Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mobile Home Residents Jittery after Notices

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mobile Home Residents Jittery after Notices

Article excerpt

Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER

Tenants at Singleton Mobile Home Park are panicking after receiving two dozen late notices and eviction letters, fearing they - like other mobile home park residents on Mayport Road - will be forced out of the Beaches' most affordable place to live.

Ken Drummond, vice president of the Jacksonville firm Property Planning, which owns the mobile home park at 120 Mayport Road, said the notices are not a sign that the park plans to close but merely an attempt to collect late rent.

"There is no plan to sell," Drummond said this week.

But try to convince the tenants of that. They've grown skeptical in the last few years as several mobile home parks and apartment complexes in the Beaches area have closed, forcing 800 low-income families to seek help from Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry and other social service agencies. The list of closings includes Buccaneer Mobile Home Park on Mayport Road, another site that Property Planning owns that closed last year.

"We all want some answers," said Rose Smith, a Singleton resident who received one of the late notices Sept. 17. "We're all at our wits' end here."

BEAM Executive Director Cindy Funkhouser would also like to believe Drummond.

"I hope that that's the case," she said. "But we've seen this too many times in the past."

Drummond said Property Planning is only cracking down because rent collections have declined significantly since last October's death of the manager, Estelle Shelley. He said Shelly, who died at age 83 and was known for working 12-hour days, knocked on doors to collect rent, even portions of it, when it wasn't paid on time.

"When she died, they took advantage," Drummond said. "They were quite current when she was there."

Now, the mobile home park will no longer accept partial payments and tenants have to mail their rent checks to the company. …

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