LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Residents must not lose homes to rezoning

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | 1:07 p.m. CDT

I am writing in response to reports of rezoning the Columbia Regency Mobile Home Park.

The rezoning will displace many low-income families, disabled and senior citizens on fixed incomes with an upscale, luxury, gated community for students.

As a volunteer with GRO — Grass Roots Organizing, I have spent time with the residents, listening to their stories and doing surveys. I have hugged the people who live in fear of losing their homes. I have been devastated by knowing that some will actually be homeless.

Some residents own homes, and others are on a “rent-to-own” lease. Almost no one can afford the move.

That means that they will lose their investment already made on the homes. Further, many of the homes are of an age that, due to regulations in other parks, they can’t be moved even if the residents could afford to move.

For them, it is not only homes they will lose, it is their community. Maybe most important, their children do not want to leave their school or friends.

The rezoning issue is two-fold:

First, we must have a no vote on rezoning when the City Council votes on Oct. 17.

Second, a plan must be put in place where low-income families, the disabled and fixed-income seniors can live without the threat of losing their homes due to rezoning that will only benefit the powerful and leave others homeless.

Joan Wilcox is a volunteer with GRO — Grass Roots Organizing — and lives in Hallsville.

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Jimmy Bearfield October 12, 2011 | 1:35 p.m.

On a side note, what happened to the former residents of the trailers that were removed over the past year? From Ponderosa Street, you can see that at least a half-dozen trailers are now gone. Were those hauled off or dismantled on site? And besides those visible from Ponderosa and Nifong, how many other trailers have been removed over the past year or so?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 12, 2011 | 1:49 p.m.

One of the best letters I have ever read signed by a volunteer representing GRO.
Well done, Ms. Wilcox.

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