Affordable housing crisis hits hard for mobile home owners

Nearly a dozen families in rural Lake Stevens could soon be homeless because the land they live on is being sold out from under them.

More than a dozen people in Lake Stevens face homelessness, as the land they're living on is being sold out from under them.

Rod and Karen Nemeyer have lived in their Mountain View Estates mobile home park for 14 years.

The couple and eight other families own their trailers, but rent the land they're on. Now, the property owner plans to sell that land, and all nine families have until next March to find a new place to live.

"This is our home," said Karen. "When we moved here we had no intention of ever moving again."

The Nemeyers say when they moved in, the property owner told them and the others they'd have an option to buy the land. That's apparently off the table, now.

The property owner did not return calls for comment.

Like most of their neighbors, Rod and Karen are both disabled and on a very fixed income.

"We help raise our grandchildren here," said Karen. "It's all they've ever known. I can't imagine taking this away from them."

Lake Stevens is the fastest growing city in Snohomish County, meaning rents and land prices are going up. Scraping together first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a security deposit for an apartment is almost impossible for the Nemeyers, let alone buying a piece of land for their trailer.

With hook-ups for water, septic, and electric, the only property Rod has been able to find was priced at upwards of $200,000.   

"If I had that kind of money I wouldn't be in this situation," he said. "You just gotta keep a smile on your face and keep talking to the man upstairs."

Adding insult to injury, the couple says if they can't find a place to move the trailer they'll be forced to pay about $5,000 to have it destroyed.

"It's just ridiculous," said Rod.

"We might end up homeless," said Karen. "This trailer is all we have. If we lose it, I don't know what we're gonna do."

© 2017 KING-TV


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