By Juliette Rihl | Arizona Republic
Residents of three Phoenix mobile home parks facing displacement received preliminary good news from the City Council – but their fight to remain in their homes isn’t over yet.
At a packed meeting (on March 6), several council members proposed four actions that, if approved by the full council, could keep residents of Periwinkle, Las Casitas and Weldon Court mobile home parks from being displaced.
The proposed moves are:
- Create a mobile home park zoning overlay on the three parks, meaning City Council approval would be required to redevelop the land for another purpose.
- Implement an 18-month moratorium on the development of the three mobile home parks.
- Create an emergency fund for people affected by mobile home park displacement by reallocating $2.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
- Enter an agreement with Arizona State University or a similar entity to produce a study of all mobile home parks in Phoenix. The study would include who owns the parks, how many units there are in each park and what can be done to preserve them.
The actions were proposed by Councilmembers Betty Guardado, Carlos Garcia and Yassamin Ansari, who sit on the community and cultural investment subcommittee. Two additional votes will be needed for the motions to pass the full council.
Park residents who attended the meeting were elated by the council members’ actions, albeit preliminary.
“I’m overjoyed,” said Periwinkle resident Alondra Ruiz.
While the residents own their mobile homes, they don’t own the land on which the homes sit. With the Phoenix area’s hot real estate market, mobile home park landowners are rapidly selling the land for redevelopment, forcing residents to leave. And while the city and nonprofit organizations have tried to provide the residents relocation assistance, many of the families still don’t have anywhere to go.
More than 120 households are at risk of losing their homes between the three parks.
Residents of Weldon Court, near 16th Street and Osborn Road, must move out by April 1.
Residents of Las Casitas, now called Beacon, at 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road, have until May 1.
Periwinkle residents, at 27th Avenue and Colter Street, must leave by May 28.
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