Mobile park residents demand better living conditions

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Angry residents at three Mccord Avenue mobile parks in Oildale say they don’t know who to turn to after spending the last few months fighting for better living conditions.

First, it was problems with electricity, now a lot of them are dealing with eviction.

The mobile home grounds are riddled with trash, glass and old furniture. Mobile homes, RV’s and even tents serving as people’s homes. And on a day reaching the triple digits, a handful of residents here are without power.

“It’s hot, it’s miserable,” said Chessie Jones, resident at the mobile home park.

Jones is a single mom who lives with her 6-year-old son. She says she’s been without power for weeks. 

“It’s messed up, it’s messed up, it’s not right at all,” said Jones.

And she’s not alone, Patricia Phillips and her husband have also been living without PG&E.

“My husband is on oxygen, he has to have it and we’ve been running off a generator this whole time,” said Phillips. “We have a choice to either stay cool or for him to take his oxygen and I’d rather he have his oxygen.”

The electricity issues started in July after some residents were caught illegally tapping into power lines causing a safety issue and leading PG&E to shut down the power. But, according to management, the power came back three days later. 

Last month, on August 23, the power was shut off again due to more illegal tampering. This time it lasted close to three weeks. The power was shut off to just about everyone, not just the people suspected of stealing electricity.

“In here it’s crazy, it’s crazy as it is and without electricity, it’s really scary,” said Joanna Lynch, resident at the mobile home. “You don’t want to let your kids outside because it’s dark, it’s scary.”

Denise Ramsey, property manager, says this was the fastest they could get PG&E to restore the power. Ramsey added they talked to the housing and community development department for options to give their tenants and tossed around the idea about possibly offering generators to their residents while power was restored, but HCD said it would not be a good idea due to the theft and vandalism in the area 

“It’s ridiculous, we shouldn’t suffer because of other people’s mistakes,” said Jones.

Management says all but four out of approximately 84 units have had their power restored. They expect the rest will have theirs by the weekend.  But, that’s not the only problem facing the community, many residents are upset they are receiving evictions notices.

“I can’t afford to move,” said Phillips.

But according to management, since Saratoga Realty took over the property in April, residents of only seven homes have paid rent regularly. Residents say they have nowhere else to go.

“They’re talking about how they want to help the homeless, well you have a bunch in here who are about to be homeless,” said Lynch.

Residents are receiving help. representatives from Senator Shannon Grove’s team and Supervisor Mike Maggard say they are leading an effort to ensure these people are cared for.  

And, a local man has organized a breakfast for the people in the lot on Saturday from 9:30 to noon. If you’re interested in helping out, reach out to Nathan Curtis at 661-902-7736.

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