To the Editor:
My name is Cheryl Abney and I have enjoyed living in Wagon Wheel Mobile Home Park for 10 years until May 2017 when BoaVida Communities purchased Wagon Wheel, along with Valley Oaks and EZ Living (in co). Drita Bromkey and Abe Arrigotti were hired to oversee their parks.
These two were formerly employed by Sierra Corp and Kort & Scott Financial group. While they were at Sierra Corp, 714 persons in Reseda CA, including seniors and disabled persons lost their homes because of huge rent increases that they could not afford; rent stabilization would have prevented this!
The first thing Bromkey did was fire the on-site manager at Wagon Wheel which they did not replace, a violation of CA state law, #18603; as parks with 50 or more units are required to have an on-site manager. After our manager was fired, Drita’s intimidation tactics began, which included posting threatening letters on peoples doors, threatening to “take legal action” against them for various reasons such as “overgrown landscaping,” childrens toys in the yard, empty flower pots — ridiculous — and even threatening to evict Mexican people who disagreed with her; another violation of CA state law (AB291 the immigration protection act passed october 2017 and also a $2,000 fine). On November 1st we received a $110 a month rent increase, which Arrigotti advised would happen every November 1 — merry Christmas!
I did surveys this summer, which revealed that 68% of residents of Wagon Wheel (and Valley Oaks) earn $25,000 a year or less and can’t afford a $110 a month rent increase — and without rent stabilization will lose their homes!
Mobile home park owners have special “prey.” It’s not like the supply
and demand of apartments, where if the rent goes up you just move down the street, it’s a monopoly! Mobile home owners can’t afford the $8,000 to $10,000 needed to move their homes. And even if they could where are they going to move them to? By the way Wagon Wheel only has nine mobile homes that can be moved.
Most parks dont accept old mobiles. So sell? But when the rent is outrageous it decreases the value of your home..so you can’t sell and can’t move..and end up losing your home and big city investors resell it or re-rent it, making a fat
profit off of poor people. It may be legal, but this is a moral crime!
Federal law mandates that all cities in the U.S. provide affordable housing for their community; Wagon Wheel is the only affordable housing in Willits! I’ve stepped up to help my friends and neighbors in this community of Wagon Wheel, spent hours of time doing research, talking to other advocates who educated me — not to mention the money spent on copies — going door to door to talk to people and hand out meeting notices, and now I am asking
you to step up and help us keep our homes by passing rent stabilization because if you don’t help us keep our homes we will be living in your streets.
— Cheryl Abney
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