CARSON (CBSLA) – A rally was held outside Carson City Hall Thursday in an attempt to bring awareness to three mobile home parks that are closing for new developments, leaving some senior residents who live there now fearing they might become homeless due to higher rents elsewhere.
One of the three mobile home parks closing in Carson, Imperial Avalon Mobile Estates, was bought by real estate firm Imperial Avalon LLC.READ MORE: 6-Year-Old Boy Hit And Killed In South LA
Residents of the Imperial Avalon told CBSLA’s Jake Reiner that the main issue is not the fact that Imperial Avalon LLC lawfully purchased the land they live on, but that many of them will simply be unable to afford to live anywhere else.
“We understand they have to close the park, but we want to get a fair amount,” Claire Anderson, a mobile home resident whose family has owned their Imperial Avalon Mobile Estates homes since 1983, said.
Responding by email, Imperial Avalon LLC said, “…the valuations come from an initial appraisal, a second appraisal by the City (which increased the valuations) and final increases to the amounts by Carson City Council, which increased values again. City Council is also requiring us to pay the coach owners whatever they paid for their coach, which includes values as high as $310,000.”
The company added that they’ve entered into more than 70 successful escrow processes with residents and are being contacted by more residents each day.
However, Anderson and 445 other elderly residents, many of them living on fixed, low incomes are worried about where they might be able to afford to live.
“I can’t afford anymore rent. Nowhere else has $420 a month for their land rent. So, I don’t know what I’m going to do now,” Anderson said. Like many of her neighbors, she’s been living in her rent-controlled housing for years as rents continued to rise all around the area.
Although Imperial Avalon LLC has been meeting with homeowners individually to assist with relocation efforts, many residents said they will have to move out of the Carson area.
“I hyperventilated when I read the first one on the list, the grand rent was almost $1,600 a month,” Anderson, who has struggled to find work as a substitute teacher since the pandemic, said.
“We understand that this is a challenging process, and are going far above and beyond what is legally required – and we are glad to go the extra mile for our seniors as we help them find and relocate to their new homes,” Imperial Avalon LLC said over email.READ MORE: Scorching Heat, Strong Winds Brings Elevated Wildfire Risk To LA Region
The real estate company is funding a number of options for residents by helping with the relocation of their coaches to other mobile home parks, including providing moving expenses and setup costs, in addition to any difference in rent for the first 12 months. The company is also offering to buy residents coaches and provide relocation assistance for any of them who are having challenges finding a new place to live they can afford. Finally, Avalon is giving residents the option to return to new housing at the site or in the Carson area with subsidized rents for up to 20 years.
“This is not an easy or simple ‘one size fits all’ process,” Imperial Avalon LLC said over email. “We are making sure that every resident has the one-on-one attention, care, and understanding that they deserve.”
Despite Avalon’s efforts, there are still those that disagree with the sale of the park, especially at this particular time.
“On the one hand, people and businesses should be allowed to conduct their business,” Jeff Steinman, president of the Imperial Avalon Estates Home Owners Association, said. “But when you come up on a situation where you are really displacing people at a time under a pandemic, that do not have the resources to even partially replace what they have or have had for a good number of years…so you’re essentially taking their lives from them.”
An Imperial Avalon spokesperson told CBSLA that the park will be closing no earlier than January 2022. The site is ultimately planned for a mixed-use residential project with for-sale and rental units, to which the current residents can return.
In addition to Imperial Avalon Mobile Home Estates, Park Avalon Mobile Estates and Park Granda Trailer Lodge Mobile are also closing.
On Friday, the Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes released a statement that said, in part:
“The City of Carson, faced with three mobile home park closure applications all filed prior to 2021 by mobile home park owners in recent years, has done its best to balance the property rights of the mobile home park owners against the property rights of the coach owners and the needs of its mobile home park residents, while following the state mandated requirements of the applicable mobile home park closure application law. State law provides that mobile home park owners can close their mobile home parks provided they meet certain requirements related to identifying and mitigating the adverse impacts of the mobile home park closure on the displaced residents’ ability to find adequate housing in another mobile home park.”
She also said the city council would continue “fighting for its mobile home park residents while adhering to its obligations under applicable law.”MORE NEWS: Man Struck, Killed By Hit-Run Driver In Santa Monica
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story said Dominguez Hills Estates was one of the mobile home parks slated to close, but representatives for the company Friday released a statement denying the claim saying, in part: “This is absolutely incorrect and we want to reassure our community that Dominguez Hills Estates is not closing. We understand the concern, distress and frustration our tight-knit community felt upon hearing the incorrect news.”