Judge puts West Dallas evictions on hold again

- A judge has extended the restraining order and put evictions on hold for some West Dallas families.

The judge Monday morning delayed the evictions from Oct. 31 until the next hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 7. The delay is temporary as the city and landlord work to figure out a long term solution.

Earlier this month, HMK Limited decided to event 300 of its tenants rather than bring its properties up to new city standards. The landlord ordered everyone to get out by the end of the month.

“My concern in this case and in these injunction proceedings is whether or not these tenants are going to be collateral damage in this war,” said judge Ken Molberg.

After the hearing, Assistant City Attorney Melissa Miles answered tenants' questions.

 “I can't tell you what long term goals are for any of the parties, I can just tell you right now we are dealing with an emergency,” Miles said.

Khraish Khraish, co-owner of the properties, declined to answer any questions for reporters and instead had his attorney do the talking.

“We are just looking to provide a lengthy transition period to allow everybody to get on with their lives,” said HMK attorney Charles McGrarry. “This is a neighborhood that is quickly gentrifying. The tenants are going to be priced out of that neighborhood and that's not really anyone's fault.”

A deal is reportedly in the works that would allow all of the affected tenants to stay until the end of the school year so they could find other housing.

Willie Pace, 85, was at the hearing. She's rented her home for 50 years, and pays $300 rent. She's seen change over the years.

“I guess we'll be staying under the bridge like the other people was doing because we ain’t got nowhere to go,” Pace said. “When they built the [Margaret Hunt Hill] bridge, I knew it was coming.”

Pace welcomes an agreement allowing residents to stay till the end of the school year, but says it's merely a band aid on a major affordable housing problem.

“You tell me people out of here are going to find 300 places to stay, and you can't find one, that don't make sense,” Pace said.

A statement from the mayor’s office said it's glad Judge Molberg will give additional time to what it described as fruitful discussions.

Tenants plan to attend this week’s city council meeting.

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