Phoenix City Council looks into more resources for displaced mobile home residents

The city council held a special meeting to try and find options for the people who face eviction at three Phoenix mobile home parks.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:52 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - An uncertain future. That’s what hundreds of Phoenix mobile home park residents are facing as they deal with upcoming potential displacement.

The City of Phoenix held a special city council meeting on Monday to explore answers to this displacement, which for some will happen in just a few weeks.

“Renting, it’s crazy,” Weldon Court Mobile Home Park resident Carmen Prieto said. “It’s crazy. I couldn’t afford it on my income.” Staring down an eviction at Weldon Court, Prieto was optimistic heading into tonight’s city council meeting. “I’m excited, there’s anxiety,” she said. “I want to hear good news, I want to hear what’s going to happen to us.”

Right now, Prieto doesn’t know where she’ll live next. She only knows that she can’t move her 1973 mobile home. At tonight’s city council meeting, council members and housing assistant experts outlined ways to help others like Prieto. They included immediate measures like rental assistance and housing navigation services, to longer-term options like zoning changes and ways for mobile home residents to own the property they live on.

“It takes an immense amount of time to get to move in, and now you’re somewhat stable,” Helping Families In Need AZ’s Anna Maria Maldonado said.

But time isn’t on many of these residents’ side. Weldon Court has told residents they need to leave by April 1st. At Las Casitas Mobile Home Park near 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road, they’ve got until May 1st. At Periwinkle next to GCU, they have until May 28th. And so far, the number of households in all three places that have found new housing is either zero or single digits.

“What are the barriers that these families are facing, and why have we not been able to have a higher success rate?” asked Phoenix Vice Mayor Yassamin Ansari asked.

“In getting any entitled benefits, all of the steps to get those benefits are very cumbersome in terms of paperwork, signatures, and documentation,” Maldonado responded.

The City of Phoenix has endorsed House Bill 2381, a bill introduced by Republican Rep. Matt Gress that would increase the maximum amount of money a tenant would receive if forced to relocate due to a change in use or redevelopment.

But at this point, that’s not official legislation. And mobile home residents like Prieto are thinking about what will happen in the coming weeks, not the coming months.

“Everything that we do, it’s really hard on us,” she said. “And I don’t wish it on anybody.”

Former Maricopa County Attorney candidate Julie Gunnigle and Community Legal Services are hosting a meeting for any people that live at the Weldon Court mobile home park tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Devonshire Senior Center (2802 E. Devonshire Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85016).