Dallas, TX

Dallas residents fight new neighbor's plan for corner lot

June 14, 2010
Neighbors don't miss the deteriorating house which once stood at the corner of Tranquilla and Hermosa Drives; they're more worried about what the new property owners plan to build.
     "This is about a guy who wants to make a buck," said Dotty Vidal, "and he's going to do it by ruining our neighborhood."
     The Residences of Manchester Place plans to build its third upscale assisted living center housing eight senior citizens at 1438 Tranquilla Drive — in the middle of a Vidal's residential community.
     "I'm sure they do it well, but it's a business and this is a neighborhood," said Jere Reiser, who lives nearby

Housing group alleges bias by town of Sunnyvale

October 27, 2009
The Inclusive Communities Project, a Dallas fair housing agency, filed court documents against the town of Sunnyvale on Monday, citing a failure to live up to a 2005 agreement and discriminatory practices the plaintiffs say date to the town's incorporation.
     The action marks the latest salvo by plaintiffs in a legal battle that has dragged on for more than 20 years over the right to develop affordable housing in Sunnyvale, a rural enclave of mostly upper-end homes in eastern Dallas County.
     Monday's filing was triggered after the town denied a multifamily development on ICP property, the third low-income housing development attempted unsuccessfully in Sunnyvale since 2008.
     There are no apartments and no Section 8 residents in Sunnyvale, where the average home has a market value of $274,081.
     

Lawyer leads an immigration fight

July 20, 2009
On a recent morning, Kris W. Kobach, a conservative law professor, rushed late into a federal courtroom here with his suit slightly rumpled and little more than a laptop under his arm. His mission was to persuade the judge to uphold an ordinance adopted by a Dallas suburb that would bar landlords from renting housing to illegal immigrants.
     A team of lawyers from a Latino advocacy group had set up early at the opposing table, fortified with legal assistants and stacks of case documents. Unfazed, Mr. Kobach unleashed a cascade of constitutional arguments. Case names and precedents spilled out so rapidly that the judge had to order Mr. Kobach several times to slow down.
     Mr. Kobach is on a dogged campaign to fight illegal immigration at the local level, riding an insurgency by cities and states fed up with what they see as federal failures on immigration. As these local governments have taken on enforcement roles once reserved for the federal government, he is emerging as their leading legal advocate.

Fair housing group blasts Realty Times over NRT defense

October 12, 2007
While it's unconscionable that any realty agents would steer people to or from certain housing or neighborhoods in this day and age, it's also sickening that the U.S. government empowers bounty-hunting nonprofit organizations to be in the position of judge, jury, and dealmaker over fair housing violations. One organization doesn't see it Realty Times' way.

Hispanics urged to move into city

September 03, 2006
They've set their sights on 157 homes.
     That's how many houses are for sale in Farmers Branch and how many homes Hispanic leaders hope to sell to fellow Hispanics and/or illegal immigrants.
     Hispanic leaders are staking out the Dallas suburb in the wake of a city councilman's controversial proposal to crack down on illegal immigrants, hoping to establish a permanent presence by boosting the Hispanic population.

Allstate, minority members settle lawsuit

June 02, 2006
A group of minority customers have settled a racial discrimination suit with Allstate in connection with the company's insurance pricing, Allstate and attorneys for the customers said.
     The settlement received preliminary approval from a federal judge Friday.
     The suit was filed in 2001 by seven Allstate customers seeking to represent a nationwide class of black and Hispanic Allstate customers. The customers alleged that Allstate violated federal civil rights laws, including the Fair Housing Act, by charging them higher premiums based on its use of credit scoring.

HUD Secretary's blunt warning: Bush non-fans need not apply

May 06, 2006
Once the color barrier has been broken, minority contractors seeking government work may need to overcome the Bush barrier.
     That's the message U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson seemed to send during an April 28 talk in Dallas.
     Jackson, a former president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority, was among the featured speakers at a forum sponsored by the Real Estate Executive Council, a national minority real estate consortium.
     After discussing the huge strides the agency has made in doing business with minority-owned companies, Jackson closed with a cautionary tale, relaying a conversation he had with a prospective advertising contractor.
     "He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'
     "I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'
     "He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

Housing hunt frustrates evacuees

September 28, 2005
Danielle Morgan, her five-year-old daughter Daisy and three other friends took a frustrating stroll to Reunion arena in a desperate search for assistance Tuesday.
     Their names, once again, were absent from the available housing list, and the Timber Creek Apartments had just informed them they were full. Frustrations have started to build.
     "I'm not used to this, I'm used to being in my home," Morgan said. "I didn't have a good life, but just to be thrown away and have to wait on the back burner - this is not cool."
     However, what has Morgan really hot are the continual, exasperating conversations with apartment complexes. But when News 8 producer Mark Smith made a call to the Timber Creek Apartments, that exhausting hunt seemed to be at a close end.
     "Oh really, if I came in today you could make it available for me by the end of the month?" Smith asked during the call with the complex.
     Morgan and the others wasted no time heading straight to the Timber Creek leasing office. But within the span of about 45 minutes, all available units suddenly became occupied.

Settlement sought in housing discrimination case

December 21, 2004
City officials today planned to ask a judge to approve a final settlement in what some experts say is one of the nation's most influential public housing discrimination cases.
     U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer called the West Dallas public housing project a "gigantic monument to segregation and neglect" after seven black women sued over living conditions there in 1985.
     Nearly 20 years later, the housing project has been demolished and rebuilt with modern homes. And government rent vouchers have helped thousands of low-income black families move to predominantly white neighborhoods in the area.

White Dallas police claim discrimination

July 06, 2004
Seven police officers filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city Tuesday, alleging they were denied promotions or transfers because they are white or do not speak Spanish.
     The officers say they were occasionally passed over in favor of minority candidates who had less experience, were on probation or had not applied for an open position.
     Leaders of the department's minority associations said the complaints are absurd, and that there were probably other reasons why the officers were not selected.

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