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Lindsay Diaz and her son stand in what's left of their home after tornadoes tore through North Texas on Dec. 26, 2015.KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.The problem's known as asset poverty, and it doesn’t discriminate. A job loss, health emergency, even legal trouble can be enough to plunge a third of our friends and neighbors into financial distress. One Crisis Away puts a human face on asset poverty and the financial struggles of people in North TexasExplore the series so far and join the KERA News team as they add new chapters to One Crisis Away in the months to come.One Crisis Away is funded in part by the Communities Foundation of Texas, Allstate Foundation, the Texas Women's Foundation, The Fort Worth Foundation, The Thomson Family Foundation, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

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.