The Dallas Morning News
Published: November 30, 2015 6:46 pm
Move-in is set for February at the 400-square-foot cottages with on-site medical care and services. Marshall Bearor will be the manager. (Photo by David Woo/Dallas Morning News)
Cottages cost too much …
Re: “Can cottages cure homelessness? We’ll see; Multimillion-dollar project for 50 people should provide better idea of costs vs. benefits,” Sunday Metro story.
The article on Cottages for the Homeless sounds like a typical federal-funded project. The article says that the cost for enough 400-square-foot cottages to house 50 homeless people is $6.8 million. If there is only one person per cottage, that comes to $136,000 per cottage. Seems a bit steep to me. Then the ongoing expense of $1.1 million comes to $22,000 per person. Presumably, none of this goes directly to the previously homeless people, but just to medical and maintenance. So we will be spending roughly twice the federal poverty level on each resident, and they still have to feed and clothe themselves. Maybe even pay the electric bill, or is that part of maintenance?
The article goes on to say that that is a “lot less” than we already spend on the homeless. If those costs include police and hospital expenses, will we lay off enough police and medical staff to recoup those costs? I suspect that most of the supposed costs are fixed costs that will not be reduced. Are we really spending “a lot more” than $72.6 million on the homeless in Dallas?
John Slough, Far North Dallas