Mobile Home Park Crackdown

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A new ordinance in Graceville promises better quality homes for people who live in mobile home parks, but not everyone is happy with the new law. Park owners say the law may end up costing the people it's supposed to help.

Cliff Walker is getting rid of an old mobile home. In its place he plans to put it five or six newer ones that he'll eventually rent out, but a new law passed by the city of Graceville last Thursday may interfere with those plans, particularly the clause that says all mobile home park additions cannot be older than five years.

Cliff Walker, mobile home park owner, says, "People who are renting mobile homes to people cannot afford to go and pay $20,000 for a mobile home to rent."

City officials say the new law is necessary to bring the parks up to the standards expected from individual mobile home owners. It's also supposed to give the city more authority over negligent park owners.

"The past ordinances have been so lax for so long that in some of these parks, they're a deterrent to the surrounding area. They just need an upgrade."

Walker agrees some of the city's other parks could use a facelift, but he says the stronger law may actually backfire against people who need affordable rent.

"They're some that are undesirable for looks. I think they need to be brought up to standards, but don't make it so we can't live with it and fix these places for the people to live."

City officials disagree and say the law is the least they could do for the city's overall appearance and to improve conditions for renters.

Graceville currently has five mobile home parks within its city limits.