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Owners Of Highland Park Home Deemed 'Uninhabitable' Fighting Back

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The owners of a Highland Park home that town officials have threatened to demolish are fighting back. The home, on Mockingbird Lane near the Dallas North Tollway, was deemed uninhabitable. But the homeowners believe they should still be allowed to live there.

For six months, Scott and Nina Brei say they've scrounged to put a roof over their heads, skipping from hotel to hotel. Their own roof was in disrepair, along with the rest of their home, according to Highland Park officials.

"You don't imagine that one day you just can't go live in your house. You can't get your clothes. You can't get your medication," said Scott Brei.

Brei says it all started when a March storm toppled a tree onto their guest house. The town cut their electricity and ordered the Breis to vacate and then repair or demolish their house.

"Basically, the city is saying, 'You're going to do a renovation on all of your house.' That is not something that any homeowner in Highland Park, especially being a taxpayer for 22 years, should have to experience."

"It's just been very difficult. It's been depressing," said Nina Brei. "It's been stressful on him as well as myself. I'm shocked that a city can treat a homeowner in this fashion."

They admit their home needed some work and say they've begun repairs…from the foundation up. They also point to a June report from an engineering firm they hired that says the house is safe, habitable, and ready for occupancy. Now, they've filed a lawsuit against the town asking for monetary relief in the six figures.

"If my wife and I don't stand up for what's right, who's to say they're not going to do it to this neighbor or to my neighbor to the west?," said Scott Brei.

Town officials maintain that the owners still have not completed the repairs to make the home compliant. They say, "The owner remains woefully delinquent in his responsibilities as to the condition of this property. The Town continues to monitor the site and remains hopeful that those responsible for the property step up to the plate and take care of their business."

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