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Mobile Home Owners Told to Move Out

Mobile Home Owners Told to Move Out



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Kimberly Houk ReportingSome mobile home park residents in Salt Lake County are facing a tough situation; they've been given two months to pack up and move. A developer bought the land that their homes are on, and he wants to use that land to build condos.

This decision now has senior citizens scrambling for somewhere new to live. Ron Nelson has lived in this mobile home park for more than 20 years. He's now 70 and faced with a tough decision, where does he go now?

Ron Nelson: “It's sleepless nights worrying about everybody, and wondering what I'm going to do."

Nearly 30 mobile homes make up the park and most of the owners have lived near each other for many years. They say they're a family and leaving each other will be hard.

JoAnn Lish: “There wouldn't be one person in here that I wouldn't give a key to, and tell them to go check on my place."

Now, their happy, clean, and peaceful community is changing. For sale signs are going up and moving vans are coming in. A local developer sent a letter to residents on June 1 telling them they had until September to move out. If they cleared the place by August he'd give them a $1500 moving bonus -- something residents say is not enough.

Virginia Martinez, Community Action Program: “If she moves this home, the ceiling will crack. They’ll have to put in a new roof, the walls will fall in.”

Most of these trailers were built in the 1960s. They're too old to be moved. It’s creating a tough problem that carries a strong reminder: When buying a mobile home it's a buyer beware situation.

Mobile home owners usually don't own the property they live on, and they're vulnerable to changes in ownership. But facing this problem 20 years after moving into this park is now bringing tears and strain into the lives of the people affected.

JoAnn Lish: “I've brought boxes home, but I haven't used any of them. I don't know what I'm going to do."

Ron Nelson: “I was really quite upset, because I didn't think by law that they could do that, but I guess they can."

The new property owner of the mobile home park did tell Eyewitness News that he offered the $1500 moving expense money not because he legally had to, but because he felt like it was the compassionate thing to do.

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