People without a home after city shuts off electricity at mobile home park
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Some people are looking for a place to stay with air conditioning after the City of Lawton cut off their electricity and denied a license for Southwest Mobile Home Park on Sheridan Road.
The City of Lawton sent a letter last Thursday to Tony Ferrante and other people who live in the park... but nowhere did it give warning that they’d soon be without a home. It was simply a notice outlining code and permit violations.
Wednesday night, they shut off the power due to quote “life threatening issues” discovered upon inspection.
“They should’ve given us more than an 8 hour notice,” Ferrante said. “Where are you going to find a place to take your dogs, your food? It’s already probably close to 100 degrees in these trailers. Just think what it’s going to be like when the air, electric’s shut off.”
Ferrante’s lived there since last December. He said he doesn’t have any issues with wiring, but there is mold, asbestos and a leaky roof on the home he rents.
With pets and children to take care of, and food and medicine like insulin that will ruin without refrigeration, many are at a loss in the Oklahoma summer heat.
Dennis Mitchell said he doesn’t have many options.
“It’s a mess. It’s made a lot of people dissatisfied and it’s going to hurt a lot of people because here it is the biggest part of this park is on a set income and the ones that do work are probably not working as well as they need to be because of this pandemic and stuff,” Mitchell said.
The city said it gave the owner a year to comply with code before taking action today.
Mitchell said the property owner lives in California and the manager in Oklahoma City.
“I have no other place really to go, but it’s just that the repairs have been slow in coming out here,” Mitchell said. “I own my house, but my house is not really worthy to be moved.”
In a statement, in part, the City of Lawton said “Notices concerning City Code violations ranging from exposed wiring to structural and egress issues have been sent to both property owner and individual residents at the park.”
The city also said they directed residents to community partners like Salvation Army to help, but some say that’s not enough for the elderly and disabled there, like Ferrante who lives with emphysema.
“You could give people at least two weeks to find a place,” Ferrante said. “Everybody I’ve called, ‘Nope, we don’t allow pets,’ or ‘We want a $300 pet deposit,’ and you can’t find no place.”
Read the City of Lawton’s full statement below:
“To protect life and safety, City of Lawton Inspection Services, Neighborhood Services and Fire Marshal’s Office contacted partner agencies to remove electrical access to several units within the Southwest Mobile Home Park on Southwest Sheridan Road today 7/28/21. July 28, 2021.
Notices concerning City Code violations ranging from exposed wiring to structural and egress issues have been sent to both property owner and individual residents at the park; staff made in-person contact with the park manager and residents today to further survey and inspect properties, as well share information in regard to remediation action and in regard to routes of assistance.
The Mobile Home Park license has expired and renewal has been denied until such time that all units within the park are brought into compliance. Additional information on compliance standards and general regulations related to mobile home parks can be found in Chapter 14 of Lawton City Code.”
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