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Mobile home park residents unhappy GCU bought their property and is forcing them out

Posted at 10:29 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 01:29:32-04

PHOENIX — Forced out for future expansion, people who live in a Phoenix mobile home park are told to pack up their things as Grand Canyon University prepares to turn the property into student housing. The transition has been in the works for years, but residents are still unhappy.

It's a place they've called home for decades, but residents of Periwinkle Mobile Home Park are being told to leave.

GCU, which owns the property, is ready to make big changes.

"How do you buy a piece of property and tell 30 families they have to go," asked tenant Bobby Chastain.

Chastain is among the many residents voicing their concerns after GCU announced they'll be turning the mobile home park into student housing.

GCU bought the property in 2016 and says they made it clear, then, it would be used for future campus development.

Fast forward to this year, GCU sent residents a letter in April telling them they needed to be out by October.

"I don't know where to go because trailer parks will not take us because of this virus or they are all full," said another tenant.

The tenant and her husband have been married 54 years, many of those decades living in the park. They're now facing a tough reality.

"I'd rather stay here. It's too hard to pack and everything. We've got no car. We've got no way to transfer. That's what I am saying," added the tenant.

GCU tells ABC15 they are providing assistance. The university plans to help tenants in the process of finding a new mobile home park to live in. They are also offering to furnish their new home up to $5,000 while highlighting the resources available to get moving expenses paid for.

GCU also plans to meet with residents next Wednesday to go over their options.

Still, many of the tenants tell ABC15 they are stunned and lost on what to do next.

"It just feels like I am being kicked and pushed around," added the tenant.

"You have to just take each day as it comes and hope for the best," said Chastain.