Clovis seniors oppose mobile home fee hikes

CLOVIS, Calif.

The cost of living here is going up. Resident Phyllis Ambrose is upset, "They have put in roads and parks and now suddenly they are presenting bills to us that are quite high."

Park resident Marilyn Spate says the increase is unfair, and unplanned, "We just moved in here in April and we knew nothing of this and we just got socked with a three thousand dollar bill that hurts."

The park owners say the made nearly one million dollars worth of street improvements in the parks and are telling the residents they have to pay.

Either $66 a month for five years ...
or, they'll take $3400 in cash now ...
or, a $35 a month increase, in exchange for a 15 year lease.

For residents like Gerald Spate, who's on a fixed income, it's hard to swallow. "Social security hasn't had an increase for two years and you know when you get Social Security and that's it, where do you go from there."

Residents thought they were protected by a rent control ordinance in Clovis, which limits annual increases. But Clovis City Clerk John Holt told the folks, the owner can charge them for improvements.

"There is a provision in there that does allow the property owner to do what's called capital replacements." Holt said.

Even though residents invited us to the meeting, the park ownership wouldn't let us stay inside, or talk to us. "Contact me tomorrow in the office at 9am" We were told by one representative.

Under the rent control program residents are used to increases of around 2% but these street fees amount to an increase of from 10 to 20% for the residents.

Residents plan another meeting next week with attorneys from a statewide mobile home residents group to find out what options they have, if any.

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