Mobile home owners protest skyrocketing rents | New

SHREVEPORT, La. — Forest Estates manufactured home owners say their complaints about doubling the rent on their lots are going unheard and unanswered. So they staged a protest outside the rental office in the sprawling park in southwest Shreveport.

“It is not fair!” said one woman, as about 70 homeowners gathered and signed a petition. Others held signs that read, “Think low-income families” and “Think of the elderly.”

They say the park’s new owner, Homes of America, is raising the monthly rent on their lots from $265 to $525. They say it would cost them thousands of dollars to move their homes.

Russell Wilson, who organized the protest, said, “Some of the people who can’t afford it — they’re going to be kicked out of the park.”

“But where are we going? a woman added.

Wilson estimates that up to 300 people own their homes in the park, which has 800 lots. Some have lived there for decades.

Of the owner of the park, Wilson says, “Their only intention is to get the owners out of here so they can move one of them FEMA trailers to the lot and rent it out for double the amount.

Wilson pointed out a few simple mobile homes that are positioned in front of the park. The group says one has been placed on land and is rented out. They believe these trailers belonged to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or were used in the oil industry.

The group says Homes of America could offer to buy and rent the homes of those who must vacate them in Forest Estates.

Wilson says the group is seeking legal counsel.

Our request for comment to Homes of America was not returned.

Casey J. Nelson