Unhealthy and offensive: 25-page complaint filed against Fresno mobile home park

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Unhealthy and offensive: these are just two of the ways a 25-page complaint describes the conditions at Shady Lakes mobile home park.

The suit, filed with the Fresno County Superior Court, claims the new ownership increased rent by 32 percent and failed to provide translated contracts for Spanish speaking residents and implemented unreasonable rules.

"We've had residents getting eviction notices for having Christmas lights, for having their boots on the porch and when they're farm workers, and they're trained not to bring their clothing which has pesticides on it into their home," says Mariah Thompson with the California Rural Legal Assistance.

Thompson says mobile home residents are one of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to housing security.

"They rent the space it's on, so if they get evicted, they're not getting evicted from the home," Thompson said. "They're getting evicted from the space."

Thompson says the firm is representing more than half of the residents at the mobile home park, including residents that are primarily low wage farm working families. They are now burdened with a 32 percent rent increase.

"We went from $400 to $525 per month," says a resident. "We complained, we had a meeting, but it didn't do any good."

This resident isn't a part of the suit but says the rent increase impacts him as well, considering he lives on a fixed income.

He didn't want to speak on camera in fear of retaliation but says he has noticed some improvements.

"They did the blacktop and stuff, and put extra garbage cans," the resident said.

Shady Lakes manufactured housing community says many of the claims are unfounded, saying they've invested more than $250,000 into repairs.

A case management conference is scheduled for April.

In a statement, the owner of Shady Lakes Manufactured Housing Community says:

"No tenants have given notice to move out since we took over the community, and none have asked for rent accommodations due to hardship. Our attorneys are reviewing the document, but we believe the claims are unfounded. For example, we have no way of knowing which residents are involved-their attorney has not divulged this information-so any claims of retaliation are simply not true.

Shady Lakes provides some of the most affordable housing in the area. We have spent over $250,000.00 improving the property over the past 9 months. We believe the community is in full compliance with all laws and regulations. We value our residents and strive to provide safe and affordable housing."
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