Phoenix City Council rejects proposal to give more time to evicted mobile home residents

Dozens of people impacted by the decision attended the City Council meeting to make their case that they needed more time.
Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 7:17 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 5, 2023 at 9:41 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - In a slim majority, the Phoenix City Council voted on Wednesday against giving hundreds of families being forced from their mobile homes more time before developers break ground on a new project near Grand Canyon University. The City Council voted five to four against further looking into a moratorium, the same result that happened a couple of weeks ago. So those living at those mobile home parks have to find a new place to live between the beginning of next month and the end of June.

Dozens of people impacted by the decision attended the City Council meeting to make their case that they needed more time. Veronica Monge entered the meeting, hopeful that maybe a couple of weeks would have changed the City Council’s mind. “They could have done it. They could have done it. It’s just so upsetting,” she said.

Emotions were running high, so the council members voted 5-4 against allowing public comment on the development moratorium. “That was absolutely a maneuver by the mayor to shut public comment down, because she does not want to face these people in person. And that’s my analysis on that,” said state Sen. Anna Hernandez, a Democrat from Phoenix. But that didn’t stop some from continuing to speak against how the majority of the City Council was approaching the proposed development moratorium at Periwinkle Mobile Home Park near GCU, Las Casitas near 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road and Weldon Court near 16th Street and Osborn Road.

The Phoenix City Council voted 5-4 to provide funding to help residents at three mobile parks find new homes.

Ultimately, the same five who voted against the development moratorium at the last City Council meeting voted against looking further into it. “The service providers themselves told us at our last meeting that they needed more time. They needed at least a year and at least 30,000 (dollars) per family to be able to find something. We’re not giving them that. At the minimum, we should have given them more time,” said Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia, who represents District 8. He was one of the four to vote for more time. Those who voted against the proposal, including Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, said it wouldn’t solve the issues people in these mobile homes are facing. “We have to stop with illegal motions that won’t stop the problem, and instead marshal resources to helping people get housing ahead of summer,” Gallego said.

Gov. Katie Hobbs signed new legislation last week that increased the potential money those displaced from their mobile homes can receive from less than $2,000 to $5,000. But Phoenix Councilwoman Betty Guardado, who was in favor of the development moratorium, didn’t back down, arguing that’s still not nearly enough. “The answer is that we don’t have an answer. We’ve got to be honest with people. And I’m sorry we don’t have a plan for any of you, and we don’t intend to have a solution by the time you get evicted,” she said.

In the meantime, people like Oneyda Munoz, who lives in Weldon Court with her family, is still looking and hoping for a new home. “We want to go and rent in an apartment but they’re asking for a really high deposit,” she said in Spanish.

The situation for those living in the Periwinkle mobile homes is a little different because of their involvement with GCU and the housing expert Trellis that GCU hired. A GCU representative gave Arizona’s Family the following statement.