Phoenix mobile home park residents getting more time to find a place to move to

Residents at a Phoenix area mobile home park say they have been given a couple extra months to pack up their belongings and look for another place to live.

We first reported on the upcoming evictions at Weldon Court in September 2022. At the time, we reported that residents would be evicted if they failed to leave the area by Apr. 1, 2023. The mobile home park is set to be redeveloped.

"It's pretty sad they're making us get out of our home," said Dennis Huddleston, who has lived at Weldon Court for 31 years.

Huddleston, along with dozens of his neighbors, don't know where they can go.

"There's a lot of people that are gonna become homeless," said Huddleston. "Everybody in here is family. I know their kids, seen their kids grow up."

On Mar. 31, we have learned that residents at Weldon Court may now have until June to find a place to live. This latest development came after a contentious debate, as well as meetings at Phoenix City Hall, where many residents criticized the move to redevelop Weldon Court and two other mobile home parks in Phoenix.

Residents say they received word of an extension via an e-mail. We reach out to the city officials to confirm, but officials say they are not the ones in charge of granting the extensions.

Huddleston said while an extension will help, he still can't afford a decent place to live anywhere in Phoenix. he also can't find an apartment complex that will allow his four dogs.

"You gotta have $20,000 down. Nobody in this trailer park has got $20,000 to put down. Everyone in this trailer lives paycheck to paycheck, just like me and my wife do," said Huddleston.

"It's like they're taking my home without giving us nothing, without giving us a place to stay," said Obed Saenz, who was born in the mobile home park, and lived there his entire life.

Residents at the two other mobile home parks affected - Periwinkle and Las Casitas - will have to move by May, according to our previous report. 

Meanwhile, members of the Phoenix City Council have voted to use $2.5 million given to the city as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act to help the displaced residents. In addition, Gov. Katie Hobbs has signed a bill that would increase the maximum payment tenants can collect from the state's Mobile Home Relocation Fund.

Residents affected, however, say giving up on their homes and their community will never be easy.

"It's sad. Like, when somebody around here has a big cookout, they always invite everybody. We're all family, and it's sad 'cause everyone is gonna go their own ways," said Huddleston.