I am the CEO of Frazier Revitalization, a "place-based" nonprofit organization in Dallas, Texas mobilizing change in Frazier, a neighborhood in South Dallas bordering Fair Park, one of the poorest in the city where generational poverty and blight is more concentrated and ingrained than anywhere else in the City. Frazier is a trauma-affected community, a once proud, middle class African American neighborhood less than 3 miles from the central business district, bludgeoned by public policy decisions made long ago, not unlike many other inner city neighborhoods in the country - yet these conditions perpetuate today. We are community builders, in an area where community cohesion is low and where residents live in survival mode.
"Frazier is a trauma-affected community, a once proud, middle class African American neighborhood less than 3 miles from the central business district, bludgeoned by public policy decisions made long ago...."
As a member of the National Advisory Committee for CACHE, I look to offer insight into our Frazier area, and to offer my opinion and guidance on data-driven approaches to community development. At Frazier Revitalization, we work toward "Health Equity" where residents would enjoy the opportunity of good health, i.e., a safe environment, fit and affordable housing, access to fresh, nutritious food, affordable and reliable transportation, quality educational opportunities, access to living wage employment; and access to affordable health care.
I see CACHE playing a role in Frazier to identify what "done right" or "done best" looks like across the nation: to help us engage our public and private sector and local nonprofit hospitals (and health insurance companies) in conversations that affect the health of the community, such as affordable housing, and public policy adjustment. In Frazier, of the 2,100 residential lots, over 1/3 are vacant, and of those vacant, the City of Dallas is a large owner.
Fair Park, our neighbor, has recently seen changes in its management and has the opportunity to become an economic engine for the surrounding neighborhoods; the area is ripe for developers and investors but care must be taken, to strike a balance between the creation of new housing and displacement of existing residents. While the Frazier area is not designated as a "Redevelopment Area" (a.k.a priority area) by the City's recently adopted housing policy, we stay engaged in conversation with the City to be mindful, in the words of DMN's Robert Wilonsky, ...this area needs “what politicians always promise but never deliver: economic development, livable wages, streets cleared of trash and homes that aren't falling apart. The basics, in other words. What everyone demands and deserves."
“...the area is ripe for developers and investors but care must be taken, to strike a balance between the creation of new housing and existing residents..."
Our efforts have led to spearheading Hatcher Station Village, a transit oriented development at a DART stop, Dallas' light rail system, where phase one consists of a 44,378 square foot facility we lease to Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas County's Hospital (think JFK in 1963). This primary care clinic brings affordable healthcare to residents where their first association with a doctor had only been the emergency room. The $19 million clinic was financed utilizing the New Markets Tax Credit Program through a public private partnership with the City, philanthropy, conventional financing, bridge loans, pro bono services from the business sector, zoning changes, street abandonments, ten city council resolutions, and constant and consistent community engagement.
What's next for us? More engagement with the residents - meeting them where they are, continued interaction with the anchor institutions in the area, conversation with Dallas' newly elected mayor and our District Councilperson. And we'll be watching for the announcement of the groundbreaking for a state university dental clinic to be adjacent to the Parkland Clinic at Hatcher Station Village, opening the fall of 2020.