Offer on Table to Buy Out Mobile Home Residents

The residents of the Regency Mobile Home Park are left with few options after a meeting with a potential buyer this week.

by Allie Hinds (Columbia, Mo.)

A student housing company, Aspen Heights, is trying to buy the Regency Mobile Home Park.  Regency residents were recently notified they will need to leave the park by February. The current owner did not offer any compensation.  Vice President of development for Aspen Heights, Charlie Vatterott held a meeting with tenants Tuesday night to explain their options.   Vatterott explained Aspen Heights will give each owner of a single-wide trailer 18 hundred dollars to move and each owner of a double-wide three thousand dollars. Aspen Heights will also extend the deadline to move out from February to April.  Vatterott offered the residents a five hundred dollar bonus check if they signed a paper Tuesday night saying they supported the rezoning.  Grass Roots Organizing advocate Mary Hussmann was at the meeting and says the residents were put in a high pressure situation. About 90% of the residents at the meeting signed the paper.

“There’s no one from Aspen Heights that signed this paper, there’s no name of any representative from Aspen Heights on this paper so I really don’t know about the certainty of this,” Hussmann said.

Hussmann says residents did not receive a copy of the paper they signed unless they asked for one.

City Council member Barbara Hoppe says her position all along has been to keep the area as a mobile home park. But she says she understands why residents signed.

“It’s pretty clear that they will have to move one way or the other so  for them to take a substantial amount of money and more time to move makes perfect sense,” Hoppe said.

Vatterott will take these signatures to the City Council meeting next Monday where the council will decide whether or not to rezone.