- Posted January 18, 2009 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Wildfires blazing near you
ADDING INSULT TO INJURY - DEVASATION AFTER THE FIRES
Most of you are familiar with the photograph I posted depicting how close Hollydale Mobile Home Park came to being destroyed by the Brea wildfires. You may also remember how thankful we all were that, through the heroic efforts of our fire fighters; most of our homes were saved. At the park's annual holiday party I was able to speak with many of the residents about our experiences during the evacuation. I was surprised to find, that like myself, many were still experiencing symptoms akin to posttraumatic stress syndrome. In an effort to celebrate our good fortune and raise my spirits I had the whole family over for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Little did I know that even before the Christmas decorations were taken down that we would once again be faced with the fear of losing our homes. But this time the cause won't be attributed to an act of God or arson, this time it will be attributed to greed, plain and simple. Before the New Year's champagne had lost its sparkle, we discovered a white envelope, marked only with our space number, in our mailboxes. Inside was a notice of rent adjustment (increase) from Sierra Corporate Management, Inc., advising us that our rent would be increased effective April 1, 2009. I thought maybe this was some kind of early April Fool's Day prank, but it wasn't, it was real. How can they even consider raising our space rent when most residents are already paying space rent well in excess of $1,000.00 per month and now, if their increase is anything like mine, they will be paying almost $200.00 per month more on April 1st. For an owner to increase space rent immediately after we came so dangerously close to losing our homes to the wildfires is unconscionable! It is especially egregious when the management breached their to duty to the homeowners by failing to maintain and/or remove trees, weeds and overgrowth in and around the park, and this breach, if not the direct cause, certainly exacerbated the risk of our park going up like a tinderbox. The rents in this park are already so high that it is virtually impossible to sell our homes. So if you can't sell your home and you can't afford to pay the increased rent, you certainly won't have the money to move your mobile home to another park, so the end result will be the loss your home to the mobile home park. Thank God we had the firefighters here to save our homes from the wildfires, but I'm left to wonder if there is anyone out there who can save our homes from this prime example of American greed?