SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTVU) - On Saturday morning, renters from Journey’s End mobile home park that was condemned after the North Bay wildfires tore through the property, were told that the property intends to sell it.
The news comes when FEMA issued notifications to several fire victims that their Temporary Shelter Assistance (TSA) will end on February 15.
“We’re seniors. We can’t start all over again,” said Dorothy Hughes, whose mobile home is still standing inside Journey’s End, but she’s been living in a motel since the October wildfires. “They [FEMA] were walking away from us.”
Legal Aid of Sonoma County held a clinic to inform fire victims that they can appeal FEMA’s decision to end their housing assistance.
“Automatically, they’ll be deemed ineligible if they have insurance coverage,” said disaster assistance attorney Kendall Jarvis. “It isn’t until they come back and appeal the decision and let FEMA know that yes, I have insurance, but I’m actually under insured, maximum insurance payout doesn't cover my living expenses or doesn’t cover the rebuilding of my home [that assistance is reinstated].”
Calls into the Journey’s End property management firm, Evans Management Services, went unanswered. The firm does not keep weekend hours. Park renters said they were all called in for a meeting Saturday morning with the owner of Journey’s End, Evans Management Services, and the new buyer, they named as Burbank.
Renters were told Journey’s End would remain a low income, affordable housing option, but that did little to quell their worry.
“My mom and I paid no more than $800 a month and that’s including all utilities,” said Journey’s End renter Michelle Trammell.
“We could afford that and live comfortably. But anything beyond that, we can’t afford to pay $1,100 a month, $1,300 a month. I don’t know what Burbank considers to be low income.”
“That leaves most of us in a position where most of us are going to be homeless, because nothing is affordable to us,” said Hughes. “What they’re saying is affordable is more than what some of us are getting each month.”
Several Journey’s End renters went to Legal Aid of Sonoma County’s free clinic on Saturday to file appeals to FEMA in order to continue their housing assistance past February 15.