How Does An Entire Neighborhood Get Evicted?
It's happening right now in Lansing.
Residents of the Life O'Riley Mobile Home Park in South Lansing were told on Tuesday that they have 10 days to get out, because the park has been condemned due to sewage issues, among other reasons.
The Ingham County Health Department came in and they did their job. Or did they?
This isn't an evacuation in advance of some unexpected weather phenomenon. This is an eviction that, apparently, could be seen coming from a hundred miles away.
Sure, the ultimate responsibility lies with the landlord who reportedly is in Florida, unable to be reached. But, how does something get so bad so fast? The answer is, it doesn't.
Ten days isn't long enough for my family's laundry to get done -- how is any family supposed to be ready to move, and have a place to move to, in 10 days. They answer is, they can't -- at least, not most.
I'm not saying the Ingham County Health Department is wrong and I'm not suggesting that they allow residents to stay, but I am saying -- without fail -- every family has to be helped and supported through all of this process, particularly, by the city and county government.
This is one of those things that, while, again, the responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy environment lies with the landlord, at the end of the day, dozens and dozens of families had shelter on Monday, and next Monday they may not, and some responsibility for that has to be placed with the agency that could have given residents a 30 day notice 30 days ago, or a 60 day notice 60 days ago. (This did not happen as far as I know.)
This has been a problem for an extended period of time and, as we've heard from residents and I suspect is true for most, if not all, the residents that stayed in Life O'Riley despite the conditions stayed because it's all they can afford.
Does the community have a responsibility to help? I believe the community always has a responsibility to help. Churches, the Red Cross and other organizations and individuals stepped up, and we continue to explore the best way that we can help as a station that loves Lansing.