Anxious West Dallas tenants on the verge of eviction met with activists on Thursday in an effort to find long term solutions.
Last week a judge temporarily halted the eviction process until a hearing on Monday. Until then, groups are stepping in to try and help those caught in a tug of war between the city and a landlord that sent out the eviction notices after the city tightened rental housing ordinances.
Mayor Rawlings and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo met with landlord HMK for about 30 minutes on Thursday about the problem. Later in the day, the Texas Organizing Project and the Texas Tenants Union met with residents to try to fight for the right to stay. The meeting was for tenants and their families only.
Resident Naomi Piña was among those in attendance. Her mother has been paying rent on her west Dallas home for 42 years.
“She's 81. She can't get a job. She pays rent $300. Where's she going to find that?” Pina said.
Residents have been going to meeting after meeting just hoping they'll finally hear some good news.
The director of the Texas Tenants Union says they want residents to be able to stay and perhaps given the option to buy the homes at an affordable price. But she also recognizes they need for home improvements.
Reps for the Texas Organizing Project and residents plan to go door to door and possibly organize a protest to gather community support and show the city and their landlord at HMK all the people they're affecting.
“When they have the next city hall meeting we're all going to go and tell them what we think,” said Pearline Brown Harper, a resident's daughter.
Tenants told FOX4 they want to stay in their homes, even though most are decrepit, but realize that may not be an option with a pending Oct. 31 deadline to vacate.
The hearing to potentially extend the restraining order is Monday at 9 a.m.