Mobile home community in Ellensburg worried about their future
ELLENSBURG, Wash. --Just next door to the Kittitas County fairgrounds, you'll find the Shady Brook mobile home park.
For the 30 plus families who live there, it's home. To Kittitas County commissioners, the land is future RV parking for the fairground.
"It is our intent to close the mobile home park, that's been part of the long range strategic plan for the fairground and the event center facility as far back as 1997," Commissioner Paul Jewell said.
This week, commissioners signed an agreement with the property owner to buy the land for $1.4 million.
The agreement came as a shock to neighbors, many of whom have lived here for decades.
"I'm feeling a little worried because right now we don't have a place to go, nothing, we'll see what's going to happen," neighbor Carlos Huitron said.
"They haven't told us what's going to happen with us and our kids, it's not fair," neighbor Jovita Raya said.
Commissioner Jewell says the county is researching low-income housing availability across the county.
"We need to gather a lot more data as far as what's available for housing in the local area, as well as the needs of the local residents who are there so we can work collaboratively in the community to create some strategies for relocation," Jewell said.
A handful of mobile home parks have spaces open, and some funding may be available to help move the homes.
"But not all of the trailer park units seem to be in a position that they could be moved, and that's very worrisome," Central Washington University professor Mark Auslander said.
Auslander is helping neighbors learn more about their rights.
The community is joining together, hosting meetings to fight their pending evictions.
Columbia Legal Services and the Northwest Justice project have reached out to the neighbors.
Auslander says there could be civil rights violations in this mostly Latino neighborhood.
"We're very worried that they may be facing homelessness," Auslander said.
There's no date yet on when the park could close.
Commissioners will give tenants a year to relocate once the purchase is finalized.
The neighborhood is hosting a community meeting Saturday at the mobile home park around 3:00 p.m.