‘Really hard’: Centerville families forced to leave their mobile home park during the pandemic

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CENTERVILLE (ABC4 News) – Imagine getting kicked out of the home you own during this pandemic and economic crisis. That’s the situation for 48 families at a Davis County mobile home park who are having the land sold out from underneath them.

2020 has taken its toll on the Centerville Mobile Estates. Soon after March’s earthquake and Covid-19 pandemic, residents were notified that the park was being sold to a real estate development company and they would all have to leave.

“It just happened in the worst possible time. We had the earthquake, then we got the notice,” resident Lindsay Duncan told ABC4 News Wednesday. “Most people are still furloughed from their jobs or you know don’t have the luxury of working from home so they don’t have an income right now.”

Making things worse, most of the trailers here are too old to be safely moved because of asbestos concerns, so residents will have to abandon them. Lot 33 resident Brad Bangerter is recovering from hip surgery and his elderly mother has health problems of her own.

“I’m pretty uptight and depressed because I don’t know what’s happening or where we’re going to go,” Bangerter said.

He says Utah’s housing boom is making prices unaffordable for him and many apartment complexes aren’t taking new renters because of the pandemic. Two doors down, Caroline Echols has spent the last quarter of a century on Lot 37. Now she’s packing up and moving.

“I’m 88 years old and I didn’t think I was leaving until I went in a pine box,” Echols said. “God doesn’t want to take me yet so I’m still here.”

Thursday was the original deadline for residents to move if they wanted compensation from the new owner, luxury real estate developer C.W. Urban. Duncan says there was a time it appeared residents had negotiated a deal with the company to save the park, but that fell through. Now they have until February 4th to get out for good.

“I told everybody that we weren’t leaving and then to turn around and tell them that we do have to leave it was really, really hard,” Duncan said through tears. “It was really hard.”

The sale is scheduled to be finalized on October 13th. C.W. Urban has promised a payment to some of those displaced homeowners but they haven’t said how much.

ABC4 News reached out to C.W. Urban by phone and e-mail but as of Wednesday evening, they had not responded.

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