Pleasant View mobile home residents face eviction, uncertain future
PLEASANT VIEW — The eviction order looming over the heads of the residents at Wasatch View Estates, a Pleasant View mobile home park, has some of the tenants worried, unsure where they’ll go or what they’ll do.
“They want us out of here. It’s just flat out you’re out of here,” said Shirley Phipps, a retired Internal Revenue Service worker who has lived at the mobile home park with her husband for more than 25 years.
But it also has them firing back, questioning whether the order to vacate, issued Dec. 8 last year and to take effect on or after Sept. 30, is legitimate. Alice Daeseleer, another impacted resident, has reached out to Utah Legal Services for help, and a lawyer from the nonprofit group, Kendall McClelland, argues that the mobile home park owners don’t have authority to evict the residents.
Reached by the Standard-Examiner, McClelland didn’t speak specifically to the Wasatch View Estates matter, but she said operators of mobile home parks may only evict tenants if the space is to be converted to a new use — to develop apartment buildings, for instance. In the case of the Pleasant View facility, the owners are revamping the water lines, roads and other mobile home park infrastructure, Phipps said, but the space will still house mobile homes.
Accordingly, Daeseleer won’t leave the park by Sept. 30, McClelland advised the mobile home park attorney in a letter dated March 11, provided by Daeseleer to the Standard-Examiner. Rather, the letter goes on, Daeseleer “will expect the leasing agreement she signed to remain in full effect.”
McClelland said she hasn’t yet received a response on her letter from the Wasatch View Estates attorney, Tyler Jensen of Layton. Neither Jensen nor reps from the mobile home park’s owner, Silver King Companies of Scottsdale, Arizona, responded to Standard-Examiner queries seeking comment. Silver King owns numerous mobile home park communities in Arizona and Utah, including facilities in Riverdale and Uintah, according to its website.
Given such silence, Phipps, Daeseleer and others are nervously waiting, considering the options and wondering if they’ll have to pull up roots. Wasatch View Estates is located at 1700 W. 2700 North, east of the 2700 North intersection with Interstate 15.
“We’re trying to keep it up,” Phipps said of the double-wide unit where she lives. “This is our home.”
The park operators had offered to help some residents who own their units move to other Silver King parks in the area. But there were only a few available spots, and Phipps, Daeseleer and Charlotte Wilson, another longtime resident who owns her own unit, say they were left out.
Meantime, some renters just left, Phipps said, and many open spaces dot the mobile home park footprint. A few were able to move their mobile homes to open sites within Wasatch View Estates where water lines and other infrastructure have been upgraded, Phipps said, but the operators haven’t given her that option. She suspects it’s because the operators want new units in the park, not older ones like hers.
“They just want new homes in there,” she said. “Just getting rid of us that have been here for 25 years. Just out.”
Phipps said moving would be expensive. One park she contacted told her she’d have to foot the bill — perhaps $40,000 — to install a concrete pad for her home. On top of that would be the cost to separate the two halves of her home and transport them, another $15,000. Thinking about it keeps her up at nights.
“Some people are getting help — and the rest of us, we’re getting no help. That is not fair,” Phipps said.
Selling and renting a home or apartment, Wilson said, would be considerably more expensive than the rent for the space where her unit sits.
Pleasant View officials are aware of the Wasatch View Estates plans, which they laud because upgrading the facility will maintain a relatively affordable housing option as the cost of traditional homes skyrockets. “There is a need for that kind of middle housing everywhere,” said Mayor Leonard Call.
But they didn’t know about the plight of mobile home owners like Phipps, Daeseleer and Wilson. “That’s kind of said,” the mayor said.