Mobile home residents ask city for help saving homes

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Residents of the Oak Leaf mobile home park rallied in Portland Friday, calling on city commissioners to save their homes.

The residents have been fighting eviction for months, asking for a loan to help them stay in their homes. In May they asked for more than $1 million so they could buy the property and save the park from development.

At the the time, city commissioner Dan Saltzman said he was working with a non-profit organization to help secure that loan. Saltzman had planned to use money from the construction excise tax to fund the purchase of the Oak Leaf by its residents.

“Commissioner Saltzman promised here at City Hall on June 16 that he would use the new construction excise tax to fund the purchase the Oak Leaf by the residents as a resident’s owned cooperative and he’s now backing out of that promise,” Living Cully anti-displacement Program Coordinator Cameron Herrington said.

Residents recently learned that plan was no longer in motion and instead, the housing bureau is looking for a non-profit organization to own the land and rent the space to its residents.

“That’s the part that’s really difficult, I own my own home,” resident Victor Johnson said. “I’m not a renter, I own, so I just all of a sudden don’t want to be turned into a renter.”

Those who have lived at Oak Leaf for many years fear this new plan will mean they will lose their homes.

Saltzman declined an on-camera interview, but spokesman Brendan Finn said they are still committed to saving the park,but some of the homes are likely not salvageable or inhabitable. He said they are discussing options with the president of the co-op board and a rep from CASA.

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