West Dallas tenants have chance to buy their homes

Some West Dallas tenants on the brink of eviction will now get the chance at homeownership.

The residents were facing a June 3 deadline to vacate their rental houses owned by HMK Ltd. after months of conflict between the landlord and the City of Dallas, which passed stiffer housing codes last year.

Landlord Khraish Khraish announced Monday he's offering homes for sale to 120 of his tenants in good standing at a fraction of the value of the lots.

Under the terms of the sale the homes will cost $65,000 as-is with no down payment. It's a 20-year note financed by Khraish's company, with clauses to prevent flipping to high end developers.

While some tenants say they still won't be able to afford the $575 dollar monthly payment, for others it's a dream come true -- like the Correa family, whose daughters were born in their rental house.

“A lot of people might not think that's it's the nicest house in the neighborhood, but I think it's my dream house and it's my parent's dream house and they've worked on it for years,” said Kimberly Correa. “It's a really great moment.”

Pearline Harper's mother, 81-year-old Pearlie Mae, lives in an HMK home located in a neighborhood slated for development. Khraish says he's trying to work with tenants like Pearlie Mae to get them into one of his other vacant properties, but Harper says she is very distrustful of all parties involved and desperately wants to move her mother to some other affordable housing.

Khraish says so far 10 households have signed contracts to buy their houses and he says 30 more have made appointments to do so. The first closings are expected to start June 1.

The families who wish to buy will still be responsible for getting the houses up to code. It's unclear if the city will give them some kind of grace period to do that.

The judge who originally halted the evictions until June 3 is extending the deadline to October 2, giving the parties involved more time to get things sorted out.

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