Mauvilla Trailer Park shuts down

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 1, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Mauvilla Trailer Park, located across from West Side Elementary School, is now just a shell of its former self. Vacated lots now dominate the place that once held 55 mobile homes. After several months of struggle between residents and the owners of the park, all residents have been asked to vacate the property by today.

According to Ella Kirk, a resident of the Mauvilla Trailer park, she and her neighbors were given less than 90 days to find a new place to live. Kirk has lived there for the past eight years. She currently cares for five foster children and has been unable to secure a place for she and her family to live.

She said she tried to find an apartment in the area for her family to live, but was turned away because she &8220;had too many children.&8221; When she tried to apply for low-income housing, the agency told her that her income was too high to qualify for any of their housing, she said.

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Joyce Wallace, a single mother, has lived in Mauvilla for the last 10 years. &8220;I have never been late for any payments or bills, &8220; she said.

&8220;Now this happened.&8221;

Wallace says that she and her neighbors were never offered any help to get them out of their predicament. &8220;They have never offered us anything for everything that we have put into this place,&8221; she said.

The majority of the residents of the trailer park are like Wallace: single mothers and their children. They too are having a difficult time trying to secure housing in such a short period of time.

Many of the residents receive disability checks, and their income cannot cover the high cost of moving their trailers to another location. In addition to the thousands of dollars it would take to relocate their trailers, they must pay for water hook-ups, garbage, power and other expenses.

Many of the residents are still without places to live. They have been told that their water and utilities will be cut off by June 1.

Some residents have been able to relocate their trailers to other parts of the city. Still, many residents were not able to relocate their trailers to other land they owned due to zoning restrictions.

After contacting the city&8217;s planning commission and the board of adjustment, some residents were denied the variances they would need to relocate their trailers.

Mayor Cecil Williamson said that the commission had a heavy task before them.