COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – The residents in the Sea Breeze Mobile Home Park are outraged by their living conditions which includes dirty water, unstable trees and rising rent. They are asking for a change and many are threatening to not pay rent until there is one.
David Shoemaker has been a resident for over a year and he tells WRBL that he is looking at a $250 rent increase by the end of the year. He is not the only one and like Shoemaker, many of the residents at Sea Breeze are on fixed incomes and cannot afford the upcoming rent increase.
“Most of these people in here are going to lose their homes because they can’t afford to move their trailer because it is like $4,000 just to move it and where are they going to move it to?,” said Shoemaker.
Along with the upcoming increase, Shoemaker said his home is now unleveled because of a water main break and there are several old, unstable trees that pose a danger to the homes on the property.
He said the property also has the water turned off at least once or twice a week or it is often “milky” with a white or brown color and with a lot of debris in it.
“Sometimes they turn off the water and they won’t even let us know when they’re turning off the water,” said Shoemaker.
Many residents feel that the rent increase and constant issues is a way to void the “rent to own” agreement many have with the property management. Many have a seven-year deal that includes renting a trailer that would ultimately become theirs once the rental period is over.
Jarely Rivera is another resident on the property who has been struggling with the same issues as Shoemaker and is “renting to own”. She said she fears for her daughter’s safety on the property but has limited options due to the lack of assistance from management.
“I’m always afraid to even give my daughter a bath cause I’m afraid she’ll get sick and that I can even lose her,” said Rivera.
She said there is a hole where the sewage water runs through right next to her home and not much has been done to fix it.
“My daughter cannot play so you’re telling me that I have to pay extra for the lawn when I cannot even properly use it,” said Rivera.
She said her and her family cannot enjoy their home because of the issues that are constantly arising.
Residents have filed a lawsuit with Columbus PD regarding the rental agreements. Columbus Inspections and Code have also given management a certain period of time to fix the sewage issue on the property.
WRBL reached out to the police department, inspections and code and the property management but have not heard back yet. Stick with us as this story continues to develop.