Seminole trailer residents upset
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- Residents of a Seminole trailer park are being forced out of their homes.
"I need the government in here to do something," said Lena Alexander. "Do something!"
Residents are upset that the Seminole tribe has voted not to renew the leases of 718 residents who live at the Seminole Estates Mobile Home Park in Hollywood.
The decision prompted a protest on the streets mainly by the mobile home park's elderly population.
Valentine Crucas is 91 years old and has lived at the park for 40 years. "I live alone," said Crucas. "I got nobody. It's just sad. I came to this country 70 years ago, when Hitler took our homes. Now I am losing this home. It's all I have."
The Seminole tribe, which runs the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, immediately closed the pool, community room, exercise room and spa after the vote.
To compensate, they have lowered the rent for each space by $100 through Dec. 31 and will pay up to $3,000 in moving expenses if residents agree to leave by the end of the year.
The tribe said it needs the property because there is not enough land to build homes for it's members. "There is a long waiting list for than 200 families," said the President of Seminole Mobile Home Park, Nancy Gallagher. "They are on a waiting list to find land on the reservation to live on."
The monthly rate will then begin to increase for those who do not immediately leave, starting in January through June 30, when the mobile home park will be permanently closed.
Residents maintain it is all too fast. "When we had Hurricane Wilma they treated us with respect," said Lee Munoz. They gave us ice and water. Now they have pulled the rug out from under us and are treating us like terrible children."
Left with few options but to start packing, these people hope to hit the tribe financially for a decision they say is upending their lives. "Boycott the Hard Rock. Boycott the Hard Rock and give justice to some of these people here," said a resident.
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