On Wednesday evening, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and Riverside County agencies came together to discuss efforts to provide relocation assistance to families of the Oasis Mobile Home Park. The $30 million grant seeks to improve their living conditions.
“We need to gather their information, their concerns, we need to hear their voices. But at the same time, we need people to be realistic, and we need to be honest with people and be transparent with people. This is not going to happen overnight,” Perez said.
Supervisor Perez also said another $11 million will go towards infrastructure. “Even if we wanted to move people out today, there's no housing for them to move into. And so and the reason for that is because there's a lack of infrastructure, so we need to be realistic about that.”
As we’ve reported for years, many families have not had access to clean water, adding to hazardous living conditions.
A survey of the residents reveals more than 80% of them want to move elsewhere.
“I’m tired of buying things for my daughter so she can take a shower safely every single day. It’s not right. Their job is to have clean water for us,” said Oasis Mobile Home Park resident, Esperanza Elias.
She’s grown up the in Oasis for most of her life. Elias said she's fed up with the unsafe water in her home, especially after she said her daughter got sick after drinking it. “I didn’t shower because I was scared right? Because I couldn’t just go out because my mom was working. And I just had to wait until she got better so I could go buy water and you know, take her to shower and everything.”
She said every year, rent prices rise and it’s making it even more difficult to find a new place to live. “We have to pay over $1000 a month for a trailer that only has one bedroom, one bath. It’s not right. I’m tired of this.”
She said she wants to see change for every family going through this too. “We have families and they have problems too. If it’s affecting their health too, I want them to get that help too.”
The county said it’s the beginning of a long process to make sure those residents find safe housing. “We're going to be building out over the course of these next few years, because it's going to take years, and how much money is going to go into all those efforts. And so that people can see that we have plans,” Perez explained.
The housing committee will meet again on August 8th to discuss the next steps for Oasis residents.