Agreement with HMK will allow tenants to stay until June 3
Updated March 23, 2017
Here is the Catholic Charities of Dallas letter to tenants which has important information about housing options:
Second, I would like to inform you of a “Housing Fair” to be held on April 1st, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the West Dallas Multi-Purpose Center (2828 Fish Trap). The City of Dallas and other organizations are collaborating to bring experts from various housing services to help tenants better understand housing options and opportunities to best match your potential needs and wants. More details will follow regarding this event, yet please mark the date on your calendars and join us on the 1st.
Updated Jan. 23, 2017, 12 p.m.
Mayor Mike Rawlings joined Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, Council member Carolyn King Arnold and community leaders today to announce a partnership with Catholic Charities of Dallas to assist residents living in low-rent properties owned by HMK Ltd. in West and southern Dallas.
HMK Ltd. tried to evict tenants with little warning in the fall. The City of Dallas intervened and negotiated an agreement, approved by a judge, that halted the evictions until the end of the Dallas ISD school year in June.
Catholic Charities will survey residents to assess and address their needs. Beginning this weekend, caseworkers will meet with the tenants and discuss current household and financial needs.
The survey is also available below, and the information gathered will be used to provide immediate support and develop long-term solutions for the residents. The data collection is funded privately by The Real Estate Council Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Real Estate Council (TREC).
- English survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/westdallas
- Spanish survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/westdallasesp
“Our goal is to take care of our residents in West and southern Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “The right way to do this is to sit down and talk to each family to better understand how we can serve them. We are grateful to Catholic Charities of Dallas for stepping up to fill this gap by assigning trained caseworkers and volunteers to help.”
The organization aims to survey about 225 houses. Dallas City Council Districts 4 and 6 offices and the City of Dallas sent letters today informing residents of upcoming home visits from Catholic Charities caseworkers and volunteers. Community leaders from the District 6 Housing Task Force and District 4, some of whom are HMK residents, have organized a community outreach plan to ensure that all residents can receive case management and support.
“Catholic Charities’ mission is to serve people in need across this community, so we readily agreed to assist Mayor Rawlings and Dallas City Council with the housing situation in West Dallas,” said Dave Woodyard, President & CEO of Catholic Charities of Dallas. “If we can help positively impact the growing poverty and homeless challenges in Dallas by helping understand the affected tenants’ needs and wishes, then we’re living our mission and being the community partner we aim to be.”
Together with community leaders, Catholic Charities will open service centers at Mercy Street Church, 3801 Holystone St. Dallas, TX 75212 on the following dates:
- Friday, January 27 at 12 – 6 p.m.
- Saturday, January 28 at 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Sunday, January 29 at 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Residents have been notified by letter that caseworkers will be canvasing the neighborhood to collect data from each resident. View the letter here: Letter to residents.
The City of Dallas has also developed a list of resources for residents that can be found here: Know Your Rights as a Tenant.
Updated Nov. 4, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Last night, the City reached an agreement with HMK that allows all HMK tenants to remain in their homes until June 3, 2017, or the end of the 2016-17 school year, whichever is later. This includes any individuals who have filed lawsuits against HMK. Tenants must pay their November rent in full by November 11th, and then monthly thereafter and request a receipt for their rent payments
The City asked HMK to agree to address any condition in the occupied homes that might present a threat to tenants’ health or safety, pursuant to earlier discussions in which Khraish Khraish expressed his commitment to do so. Unfortunately, HMK would not agree to make any repairs to the homes during this time period, no matter how serious the condition.
Mayor Mike Rawlings, Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo and Council Member Carolyn Arnold issued the following joint statement today: “Our intentions in working with HMK over the past 18 months have been about one thing and one thing only: providing safe and decent living conditions for the hundreds of families and children that live in HMK homes in West Dallas and southern Dallas. Mr. Khraish has insisted that he cares deeply about the welfare of his residents. We take him at his word.”
City officials ask that any HMK tenant whose rent is not being accepted or has a condition in their home that they believe presents an immediate threat to their health or safety to please call 311 or Adella Casarez at 214-670-5988 immediately to make a report. The City will evaluate each report on a case-by-case basis and advise the tenants on best options available. City officials will communicate with Mr. Khraish any concerns about residences that present a health or safety threat.
Updated Oct. 24, 2016, 1:51 p.m.
Mayor Mike Rawlings, Mayor Pro Tem Monica R. Alonzo and District 4 Council member Carolyn King Arnold jointly issued the following statement today:
“We are pleased with Judge Molberg’s decision to allow the parties additional time to continue what have been fruitful discussions over the past few days. We must work to ensure the rights of all residents of our city to live in safe, clean, quality homes in neighborhoods that are free of blight. The well-being of the tenants is our first and only priority right now.”
On Sept. 27, 2016, HMK, Ltd. gave its tenants and the City written notice that it was closing 305 of its estimated 430 rental single family dwellings by or before Oct. 31, 2016. HMK is demanding its tenants move within three days after their month-to-month leases end. After the tenants vacate, HMK says it will demolish or no longer use the dwellings for residential purposes. HMK claims “The City of Dallas is forcing us to take this action.”
The City is not forcing HMK to evict its tenants and demolish or cease using its dwellings. The City Attorney’s Office filed five lawsuits against HMK concerning five of its residential dwellings on Aug. 1, 2016. These lawsuits sought court orders requiring HMK to comply with minimum housing standards designed to protect the residents’ health and safety. The City’s lawsuits did not seek demolition of the dwellings or orders requiring the residents to leave.
At a time when the City is facing a crisis with homelessness, HMK’s mass evictions will likely cause many of its tenants to suffer serious hardships because they may not be able to find suitable alternative housing on such short notice. Regardless, HMK would not need to close so many dwellings had it properly maintained them.
The City of Dallas has designated the following person to offer you information by phone: Adella Casarez, (214) 670-5988.
The following organizations have offered to provide assistance to HMK Ltd. tenants:
- SMU Consumer Advocacy Clinic: (214) 768-1125 (Please identify yourself as an HMK tenant)
- Legal Aid of Northwest Texas: (214) 748-1234 (Please identify yourself as an HMK tenant)