need for affordable housing in District 3 in different ways. Thomas said his priority is to create “workforce housing” for people who work in hospitalit­y while also exploring how the minimum wage can be increased to $15 per hour.

Foster said that the district is already “overwhelme­d” with affordable-housing complexes, and that he would support bringing in more mixed-income developmen­ts.

“Bring poverty level, middle class, high-income earners together,” Foster said. “This would encourage those in poverty to leave poverty.”

A prominent issue for

Thomas is access to COVID-19 vaccines. Thomas, who chairs the city’s Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Assistance, said he helped to bring testing and vaccinatio­n sites to the district.

“I was able to successful­ly help Wellmed to receive 400 vaccines daily to be given to members of [Wellmed Charitable Foundation Senior Activity Center] and seniors that live in the Oak Cliff area,” he said. “We have been able to fully vaccinate over 1,000 people who live in the community with racially equitable distributi­on of the vaccine.”

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