Hundreds of thousands of dollars will now go to help dozens of West Dallas people being forced to leave their homes.
The Dallas Housing Finance Corporation approved $300,000 for Catholic Charities use. The funding means now some of these families will get assistance.
The owner of the properties where the families live, HMK Ltd., has plans to redevelop the properties, but that means those living there have to leave by June. Many of the families say they have nowhere else to go.
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Just before the allocated funds were approved, residents gathered at Dallas City Hall equipped with signs that read "Justice for HMK Tenants" and "Save West Dallas." All of the residents are threatened with displacement and just have a few months before they must vacate their properties.
Last month, the low-income tenants presented HMK with an eight-point plan for affordable housing, an alternative to the mass displacement. HMK had its own plan to redevelop the properties into mostly affordable housing by selling some lots to Habitat for Humanity.
Although Catholic Charities can't help the residents stay in their homes if they're faced with evictions, the organization can still work with the clients, "If they have to make a decision around their housing and to help them understand what the options may be beyond that, like Habitat for Humanity and others," said David Woodyard, the CEO of Catholic Charities.
"This money will assist some of my tenants, but it will not assist any of them staying in their homes and in West Dallas," Khraish Khraish, HMK's general manager.
Khraish argues there are no long-term solutions with this plan and encourages these families to apply for Habitat for Humanity.
Catholic Charities tells NBC 5 it is also planning to help affected residents with long-term planning including financial literacy and job skills training.