Residents of the Melrose Mobile Home Park will have to move.
According to TWC News, city leaders in Wilmington, North Carolina are moving forward with a plan to rezone parts of Wrightsville Avenue.
Officials said the zoning became necessary due to continuous population growth. The city plans to designate the site mixed-use, with both business and residential units.
City officials told TWC News they are working to increase access to affordable housing in Wilmington, but many residents are concerned.
“It is all about money. At Wrightsville Beach they want this property so they can zone it so they can build more rich condos here,” said park resident Rhonda Poythress.
“But it is just putting so many people out. Not to mention the elderly people who can’t get out to look for a place or pack their stuff up and move it. Some of them don’t even have family here; that’s what’s really breaking my heart.”
North Carolina state law only requires residents to be given 180 days notice to vacate a community. While some states require relocation assistance for displaced residents, North Carolina has no such provision.
Residents have been given until the end of March to vacate the property.
The MH Industry Speaks
Jim Ayotte, executive director of the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA), speaking about a similar case told MHProNews – “A community owner shouldn’t be compelled to close a community without regard for homeowners.”
Ayotte explained some of the various stress points that are often at play, including local governments that have limited ability in their budgets to provide affordable housing. Yet, local governments often try to impose measures that force property owners to act contrary to their property rights.
“This is unfair to the private sector and quite frankly, should be unconstitutional,” Ayotte said.
“As MH association directors, we support a property owner’s rights to buy, sell and make a profit at any time,” Jay Hamilton, of the George Manufactured Housing Association told MHProNews.
“What we do hope for is that the MH Community owner does it ethically, which is usually the case.”
“The community owner should help minimize the impact by working with local government and social service agencies to identify alternative housing options,” Ayotte said, adding that he has seen a number of examples of community closures where owners, residents and local officials worked successfully together. Ayotte’s full comments about the matter are linked here. ##
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Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.