Update: Residents Want Mobile Home Park Cleaned Up
UPDATE — The Fair Oaks mobile home park management sent this email to WCCB in response to our previous report:
“We received your voice mail earlier regarding Fair Oaks. Since purchasing the land 18 months ago, the owner has repaired approximately 8 septic fields and are diligent in responding to these needs as they become apparent. They are currently not aware of any additional needed septic repairs but will take care of any immediately upon learning of such need. The gravel road was rebuilt last fall and additional maintenance has been scheduled as a result of recent heavy rains. As for the grass areas on vacant lots, these are mowed regularly.”
GASTONIA, NC — Residents in a Gastonia mobile home park say they’ve been living in horrible conditions.
Leaking septic tanks, dangerous roadways and overgrown grass were just some of the complaints when they reached out to WCCB.
Ruben Rodriguez says he’s spent years writing letters asking for the owner of Fair Oaks Mobile Home Park, LLC to clean up. “It’s real bad, real bad,” said Rodriguez. His neighbor, Celso Gonzales’ lot was flooded with sewage, he says, for two years. “The bigger problem was the smell of it,” said Gonzales. He’s one of many who live in the park who do not speak English. “Mostly worry about the little kids because there’s a three-year-old living with him. So he was mostly concerned about the the kids’ health,” said Edwardo, his translator. The health department tells WCCB it sent the owner of Fair Oaks a citation on Oct. 14. Finally, Gonzales says the owner fixed it. Still, the road is washed out. The city of Gastonia says it does not own the road, but code enforcement sent owners of Fair Oaks a letter telling them they need to fix it. It could hinder emergency vehicles from reaching someone in an emergency situation. Inspectors say they will check back. Also, inspectors issued the owners of the mobile home park four citations for tall grass creeping near trailers. That has since been mowed. Byron Martinez’ non-profit, Unidos We Stand, has been fighting for the residents, reaching out to the city. “I think they’ve been taking advantage,” said Martinez. “and I am going to put a stop to it.” His next hurdle is to figure out why Fair Oaks will not hand over titles to the 32 residents who own their trailers. He also wants to know why they raised rent without notice. Leaving isn’t an option for residents like Rodriguez. “Everybody not rich,” said Rodriguez. “I don’t have money for good place, but it’s okay living here, but under good condition.” WCCB called the Fair Oaks office in Charlotte. No one returned our messages. The residents are considering taking legal action. We will keep you updated.
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