Saturday, April 02, 2016

Failure Of Aging Septic Tank Triggers Mass Eviction In Boise-Area Trailer Park; Low-Income Residents Fear Loss Of Their Mobile Homes As Lack Of Funds May Prevent Them From Moving Structures From Rented Lots

In Nampa, Idaho, KBOI-TV Channel 2 reports:
  • Limited water at a Nampa trailer park has been increased from one hour of usage, to five hours of usage []. This comes nearly a month after the restrictions were first put in place.

    Emotions were running high Saturday afternoon when Dean Leavitt, the owner, met with his tenants to explain the situation: a failing septic system is forcing Leavitt to evict the residents; they face as little as 30 days to pack their things.

    "I do, I get a little emotional," a choked up Leavitt told KBOI 2News. "They're great people. I've known them really well and this is awful to be losing their home."

    He said the residents now have until April 17 to move out. If he didn't increase the water usage from one hour to five hours, residents would have been forced to move out in seven days. But if they use too much water in those five hours per day, the septic system could completely fail, very quickly.

    "If the field floods then we get a 7-day notice and we're done," he said.

    Many of the tenants live paycheck to paycheck. One reason why he said he charges them so little. "I've kept it that way because these people need it," he said.

    But residents say it will cost thousands of dollars to move their trailers, which is money they don't have.(1)

    "It's not easy because we have known him for 20 years," said Alma Diaz to a translator. "He's been a great property manager, he's always fixed our issues. But we wish he would have told us sooner what's going on so we had more time to plan out what to do."

    Now, Leavitt says he's forced to close up shop. The future is left uncertain for all those involved, although the community has stepped in.

    "I don't know what will happen if they can't do anything with it (the trailer) and they leave it here. I don't know if I'll be stuck with it... I don't know," he said.
Source: Conflicted heartbreak comes as landlord lifts water restrictions, forced to evict tenants.
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(1) For a description of what some of the residents are up against regarding moving their mobile homes, see Nampa trailer park residents get more time, options before eviction:
  • For about half of the Rushmore residents, that answer may be trailer parks run by Boise-based QBS Property Management. Manager Michelle Gomez said that the parks’ owner, who asked to remain anonymous, called her [...] and told her to do whatever she could to help the displaced residents.

    Eleven of the 17 affected mobile homes are owned by the tenants, and QBS is working with eight of those owners to relocate their trailers to one of the seven QBS-run parks in the Treasure Valley, Gomez said.

    “We're basically just fronting the money ... and they'll pay us back a certain amount a month, added to their space rent,” she said, adding that repayment would take five years.

    At least four and up to six of the eight trailers were manufactured before 1976, which means they’ll need rehabilitation to meet requirements for the QBS-run mobile home parks, she said. An electrian and a plumber will assess the needs and cost for each trailer, and then the owner will decide if it’s worth it, she said.

    Rehabilitation work will likely cost several thousand dollars per trailer, and just the move — tearing down, relocating and setting up — could cost an estimated $3,000 to $5,000 per trailer, she said, adding that all of the work would be done at cost. QBS also will assess a one-time $500 fee for lawyer and other costs in establishing the contracts, she said.

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