Oakley’s Demolition Idea Short on Substance

(this is from the DMN’s letters to the editor page)

Ed Oakley’s proposal to demolish 2,000 apartment units per year to reduce crime is a bad idea. There will be consequences, and crime reduction may not be among them.

He makes no mention of what will happen to the low-income families who occupy these units. Tenants living in neglected apartments are often the victims of criminals, rather than the perpetrators. Displacing people with limited resources will cause financial hardship, increase homelessness, destabilize families and disrupt children’s education.

How does he plan to deal with this new set of problems? Does he care?

Instead of demolishing housing, why not increase police protection in problem communities? Why not sue slumlords who neglect their property? Why not fund gang prevention programs and after-school activities for at-risk youth?

Why not work on employment initiatives for would-be and former drug offenders?

Sandy Rollins, Dallas

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