Flider organizes Garfield Estates meeting to address ongoing concerns about owner closing propertyBy KENNETH LOWE - H&R Staff Writer
DECATUR - The owners of about a dozen mobile homes met with their landlords Friday to get answers as they prepare to move off land that's being sold.
State Rep. Bob Flider, D-Mount Zion, has worked with residents of Garfield Estates in trying to find solutions as the looming deadline for moving out approaches.
Flider said that many times, mobile home owners aren't aware they have rights and can be confused when such things happen.
"Mobile homes have unique conditions, that maybe they can't be moved without specific costs. In this case, people feel like they've had certain commitments made that haven't been followed up on," Flider said.
John Rogosich, the property manager, met with Flider and the group of residents so all parties could speak and work through the myriad difficulties residents are having in figuring out how to move or getting everything paid once their move was finished.
"My goal today is to find out what kind of issue they have and solve that issue on the spot, give them an answer," Rogosich said.
When residents of the small mobile home community near the intersection of Brush College Road and Faries Parkway were told in January they had to move out within a few months, many were shocked. Some took advantage of assistance provided by the company that owns the land, Choice Properties, but many complained they had only days to make the decision to opt in, and only if they chose to be relocated to another Choice Properties community.
A few months later, several say promises were made that have not been kept.
In a March 18 letter to Choice Properties, Flider called the sale a "mass eviction."
"Quite frankly, some Garfield Estates residents have received promises with no follow-through by your firm," the letter reads.
Ray Walters, a 25-year resident of Garfield Estates, opted into the agreement to move to another Choice Properties mobile home community. He said there have been costs he was told would be covered that have not been.
"They told us it would cost us nothing to be moved to Park City," Walters said. "I live on Social Security and disability, and it's hurting me, having to make payments on this, because I didn't think I was going to have to."
Rogosich said his company is trying to make the transition as painless as possible for residents. Rogosich said many residents have been satisfied with the relocation arrangements the company made.