Duroville families still struggling to relocate

THERMAL, Cali. - Closing the Duroville mobile home park has been almost four years in the making.

     In 2009, a District Court Judge declared the site a public health and safety hazard. But, even after months of county offered assistance, several families are still struggling to find a new home.

     Monica Tellas is a development specialist with Riverside County, trying to get the final families out before utilities are shut off. She says, "The court ordered closures June 30th which was on Sunday, and activities been taking place as it relates to turning off electricity and those kinds of things so eventually those things will happen. We have three occupied units and those are the three families that I'm focusing on."

     The final day of occupation has been delayed several times in the past, but the property is still not vacant. 

     The county was offering residents a chance to move into the newly developed mountain view estates for months, but those properties have all been taken. Now the county is offering one final option.

     Tellas describes the last option for those still living at Duroville, "It would be temporary housing, a housing subsidy, rental subsidy for up to a year. And, emergency housing as it relates to actually leaving the site now and going into an apartment."

     Financial assistance is being offered to the remaining residents so they can afford the temporary housing and move out as soon as possible.

     The county is still responsible for demolishing a remaining 41 units which will continue after all of the residents have been relocated. However, in order to demolish and remove materials safely, they first had to remove the asbestos from the outside of the building which is why many units have panels that have been stripped away.

        Living conditions in the community are continuing to decline. Now authorities are racing against the clock to get residents out before utilities are shut off, which could create a deadly situation in the sweltering heat.

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