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T.O. mobile home tenants fight rent hike

December 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A local landlord of a mobile home park is trying to raise the rent by more than 450 percent for his most elderly residents.All of the residents at the Ranch Mobile Home Park in Thousand Oaks are over 64 years old and pay to rent the space as well as a mortgage payment on top of that. They say if the city approves their landlord's request to raise the rent, they don't know how they'll survive.

"Where are we going go? What the hell are we going to do," said George Nordblum.

Nordblum and her neighbors are overwhelmed with the uncertainty they now face. They own their mobile homes and rent the land for about $130 a month. But they say their landlord wants to raise the rent $587 a month. The average income there is less than $1,000 a month and most of the residents are elderly.

"They're in their late 80s and they'd rather die than be forced out of their homes," said Nordblum.

"It's not like we're 40 years old and we can pull ourselves up by our boot straps and find something," said Hank Heber.

Heber and his wife had lived at the Ranch Mobile Home Park for 19 years when they received a letter from the city telling them their landlord has asked the rent adjustment commission to increase the rent price.

"I really thought it was just a mistake that they made, but it's no mistake," said Heber.

Residents say the owner has not done any upgrades that would justify a more than 400 percent increase in rent.

An attorney for the park owner released a statement to local newspaper:

"The park owner has a constitutional right to receive a just and reasonable return on the park property. The park owner will work with the city and tenants to address the needs of those tenants who cannot afford the requested rent increase."

There is a public hearing planned for Monday night.


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