Residents of Burlington’s Farrington Mobile Home Park remain uncertain about the future due to the death of its owner last month. Below is an article and video from WCAX discussing the dilemma and what is being done in hopes that the park can remain open:
There’s no place like home, and George Leduc has lived in Farrington’s Mobile Home Park for 21 years. He says the owner of the park died last month, and with her passing, so did his certainty of having a roof over his head. “I really have no option to go anywhere else at this point,” Leduc said. “I can’t afford a home.” He’s worried about the land being sold out from underneath him. The deceased owner’s children are now running the mobile home park and told city officials they might be looking to sell the property. “Her adult children have given some indication that at some point in the future a sale will happen,” said Brian Pine of Burlington Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. Leduc hopes whoever buys the land keeps it a mobile home park so he can keep his home. “I’m on fixed income, Social Security and retirement. Here, I’m comfortable,” Leduc said. More than 100 mobile homes at Farrington’s Mobile Home Park are where retirees, low income individuals, and entire families live. Park owner Robert Farrington told WCAX News the park is not currently for sale, but he’s exploring his options. He declined to go on camera, saying he’s still mourning the loss of his mother. Leduc owns his home and pays a monthly fee for his lot. “I mean my trailer as it sits here has value,” Leduc said. “But if the park were to be closed, the trailer would be basically valueless.” The city of Burlington is working with local housing authorities to keep Farrington’s a mobile home park in the future, possibly having one of the nonprofits buy it. “The idea is to preserve mobile home parks as a source of affordable housing and that’s a priority for the city, as well,” Pine said. Pine says by state law the land cannot be bought, sold and turned into something like a mall. “The property is zoned residential medium density,” Pine explained, “which means you cannot use the property for anything other than residential purposes.” But that still means the park’s owners could sell the land to be developed into pricier housing. And that’s what worries Leduc. He says he’s going to do what he can to keep the park open. “Decide to form a co-op or if they want to get a tenants association going, any kind of involvement. I’d like to be proactive,” Leduc said. According to the city, 15 percent of Vermonters live in mobile homes. According to state law, mobile park owners need to give residents 18 months’ notice before closing the park. Again, affordable housing advocates say they’re working to make sure these residents have a home. To view the entire article online click here.