Mobile home park residents in Norman being kicked out

Mobile home park residents in Norman being kicked out

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NORMAN -

A mobile home park in Norman is being sold and a Neighborhood Walmart and apartment complex could take its place. Those who live there say picking up and moving their whole lives will be extremely difficult, but the property owner is trying to sweeten the deal.

"We always keep an eye on each other's neighborhood," said Sooner Mobile Home Park resident Amanda Tabor. "My neighbors are great. We look our for each other."

Tabor has lived in the park for the last four years. She says it's the safest neighborhood she's been able to find for her kids.

"We're pretty close," said resident Jose Mares. "You know, everybody keeps an eye on everybody else."

Both Mares and Tabor are devastated the entire complex is being kicked out. They voiced those frustrations Sunday.

"It's unfortunate for the people who live here that they're going to have to move," said attorney Hal Ezzell. "But that is the reality of owning a mobile home and renting a lot."

Ezzell is the attorney facilitating the sale of the park. He also hosted the meeting for neighbors.

The park will become a Neighborhood Walmart and gas station along with an apartment complex. But before that happens, city council need to approve rezoning of the property. Something that would actually benefit residents if it passes.

"If it gets rezoned there's an opportunity for a $4,000-$7,000 package for relocation," said City Councilman Greg Heiple.

Ezzell says the property owner doesn't want to leave people high and dry, so they are offering residents a total of half a million dollars in relocation costs.

"Now I have to figure out what me and my two children are going to do. Where we're going to go. Where we're going to stay," said Tabor.

Tabor says money can't buy her and her family the safety and security they have now. Nor will it keep their close knit community together.

Ezzell said he was able to write down a number of concerns that people have about moving their mobile homes and trailers and he plans to take those to the property owner. Some say they are having difficulty finding another mobile home park that accepts older mobile homes. Others say they don't have any vehicle to move their RV. Neighbors are also concerned about whether or not they will get the relocation costs if they decide to take off before May 31st. Ezzell admits these are all issues the property owner did not anticipate.

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