Mobile home residents try to stave off eviction

The Cully neighborhood residents will also rally outside city hall

Residents of Oak Leaf mobile home park are worried about becoming homeless, May 12, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Residents of the Oak Leaf mobile home park in Northeast Portland are asking city commissioners for a loan to help them keep their homes.

They are asking for more than a million dollars so they can buy the property themselves and save the park from development.

“I’m fearful I’m going to be out maybe living in a cardboard box. I wouldn’t last very long out there,” says resident John Corbett.

Corbett is 79-years-old and a cancer survivor. Many of his neighbors are elderly or disabled and they fear if the owner of the park sells, they will become homeless.

“We couldn’t afford any place other than this, this is home.”

John Corbett is a resident of the Oak Leaf mobile home park, May 12, 2016 (KOIN)
John Corbett is a resident of the Oak Leaf mobile home park, May 12, 2016 (KOIN)

Resident Victor Johanson has diabetes and bone disease. He and the 30 other families are scared of a potential sale.

“We need this money that we are asking for,” he tells KOIN 6 News.

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman says he is working with a non-profit organization to secure the $1.5 million loan. He says under Oregon law, the property owner must consider the offer. He also says the city could use money from a new construction excise tax to pay back the loan.

“This will be the first time, I’m aware, that the city has stepped forward to help residents of a mobile home park to purchase it,” says Saltzman.

The residents are hopeful, but say their situation points to a larger issue.

“Homeless seems to be quite an issue here in Portland right now, it’s getting a lot of TV coverage on it, it’s quite a problem and I don’t want to be part of it,” says Corbett.

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