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KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

West Dallas Families In HMK Rental Houses Can Stay In Homes Until End Of School Year

Courtney Collins
KERA news
Rosemary Guerra, 57, moved out of her West Dallas house Oct. 31 because she feared losing her deposit. She had been paying $575 in rent; now she'll be paying $800.

Families in West Dallas living in rental houses slated for closure will be allowed to stay in their homes until the end of the school year.

HMK Limited owns 305 inexpensive rental homes that don’t meet city code. Instead of repairing all the houses to bring them to standard, owner Khraish Khraish opted to close his rental business and have tenants vacate. 

Many of them pay as little as a few hundred dollars a month in rent and didn’t have many options for moving out. The City of Dallas intervened, and made an agreement with HMK Thursday night to let renters stay put until the end of the school year, or June 3, whatever is later.

The city says HMK has not agreed to make repairs to the homes during this time period and won’t be fined by code enforcement for existing issues. City attorney Melissa Miles told KERA the only way the city could broker a deal was to agree not to force HMK to bring houses up to code.

The City of Dallas has asked HMK tenants who are worried about their health or safety because of a condition in their home to report it via 311. 

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.