Residents of Homestead mobile home park have until March 31 to relocate, or face eviction.
Homestead is one of two mobile home parks in Orange County slated for closure. While the property owner has not explained what he would do with the land or why he’s closing the park, the other mobile home community, Lakeview, is projected to be converted into a luxury apartment complex.
The proposal has yet to be approved by the town, but residents have been told they must relocate before June 30, 2019 if everything goes as planned.
The Town of Chapel Hill is managing the crisis at Lakeview, while Orange County is working to support the residents of Homestead.
There are nine plots at Homestead, seven of which are occupied. Of these residences, two occupants have an affiliation with the owner of the land and have refused to talk to county officials. Two more families have also declined to speak with Orange County out of fear of retaliation.
Sherrill Hampton, director of housing and community development for Orange County, is hopeful that once residents see the county is sincere in its efforts to lend aid, they will be more willing to cooperate.
The county is currently working with the three remaining families to find homes before the end of March. County officials met with the residents to discuss their needs and inspected the residents’ housing units but found they were not structurally sound enough to be moved.
Staff has been able to locate an open spot at a local mobile home park for one of the Homestead families, but is continuing to search for more.
The Orange County Board of Commissioners held a meeting Tuesday where they resolved to partner with EmPOWERment Inc., a local non-profit dedicated to helping low-wealth communities find and maintain affordable housing. They also approved $280,600 to provide housing for Homestead residents.