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Debt notices push some Riverdale mobile home park residents out ahead of rezoning deadline

One section of Lesley’s Mobile Home Park. There are 55 lots with trailers, recreational vehicles and mobile homes.
Kristine Weller
One section of Lesley’s Mobile Home Park. There are 55 lots with trailers, recreational vehicles and mobile homes.

Joshua Haan found the paper taped to his door when he got home. It was a five-day notice to pay past-due rent on his lot or vacate.

Haan was shocked. Earlier in September, residents at Lesley’s Mobile Home Park in Riverdale had received notice that the property would be rezoned. Everyone needed to leave by May 31, 2023. It was now Sept. 15, and he wasn’t expecting to have to leave so soon.

“I tried to actually pay them, work it out with them,” Haan said of the mobile home park.

Lesley’s managers seemed to be working with him at first. But, before he even got the notice, he said he had been removed from the website where he normally pays rent. Repeated calls and a text message went unanswered. He had no way to pay.

When Lesley’s managers finally answered, it was too late. The managers said it was going straight to the lawyers.

Haan wishes they would’ve been more heartfelt. “The way they’re going about it, I don’t think is right.”

Haan did end up going to court. He is now paying $81 a day, until eviction, to continue living at Lesley’s. He’s not sure what day he’ll have to leave, but the maximum amount of time is 45 days. He’ll also need to pay the past-due rent but still doesn’t have access to the website to do that.

Haan wasn’t the only Lesley resident to receive the five-day notice. Jason Williams, a long-time resident at the park, said around 20 others received the same paper. Some have already moved.

Lesley’s managers declined to comment at this time.

Michael Eggett, Riverdale’s community development director, said Lesley’s Mobile Home Park is private property. That means the city can’t get too involved with what’s going on at the park. If something is wrong, the property owners are notified and it is their job to do something.

As for redeveloping the mobile home park, no official plans have been submitted to the city. The area could be developed with patio homes, townhomes, apartments or any mixture of those options. However, Eggett said Riverdale wants to include moderate-income housing as part of the plan.

Kristine Weller is a newsroom intern at KUER. She’s only been a journalist for a year but is excited to see what the future holds.
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