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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.

City Sets Aside $300K For West Dallas Families Set To Lose Housing In June

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Courtney Collins
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KERA news
This tenant lives in an HMK home slated for closure in June. She chose to move out back in October of 2016.

Dallas families bracing to lose their housing this June will get some money to relocate. The City of Dallas Housing Finance Corporation voted Tuesday to set aside $300,000 for families renting homes owned by HMK Ltd.  – homes that don’t meet housing standards that were strengthened last fall.

Those 305 homes are mostly in West Dallas. The owner has decided to close his rental business, saying that upgrading the 1940s-era properties would be too expensive. Many of the tenants are paying as little as $300-500 a month.

Sandy Rollins with the Texas Tenants Union says $300,000 for relocation expenses is “inadequate.”

“I think the city needs to invest in truly affordable housing," she says. "They need to make sure that not one HMK family becomes homeless as a result of this.” 

She says many families renting from HMK Ltd. live on less than a thousand dollars a month and can’t afford to rent a newer apartment or home in West Dallas—a neighborhood that’s undergoing dramatic re-development with financial support from the city.

“It’s just so out of balance to be giving millions to wealthy developers for housing that’s unaffordable while giving a couple thousand to low-income families that have been a part of this community," Rollins says.

She says $300,000 split between all the tenants who need to move will barely scratch the surface.