Want to catch up on the Journal’s coverage of the Glen Oaks Mobile Home Park issue? The following is a list of stories that can be found at auburnjournal.com
“Unsafe conditions fill mobile home park, residents say” – April 22
“Still standing for cleaner park – Unappealing water, mold still issues at Glen Oaks” – May 8
“Conditions still need to be remedied at Glen Oaks Mobile Home Park, state says” – May 30
“New owner wants to transform Glen Oaks” – July 3
“Glen Oaks, troubled Auburn mobile home park, turns new leaf” – Nov. 23
It may have been a gloomy weekend in the region, but things have become less cloudy and dreary for residents at an Auburn mobile home park.
In April, whistleblower Dave Freeman called the Journal because he was frustrated and concerned over the brown water coming out of the sink of his trailer, the mold-filled homes for some, the mounds of trash, open sewer line and rats running around the grounds of Glen Oaks Mobile Home Park, located off Musso Road in Auburn.
About seven months later, he and other longtime residents of the park say now that new owners have taken over, the park is cleaned up. State housing officials say almost all of the 19 code violations have been corrected or are in the process of being done, and law enforcement calls to the park have been cut by more than half.
This is great improvement and it’s encouraging to see residents in Auburn receiving the help they need to have acceptable living conditions. The State Department of Housing and Community Development should follow up to make sure all code violations are remedied and hopefully the new owners will maintain low rates for residents so they can continue to live in their homes.
Back in April, Freeman also was upset over what appeared to be an inconsistent billing system for renters. Now that’s been remedied and the once upset resident is the manager of the park. The former manager still lives in the park and said she worked with what she had at the time. She offered support for the new owners and said they’ve cleaned up the park “beautifully.”
Freeman and new owners Paul Howard and Chris Boley have also extended a compassionate hand and helped those who would be without a home find a place to live in the park.
“We’ve taken some decent people that have been on the street in Auburn, worked with their financial situation a little bit and given them a place to stay and a roof over their head,” Boley told the Journal last week. “Especially going into a cold winter.”
So far, Howard and Boley have put $200,000 into renovations, which included putting in working washers and dryers in the laundry facility, refurbishing dilapidated cabins and filling 20 40-yard Dumpsters with garbage.
They’ve done this without raising rents and hopefully they won’t have to going forward. If they must, it’s imperative they keep the cost reasonable for those living in the small cabins, fifth-wheel trailers and all others on the premises.
The state housing department gave Howard and Boley a Dec. 9 deadline to make the park fully complaint. It looks like they are their way to meeting that deadline. Hopefully they will meet that target date or soon after. That way those living in the area can continue to do so and do so in a healthy and clean environment everyone should be afforded.