ABC News 12 affiliate KSAT in San Antonio, Texas reports that Jasper Mobile Home Park has become “riddled with crime” in the past year, per local officials.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) reported a spike in crime in a mobile and manufactured home community that recently witnessed the arrest of its former owner.
BCSO said they have made 28 arrests as of Thursday afternoon on 5.21.2020. Concerns continue to mount for people that live there, who have been dealing with a rash of fires that may be related to arson, along with squatters, drugs and other crimes.
“What’s going to happen to the people that are actually trying to make a living and are doing right? It’s not fair to us,” resident Lebail Wright said to KSAT.
Sheriff’s deputies have been looking for code violations as among the possible causes for the blazes that have gutted several homes and threatened others there. Deputies were also serving felony arrest warrants related to a crime spree.
“The rent was cheap and everything. Didn’t know it came with a cost,” Wright said.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar credited their mobile command center, which has served as a place for residents to report crimes.
Beyond insights into periodic cases of apparent arson, “They’ve given information on some of these violent incidents but they’ve also given information on ongoing drug trafficking,” said Sheriff Salazar.
But Wright believes there hasn’t been much improvement in Jasper Mobile Home Park.
“A lot of bad people — they know the streets and a lot them just wait for them [law enforcement] to leave,” he said.
Holly Winters said she lives paycheck to paycheck and moving is not an option for her family. “Nobody that lives in here, wants to be in here. They’re in here because of circumstance,” said Winters.
Winters fears for her family’s safety after gunshots were fired close to her home. “You hear gunshots, you hear firecrackers, you hear something. Everybody get to the ground, get away from the windows,” she said.
This is not unrelated to a previous report earlier this year on MHProNews where university researchers had reported that the numbers of San Antonio mobile and manufactured home communities were being closed at an alarming rate. In several instances, a pattern like the one being described in Jasper Mobile Home Park was fitting the kinds of reasons cited by researchers in prior community closures.
Winters Says – Good People are War Zone “Prisoners” of “Trailer Park”
Winters believes families who live at Jasper Mobile Home Park are often good people that are caught in what KSAT described as a war zone.
“There are good people in here and we’re just prisoners of the trailer park,” Winters said.
A May 19, 2020 report by KSAT said that arrests had been made in conjunction with the apparent cases of arson in the community.
“As a result of those arsons, there was some interference with witnesses on the part of some of the employees at this facility,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said.
The next day, a report was filed that the former owner of the Jasper Mobile Home Park was arrested for illegally diverting water from the property. John Ripley, 69, was arrested Tuesday on the Class A misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief – impairment of public service, according to Bexar County booking records. Ripley’s brother reportedly operates the community now.
The person managing the property said that only about 20 percent of the homes there were occupied by legal tenants. BC Fire Marshall’s office said that some 55 vacant units were there, which included several that were fire hazards.
Ripley said prior to his arrest that the problems at the property seem to be ongoing. KSAT said that additional arrests occurred in “connection to arsons and interfering with fire investigations at the property, which has long been a county eyesore and the site of numerous code violations.”
That descriptive of “eye sore” is a bit of editorializing in their report that merits some analysis.
MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
That “eye sore” communities that have a level of criminal activities exist in beyond question. But as the MHProNews analysis of the University of Texas “Endangered” Communities report reflected, there are several causes. Some of them are subtle. While there are issues that arise organically, as in any neighborhood or multifamily housing complex, there are others that are allowed to occur for motivations that may include a desire to repurpose or sell the property. That’s part of what the UT “Endangered” report linked here revealed.
That noted, as MHLivingNews has previously reported, other university level research concluded that crime is no more prevalent in the typical manufactured home community than in any others. The issue with fires at this property seem to include in some cases what at a glance appear to be an older pre-HUD Code ‘mobile home,’ as opposed to a more fire-resistant HUD Code manufactured home. That said, when arson is involved, even far more expensive structures can be set ablaze by those criminally determined to do so.
Those points noted, reports like this make an impression on the home-seeking public. When residents say that no one wants to live here and that they are “prisoners” of the “trailer park,” that undoes some of the good that typical marketing or messaging efforts may otherwise produce.
The need to continue to go back to such incidents and address the facts is necessary. While trade media can – and in our case, demonstrably does – seek to make bright line distinctions between poorly and properly operated communities, that is also ideally the function of a post-production trade group.
See MHARR’s previously published research on that topic at the link below.
There is a clear need to create a ‘bright line distinction’ between the mobile homes of the past, and the far safer and more energy saving manufactured homes built in recent decades. The same type of distinction between white hat operators and businesses and those who are black hat businesses. Despite the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) claim of ‘promoting’ manufactured housing, during the years the Arlington, VA based trade group ‘promoted’ manufactured housing, interest and sales in manufactured housing declined. That’s according to both HUD data and research provided by third-party Zillow.
The increasingly self-evident failures of MHI to perform their own claimed functions during an affordable housing should not be ignored or swept under the rug. Failure to change the underlying problems will only serve to foster more of the same.
Those points noted, a follow up on other topics being tracked that impact manufactured housing and our nation are below.
Shifting Gears, Wuhan Virus –
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Changes Their
COVID19 Story, Again
Reports in mainstream media on 5.27.2020 indicate that the CCP – the Chinese Communist Party – is changing their story on the origins of the Wuhan Virus yet again.
The CCP originally said that the coronavirus originated in a wet market in the big city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. But there were voices in China, India, the U.S., and other nations that said that the actual source of the deadly outbreak was in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) several miles from that wet market. Perhaps by accident, that coronavirus was being studied at the BL4 level lab that had been getting funding from the U.S. and foreign governments for years, along with financial support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Who said? The WIV website.
MHProNews was weeks, sometimes months ahead of several mainstream media outlets on details that are now only now being confirmed by other sources that have much bigger staffs and far greater resources. How is that possible?
Because our agenda is reporting based upon the classical principles of journalism. Good journalists don’t just blandly accept the party line, especially when official statements don’t appear logical or are contradicted by known facts.
That troubled land-lease community in San Antonio is just one of tens of thousands that are struggling with issues that are made far worse because of this pandemic. Tens of millions that had jobs just two months ago are now in the midst of the greatest numbers of joblessness since the Great Depression, or perhaps ever in America’s history.
That fact begs serious questions. MHProNews has followed the evidence and reported accordingly.
See the related reports for more, but before closing, a few teasers or programming notices.
Programming Notes – What’s Coming
There are several new stories being developed with sources inside HUD, MHI, and the FHFA. This comes on the heels of the insider tips that were reported below.
Additionally, new developments are shedding fresh light on previous reports on Clayton Homes and other Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member companies.
There are no sources that give awards for evidence-based reports in manufactured housing today. When MHI gives an award, it is often one insider group giving recognition to another insider firm. When a white hat brand gets an award from MHI, it is arguably a marketing device to give cover to companies that often practice black hat behaviors. What good would an award from such an organization mean?
So, what we really rely upon is the thirst to uncover and expose the truth behind what has caused so much to go wrong in our industry in the past 15 plus years. While others blow smoke or pat their own backs, here, we let the industry’s runaway largest and most engaged audience be our encouragement, along with the sometimes ‘politically incorrect’ truth.
Because evidence, reason and the truth all matter. Facts and the money trail matter. When you follow the evidence, you often end up with the truth. That makes us controversial to some, but respected by others whose views count because they represent the highest ideals and aspirations of the American Dream.
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That’s a wrap on this installment of manufactured housing industry “News, Tips and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
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