Two weeks after an eviction was posted at Seminole Estates Mobile Home Park in Hollywood, Florida, residents are still reeling from the news. Some residents who leave and/or abandon their homes before December 31, 2012 qualify for $3,000 compensation. After January 1, 2013, United Management Corporation will start raising rents on those who stay.
The tribe claims that it is facing a housing shortage and needs land for its people. People at the park believe that the Tribe has been calculating expansion of its casino and business properties.
Journalists rushed to cover the story when it broke, but have not been back to follow up. Florida politicians, out and about canvasing for votes, either ignore them or say that they can't help. These homeowners are not asking to stay, they are simply asking to be informed, acknowledged and to be treated decently.
I continue to report on the recent eviction. This Saturday I was joined by good friend, photographer Ginny Dixon.
|Joan Huck: "There are people in worse circumstances. Some of the older people that have no family and nowhere to go are talking about committing suicide." (Photo: Ginny Dixon)|
|Joan Huck: "Where am I going to go and where am I going to get the money to get there?" (Photo: Ginny Dixon)|
Joan Huck, 69, and her husband Daniel, 72, moved from Massachusetts to Hollywood Estates in 1999. They were planning theirr retirement and liked the mobile home park very much. It was gated, and quiet, and the lease went to 2024. After Wilma, they spent at least $10,000 on repairs and renovations. When she got news of the mobile home park eviction, she was in the middle of putting a new ceiling in the bedroom "It absolutely came out of left field," says Joan who is still in shock and wonders where she will go and how she is going to afford getting there. The only thing Joan knows for sure is that she won't be completing the ceiling.
|By the mail room, Carole Vino and Teresa Daeder: "There were rumors. We heard it all, but we didn't believe it."|
|Doren Hollingsworth: "We were told in March that everything was OK. There was no buzz or gossip and this is a place where gossip is fruitful!"|
|Kathy Maynard: "There is no doubt it was calculated. They did it so they wouldn't have to take calls. The next morning they fenced and locked the amenities. That just added insult to injury!"|
"In anticipation of the change in use of Tribal lands, formerly known as Seminole Estates, on the Hollywood Seminole Indian Reservation, the Seminole Tribe of Florida will not be renewing any Rental Permits at the mobile home park. Your current Rental Permit will terminate as of December 31, 2012. Subsequent to this date you will be required to vacate the premises and secure other living accommodations."
|Lucy Sanchez (left) moved into the park 1 1/2 years ago. Her sister Betsy (center) also bought a house six months later. Gisela Bernal (right) is a paralegal who wants to help.|
|Kathy Maynard: "I can't walk away from my house." (Photo: Ginny Dixon)|
Thank you residents for letting me into your