Some of the most financially fragile people in Thousand Oaks may get trampled on tonight at a public hearing. Or, maybe they will be protected. It's up the the Rent Adjustment Committee made up by other local residents. The community showing up in support of the mobile home owners is the right thing to do.
Residents at the Ranch Mobile Home Park, just off of Los Feliz Drive, are terrified a proposed 500 percent rent increase may be approved tonight. The requested increase would put some homeowners rents at $717 per month. The average income of the residents is less than $1,000 per month. That rent increase is for the land the coach is parked on. The coaches are either owned by the residents or they pay an additional mortgage on them.
Everyone interested in preserving the lives and dignity of about 100 residents who live there are invited to come to the 6 p.m. hearing tonight at the City Council Chambers at the Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd. The seniors who live at that park have lived and worked in Thousand Oaks for decades, retired in the community they love and trusted the city's rent control promise. Council members have also made election promises over the years to protect the city's seniors who live in mobile homes.
Ranch Mobile Home Park has been low income housing for seniors for over 30 years. On Nov. 18, 1974, the city planning commission approved the park's construction on the basis of it being a low income park for seniors.
City leaders stepped aside and let the Conejo Mobile Home Park, another place where low income residents once found homes, close saying to defend the residents in court could prove too costly. Currently, elderly veterans, disabled and needy families are being displaced from that park.
Also targeted for rent increases are senior residents on fixed incomes at Thunderbird Oaks Mobile Home Park, across Conejo School Road from City Hall.
Holiday shopping, homework, addressing Christmas cards or even making the family dinner tonight needs to be put on hold. It's time to turn off the news about people in trouble in faraway places and come out and help those who are your neighbors who are in big trouble. Without your help, they might not survive.