A "Missing" Parking Sticker, a Bus Ride and a Miscarriage: A Dallas Towing Nightmare

Categories: Housing

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Greg Houston
To seasoned Dallas apartment renters, towing horror stories are a fact of life. But for a 23-year-old woman who recently moved here from Atlanta, towing was something she says she never thought about -- not until her car had been towed from her own apartment parking lot the day she had a doctor's appointment scheduled to check on her high-risk pregnancy.

Allison Ezell lives at the Serendipity Apartments, a sprawling complex near NorthPark Center. A new management company recently took over the complex, and with that came new service from a Dallas tow company called Excalibur. "They weren't enforcing the towing prior to us going under contract there," says Excalibur Towing president Nick Massey.

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At Dallas' Town Creek Condos, Poor Residents Are Getting Kicked to the Curb for Christmas

Categories: Housing

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Amy Silverstein
The eviction notice that started it all.
Just in time for the holidays, the people left at a run-down apartment complex in Lake Highlands have been hearing a lot of different things about whether they have to pack their bags and get out, and when. The week before Thanksgiving, the occupants of the Town Creek Condos were told via a letter on the door that they were being evicted and had to move in three days or face a judge. But just before the deadline, they got an apology letter on their door, saying they could stay longer and even get financial help if and when they do decide to move.

Now, though, residents are hearing that they need to be out by December 15 and say the property manager has stopped returning their calls.

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Dallas Hero Decides Against Illegally Evicting Poor a Week Before Thanksgiving

Categories: Housing

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Google Maps
Town Creek Condos
There are heroes all around Dallas. Today, let's highlight the work of Ari Nessel, a developer who has decided against suddenly evicting all the residents of a Lake Highlands condo building he recently purchased.

"Tremendous progress has been made, and it's because of the pioneers like Mr. Nessel," Dallas City Councilman Jerry Allen told the News on Friday after Nessel apologized to residents for the notices they received on their door last Monday saying that they would have to face a judge in eviction court if they didn't move out in three days.

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Highland Park Tells Dallas to Make Our Buildings More Predictable in Katy Trail Development Suit

Categories: Housing

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Steven Martin
Highland Park is OK with wide homes, but not tall ones.
Rich people, we learn time and time again, do not like living near tall buildings or lowlifes who rent their homes, even if those tall buildings are fancy condos, occupied by lowlife renters who are also rich. Of course, the well-to-do usually come up with a better excuse for why they're fighting the tall building rental project. In Highland Park's case, town officials have claimed that Dallas can't allow the construction of a luxury high-rise on the Dallas side of the Katy Trail because it will make Highland Park's traffic worse and block Highland Park's sunlight.


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A Mysterious New Landlord Is Making Life Hell for the Residents of an Irving Mobile Home Park

Categories: Housing

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Andrew Catellier
Mobile home parks, at their best, offer community, safety and freedom for people who can't afford to be tied down in a regular house but don't want to be fleeced by a slumlord running a crumbling apartment complex.

A Dallas commercial real estate company called Harvest Partners Ltd is doing its small part to change that.

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Dallas Homeowners' Association Turned Off Man's Sprinklers, Threatened Gunplay, According to Strange Lawsuit

Categories: Buzz, Housing

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Bonita de Boer
Beneath Turtle Creek's placid surface, tension, anger and turned off sprinklers.
At a condominium near Turtle Creek, there is a bitter, strange battle brewing between the building's homeowners' association and the domestic partner of one of the HOA's members. In January, the 3081 Gilbert Homeowners' Association felt so threatened by the man, they filed a lawsuit.

The court filings start out innocently enough, if a bit snooty. The couple lived together in a condo on Gilbert Avenue for years, but only one of the men is listed as owning the property, the HOA explains in its petition, reducing his partner to undesirable non-HOA member status: "Ken Ray is not an owner of [the unit] under current Texas law and is, therefore, not a member of the Association."

That wouldn't be an issue, according to the petition the HOA filed, if the non-member resident in question wasn't going around being a jerk to all the legitimate HOA members: "Ken Ray ... has no right to challenge the actions of the Board."


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Dallas Man Sues Former Landlord over Bedbug Infestation; Landlord Says He Planted Them

Categories: Housing

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"Bed bug, Cimex lectularius" by Content Providers(s): CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan; Richard Pollack. Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki - http://phil.cdc.gov/phil. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
You feel an itch just looking at this, don't you?
Marquis on Gaston is one of those faux-luxury apartment complexes plopped by one of Dallas' cool neighborhoods (in this case, Deep Ellum), advertising itself with descriptors such as "gated community," "suburban living in an urban environment," "luxurious pool area," "French patio doors," "distinguished community" and the claim that "Marquis on Gaston residents live surrounded by elegance."

If a lawsuit filed by a former tenant is to be believed, some of the Marquis on Gaston residents also live surrounded by bed bugs.

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Finding a Safe Space for Dallas' Homeless LGBTQ Youth

Categories: Housing

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JMSuarez
Roughly 3,400 Dallas ISD students are homeless. Hundreds of these are LGBTQ teenagers.
When they come out, gay teens must often deal with unsupportive, even hostile parents. Sometimes, parents even go so far as to kick the kids out of their homes. If they attend a Dallas ISD school, they become one of the roughly 3,400 homeless students in the district. By some guesses, although it is impossible to put a definitive number to the group, hundreds of LGBTQ youth are homeless in Dallas.

See also: Why There Are 3,400 Homeless Students in Dallas ISD


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A Frisco Homeowners Association Is Suing to Stop Homeless Teens from Moving In

Categories: Housing

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via City House Facebook Page
Since 2006, the City House nonprofit has offered shelter for homeless kids and young adults in two houses in Plano, smack in the middle of residential neighborhoods. City House claims the kids' neighbors never seemed to mind. How does City House pull this off? By operating out of existing houses that look just like all the other nice houses on the street.

"When you drive down the street you shouldn't notice" a difference, says City House spokesman Rob Scichili. "It's a normal house in a normal neighborhood, and that's the way we operate."

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Dallas Homeless Population Sees a Jump in Kids and Families, but Fewer Chronic Homeless

Categories: Housing

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Ed Yourdon
If this is the image you associate with the homeless population, you'll probably be in for a surprise when you look around Dallas.
The number of homeless people in a city on any given night varies, and is difficult to measure. Most cities perform random periodic counts to determine the number and demographic of homeless individuals. In Dallas, counts over the last 10 years indicate that the general population is going up, but the demographic is shifting. Look around, and you might see more women, kids and down-on-their-luck families.

According to a report by Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, the number of chronically homeless individuals is down about 65 percent, and the number of people sleeping outside or in abandoned buildings on a regular basis is down 49 percent. "Chronically homeless" means men and women with debilitating mental illness, substance dependency or other disability who are homeless for over a year.

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