DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif – Residents who live at Desert Hot Springs Mobile Home Park have been fighting for better living conditions for years. Today, state inspectors were finally on site.
The mobile home park is riddled with trash, broken windows and faulty infrastructure.
Dayanara Galindo has lived there for 9 years.
“The water pipes are old. Gas pipes don’t work,” Galindo said.
Dayanara says everything was fine up until about 3 years ago when a new owner took over. Since then, she says random people who don’t live there constantly frequent the area. She says many homeless people make themselves comfortable inside vacant mobile homes, leaving their trash.
The garbage is also filled to the brim. Residents say outsiders come in and dump their trash there. One teen says she has feared for her life on multiple occasions. She says she can’t even sleep, and her sister cries every night for fear of something that’s going to happen to her.
Former Desert Hot Springs Mayor, Adam Sanchez, says the faulty gas lines are an accident waiting to happen.
“A car can come over and hit a gas line. It could be leaking all night. Someone throws a cigarette. It all goes on fire and peoples’ lives are in danger,” Sanchez said.
Residents say they’ve complained to the owners, but have yet to see any action.
Meanwhile, Sanchez believes repairs could range to about $200,000.
“I think the owner just wants to walk away from it, so I think he’s wanting them to shut it down, but if that’s the case we’d like the state to come in and say, ‘Okay give these residents a 90-day notice and don’t let them pay rent anymore so they can save money to move out to a safer community.'”
Residents are also relying on Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. They say they’ve hardly seen any action from him.
His office released a statement saying:
“Since this issue was brought to our attention my office has been in active communication with residents of the mobile home park and we have stressed the urgency to the Department of Housing and Community Development. We asked them to further inspect the substandard conditions of the mobile home park. We anticipate that the park owner will be asked to take responsibility for repairs for which they have already begun pulling permits. We have a dedicated member of our team assigned to this issue who has been in direct contact with residents. We conduct regular check-ins and have been working diligently to address the community’s concerns and resolve this matter as soon as possible. We are anxious to see the results of the park inspection so that this information can be shared and we can ensure that the necessary corrective actions are taken. Public safety is a paramount concern; a majority of these issues can be addressed immediately by the city and its public safety department in partnership with the owner. We call upon them to do so.”
The California Department of Housing and Community Development says the inspection is in its initial stages and can take as long as 180 days to complete. The investigation will determine whether park owners or residents are responsible.