AUSTIN (KXAN) — In one south Austin mobile home community, dozens of families are being forced to leave their homes. The land some of them have lived on for decades has been sold.
After 19 years living at the Congress Mobile Home and RV Park, Dewain Willmore has been evicted.
Willmore got a 60-day notice to leave. “I’ve got nowhere to go. I can’t afford moving into these places right now. Basically, this is it,” he said.
But there aren’t many options for him, some other communities are only taking in people with newer mobile homes, he told KXAN.
“You got to be a Freddy brand new before they even offer to even let you in, and most of these are not,” Willmore explained.
Austin City Council member Vanessa Fuentes is working with tenant advocacy group BASTA to try and help the people who were affected.
“The challenges is that they’re not locations, affordable housing locations for our residents within the city limits and so they’re having to look outside,” Fuentes said.
BASTA project coordinator Gabriela Garcia says mobile homes are a safe haven for affordable housing.
“Usually in mobile home parks people own the trailer, so what they’re renting is the land,” she said. “That is a lot more affordable. So, the rents range from $500 to $900.”
According to Rent Cafe, the average apartment rent in Austin is a little more than $1,800.
“We really need to think how are we protecting communities that have roots here,” Garcia said. “Are we just making it like a playground for you know, out of state investors to come?”
On Wednesday night at 7 p.m. the Congress Mobile Home Park residents will hold vigil for their uprooted community, and in remembrance of their esteemed neighbor who lost his life amidst the chaos of sudden displacement.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or 988. Crisis counselors are available 24/7.