No sale yet, trail not ended for north Fresno mobile home residents

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A judge seems ready to allow the sale of a troubled north Fresno mobile home community against the wishes of a lot of its residents.

The Trails End Mobile Home Park went from dangerous to mostly livable since the city took control of oversight last year.

But residents worry they won't be able to afford to live there under new ownership, who they believe will drastically increase rents.

RELATED: Group of residents at Trails End Mobile Home Park hopes to purchase park through cooperative

Trails End is home for Heidi Phipps, but making repairs quickly comes hard for Heidi and her family.

"I have two types of cancer: liver cancer and blood cancer," Phipps said. "And now it went into my spine."

Heidi got an eviction warning after a receiver took over the property from the previous owner.

She says the proposed new owner, Harmony Communities, took down her fence and told her to move a washing machine.

The receiver says Harmony has done everything it promised to do during a transition to its ownership, including removing more than 850 cubic yards of trash - that's enough garbage to fill a couple mobile homes.

"I do continue to recommend the sale to Harmony Communities, even moreso today," said Mark Adams of the California Receivership Group, which is now in charge of oversight at Trails End.

Judge Kristi Culver-Kapetan didn't approve the sale to Harmony Friday and she did say nobody can be evicted for now without approval from the courts.

"If people still continue to not comply with the orders of the receiver, then they will be evicted," Judge Culver-Kapetan. "I mean, there has to be a mechanism here. You're going to have to comply or you're going to be evicted."

The judge also said the eviction warnings like Heidi got are not enforceable, residents should have time to get permits for things like awnings, and the owners need to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

But she says she can only stop the sale because of fraud, unfairness, or oppressiveness.

RELATED: Trails End mobile home residents sense city's abandonment coming

Heidi and some neighbors say the receiver should've explored other potential buyers who would protect the affordability of the park.

They're planning to fight the sale to the end with California Rural Legal Assistance helping them navigate the courts.

"If Harmony does come in, I'm going to have no choice but to say 'Here's my 60-day notice. I'm leaving. You can have my trailer. I'm leaving. I'm not going to stand for it,'" Heidi Phipps said. "But if we win, I will most definitely stay there."

Judge Culver-Kapetan's last word is expected Wednesday when she'll issue a final order in the case.
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