But one day, two years ago, the city of Dallas changed the
landlord and the city fought over decent conditions and affordable housing
This story was reported in partnership with PBS Frontline’s podcast, The Frontline Dispatch. You can listen to the extended podcast version of the story here.
Pearlie Mae Brown’s wooden house is listing a little. The screen door is broken, and another screen door is nailed sideways over a window.
Inside, most of the outlets don’t work, cockroaches scurry across the appliances and the kitchen floor has a large hole in it down to the dirt below the house.
«It’s supposed to be a wooden floor,» Brown, 81, says with a wry smile.
canada goose uk outlet This house is a rental just minutes away from the booming heart of downtown in West Dallas, the newly gentrifying neighborhood where Brown has lived all her life. canada goose uk outlet
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Many of the houses are cheap in this part of town, but the conditions are often poor. Brown says she has little choice. She cares for her disabled canada goose outlet eu granddaughter, and she can just barely afford the $430 monthly rent on the $770 she receives from her deceased husband’s social security and disability checks.
buy canada goose jacket Her landlord is a man who has the same first and last name Khraish Khraish. He works just a few blocks away in a small, bleak office. Some, including Khraish himself, say he is canada goose outlet las vegas a champion of the poor providing people like Brown with low cost housing when they have nowhere else to go. Others say he’s one of the city’s worst slumlords. buy canada goose jacket
And lately in this neighborhood and in cities all across the country the line between those two is increasingly clouded and complicated.
canada goose coats Nationally, only about a fourth of the people canada goose uk site who qualify for government aid canada goose outlet store new york with housing actually receive any help, through programs like the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. Millions of others end up in what is often referred to as the «unassisted market.» They live in places like West Dallas, where our investigation found the system is often stacked against them and the choice more often than not is between squalor and homelessness. canada goose coats
cheap Canada Goose Cracking Down On Code This Hobson’s choice has existed in West Dallas for decades. But one day, two years ago, the city of Dallas changed the status quo and fundamentally altered the state of housing in West Dallas. cheap Canada Goose
In 2015, city officials began a crackdown on landlords. Inspectors ticketed and fined Khraish and other landlords and took them to court over the conditions of their properties. Nobody at the time had any idea how this story would end.
Not even Khraish. He and his father bought more than 300 West Dallas homes in 2003. He says the homes are not fancy, but they are livable.
canada goose uk black friday «Twelve hour days, six days a week. We’re still open six days a week,» he says. «I’ve been proud of what I’ve done in providing housing to the lowest income households in Dallas.» canada goose uk black friday
But when Executive Assistant City Attorney Melissa Miles sent inspectors into dozens of Khraish’s homes, they found many problems.
«Houses falling off their foundations. walls that don’t connect anymore,» she says, «rooms where you look through in the seams of the walls, you could see light from the outside.»
Miles and the city created a book of hundreds of violations and ordered Khraish to make repairs.
Khraish called the book devastating.
canada goose clearance «It was canada goose outlet just bankruptcy,» he said. «They want me to bring these to a standard these houses cannot attain. These were built in a time without code. It’s like how do you canada goose outlet new york make a 1930’s engine meet modern day emission standards? You cannot.» canada goose clearance
But from the city’s standpoint, that was Khraish’s problem.
«I don’t have a ton of sympathy for someone who got away with something to their benefit to the detriment of other people who weren’t in a good negotiating position,» Miles said. «I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who say, but I’ve gotten away with it all this time, why are you changing the rules on me now? To that, I would say we haven’t changed any rules.»
cheap canada goose uk The city recently added some new code requirements, but mostly officials were asking Khraish and other landlords to https://www.hotcanadagoose.com meet longtime standards that many say the city had not religiously canada goose sale uk enforced until then. cheap canada goose uk
They were the kind of standards that tenant Pearlie Mae Brown says she never had while living in a rental house. That’s the case for many people nationwide.
Across the country, the majority of poor families are spending more than half of their already small incomes just to cover rent. And while median rent has increased 70 percent over the past two decades, housing conditions haven’t improved, according to a canada goose jacket uk 2015 Harvard study.
Brown’s daughter, Pearline Brown Harper, wastes no time explaining what she thinks of Khraish.
«It shouldn’t come out of anybody’s mouth what I think about him,» she said. «He didn’t come fix nothing. He just told the tenants that they would have to take care of stuff their selves. He’s just a slumlord. And these people out here have made him the rich man that he is.»
Khraish isn’t flashy. He lives in an upper middle class neighborhood and drives a 10 year old car. For years, he was also collecting as much as $180,000 each month in rent in West Dallas.
canadian goose jacket He’s not the only one to see the canada goose outlet in new york investment potential here. Across the country, mom and pop landlords are on the canada goose jacket outlet store decline, and owners with dozens or hundreds of properties are on the rise, according to an analysis by Harvard’s Joint Center For Housing Studies. It’s the same in Dallas canadian goose jacket.