'It's A Relief:' West Dallas Tenants Pleased With Landlord's Offer To Sell Rental Homes | KERA News

'It's A Relief:' West Dallas Tenants Pleased With Landlord's Offer To Sell Rental Homes

May 23, 2017

Renters slated to leave their West Dallas homes learned Monday that they have more time—and a chance to buy their houses. This is the neighborhood KERA’s been following in the series “One Crisis Away: No Place To Go.”

More than half of the tenants who’d been living in 305 aging rental homes owned by HMK Ltd have already moved. For months they’d been told June 3 was the hard deadline.

That changed Monday, when a judge gave families another four months to figure out a plan.

When the city tightened its housing code in September, the HMK houses were deemed substandard. The landlord said upgrading them would cost millions.

For families paying $300 to $500 a month in rent, the thought of moving was terrifying.

“Because you see we go to other places? And they would charge us $800, $1,000, Noemi Piña says.

She says she couldn’t find anything she could afford. So Monday, when HMK announced it would allow tenants to buy their homes, or another empty HMK home? Piña felt a surge of hope.

“So finding this out? That makes me, it’s a relief. It’s a relief for us,” she said.

HMK will sell the homes for $65,000, and finance 20-year mortgages. The new homeowners will pay $575 a month.

HMK co-owner Khraish Khraish says it’s a win for West Dallas – and the city.

“It got harder and harder to sleep at night thinking that 120, 130 families are going to be put on the street,” he said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings released a statement Monday, saying: “I am encouraged that Mr. Khraish has decided to do what we asked him to consider nearly two years ago: sell some of this homes to his tenants.”