NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - A local mobile home park in Niagara Falls has been sold and residents are left with a lot of questions that aren't being answered.
It's one of the downsides of owning a home in a mobile home park. You put your life into living there, but if the park owner decides to use the property for something else, you, in effect, could become homeless.
Homeowners at Sabre Park are furious. They have spent thousands of dollars on their mobile homes, kept them up, made improvements, and now, they're finding out the park owner is selling the place and interested buyers want the trailers out.
Karen Truesdale said, "It's very nerve-wracking for all the homeowners in here."
Truesdale has lived in her mobile home for 20 years.
"The bushes in my yard, we grew from when they were little and watched them grow. We have to leave all this behind? You know? We raised our kids in these homes," said Truesdale.
Many of the homeowners found notices taped to their doors, purportedly from an attorney for the Sabre Park's owner, saying the new owners will pay $25,000 for the entire park and assume their $6 million mortgage. The park is apparently in foreclosure and a management firm has been hired by a court-assigned receiver to run things.
Kathleen Graham said, "Everybody's going to be homeless."
A chilling thought for Joyce and Jim O'Donnell, who have lived in their double wide for more than 25 years.
Joyce said, "We just don't know where we're going to go at our age, you know? We'd hate to give up this; we put our money in this. Where do we go?"
"We can't sell it. Nobody's going to buy it because they're going to have to take it out of here. It'd cost us a small fortune to move one of these double-wides," said Jim.
The O'Donnells are not alone. Many of the residents wanted these to be their retirement homes.
Anne Turner said, "My mom's been living here ever since 2003. She bought her trailer and she's been fixing it up and everything. What is she supposed to do, abandon her home? My mom retired here."
State officials say the law requires six months advance notice, when the owner of a mobile home park changes its use. Mobile home owners can call the State Department of Housing and Community Renewal's "Manufactured Homes Hotline" for help at 1-800-432-4210. The park is adjacent to a Walmart SuperCenter, and the Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls. Right now, with Canadians pouring across the border, that has got to be one of the most lucrative retail strips in upstate New York.
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