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Last-minute break lets residents avoid eviction from Phoenix mobile home park

Weldon Court was supposed to be cleared out on Saturday. Property owner says extension until June 30 will give residents more time to get help from city, state.

PHOENIX — Dozens of residents facing eviction Saturday from a Phoenix mobile home park got a last-minute break from the park owner: they can stay on for three more months.

But the future remains uncertain for people who live at the Weldon Court park, near 16th Street and Osborn Road, and at two other Phoenix sites, where evictions are scheduled through May.

"There's 65 families here," said Robert Cooper, a Weldon Court resident for 10 years. He fears many residents will become homeless.

"There's a lot of children and grandparents and school kids. A lot of them are going to fall through the cracks."

Mobile home park residents typically own their homes but lease the land underneath it.

Now property owners, many of them large investors, are seeking higher returns on the land as rents and housing values rise.

That's squeezing out mobile home park residents across the country. Here in Phoenix, new housing for the residents could cost double or triple what they're paying for their mobile home, plus a security deposit.

According to an email that was sent to residents by Weldon Court's property manager and owner, the eviction deadline was extended by three months in part to give residents more time to get financial help from the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona. The email was provided to 12News.

The Phoenix City Council rejected taking steps to keep residents of the three mobile home parks in place. 

Here's what's available to residents:

  • The city has created a $2.5 million emergency fund that can provide rent assistance and other services.
  • A new state law could help residents pay to move their mobile homes, though many are too old to move.
  • Residents could be reimbursed by the state for abandoned mobile homes. Cooper said he could get $1,800 for his.
  • Residents told 12News they are being offered enrollment in Section 8 affordable housing, but there's a long waitlist.

Cooper caught a break. He's been on the Section 8 list for years. He might have a home.

"In our case, we were lucky," he said.


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