Mobile home park residents voice concerns over park owners

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Residents from mobile home parks around Iowa City gathered Wednesday to voice their concerns about owners ‘Havenpark Communities’.

The Utah-based company owns three mobile home parks in Iowa City and five in Johnson County. Havenpark recently announced an expansion to the West Branch mobile home park in Johnson County.

The residents sent a letter to Havenpark voicing their concerns. They also gathered more than 40 signatures to go along with that letter.

One of their many concerns is being able to stay in the communities they’ve called home for over 20 years.

”I want to remain as independent as long as I can. And right now... it’s very iffy,” said Judy Mckillip, resident.

Residents of Lake Ridge, Modern Manor, and Sunrise Village mobile home parks came together to share their concerns about Havenpark Communities.

They say with many residents living on fixed incomes, increases in rent and amenities they now have to pay for, many are worried they won’t be able to make ends meet.

”It doesn’t bother them that to double your expenses... if you’ve only got $20 you can’t spend $30. And for some of the people out here, including me, another $500 on my bills, puts me out of a home, puts me without electricity or puts me without heat or puts me without something,” said Mckillip.

Some of those amenities that were previously provided include lawn service, snow removal in the winter, and more.

Residents said rent is going up to $410 from $375 in December and has expectations to rise up to $600 in the future.

”That amount does not equate to what low-income people can pay,” said Lory VanAllen, resident.

But their biggest fear is losing their homes altogether.

”The harshest reality for me is that if you don’t pay within three days you will be considered evictable within a month,” said VanAllen.

”Every day you wonder what’s going to happen next. And at 80 years old I don’t want to be looking for a damn place to live. It’s just uncalled for,” said Mckillip.