Last year when the monthly space rent at the Almond Blossom Estates mobile home park went up, Audrey Anaya had to make changes to her cable plan in order to afford the extra $20-a-month.
And now that another $20-a-month increase is coming for all tenants on July 1, Anaya – a senior living on a fixed income – doesn’t quite know what she’s going to cut next to make ends meet.
“My shows are really one of the only forms of entertainment that I have here, and I had to cut a lot of those last year,” Anaya said. “It would make sense if we knew that the rates were going to pay for something like park maintenance or something that would benefit everybody, but the upkeep isn’t as good now as it was before the new manager took over and nobody can really tell what the increase is going for other than to the new owner.”
According to a woman who identified herself as a manager on Friday – refusing to give her name – the park itself has seen increases of $20-a-month each of the last two years. Three years ago, the space rent stayed the same from the previous year, and the year before that residents saw a $10-a-month increase.
That means that for a senior on a fixed income living in the park for at least the last four years, they are now paying $600-a-year more than they did before the rates started to increase – which are top of the cost incurred with owning the mobile homes within the park itself.
According to the manager, those sorts of increase are not out of the ordinary, nothing that “if people were to rent a home than they would expect to see their rent increase there as well.”
But per Anaya, several residents have already abandoned the park looking for more suitable long-term housing because of what she considers to be abrasive attitude coming from the management, and with declining maintenance sees the additional cost being passed on to residents in the age-restricted community as nothing more than profit for the owner who bought the park.
“I really like living here because it’s quiet and there aren’t a lot of kids and the people who live here are nice,” Anaya said. “But right now my cat is eating better than I am and we’re going to be paying even more money next year.
“It would be one thing if we knew where that money was going and we could see something that benefits all of us who live here but instead we get nothing but attitude from the management – it’s a ‘take it or leave’ sort of attitude that isn’t fair to the seniors on a fixed income that have lived here for a long time.
“People are starting to get really fed up with this. I understand that it’s getting more expensive everywhere, but your social security or retirement doesn’t go up just because the cost to live in the house across street does.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.