ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A group of seniors gathered Thursday to ask for officials’ help to improve conditions at a mobile home park, though some residents insist the community is a good place to live.
More than 30 residents met at the Rowland Heights Mobile Estates clubhouse to share stories of what they claim are predatory towing and discriminatory practices against the community’s elderly Asian residents.
“In the beginning, the residents tried to fight back” and spoke with lawyers, resident Ken Meng said through an interpreter. “But (attorneys said) the laws help the landlord.”
Several residents said through an interpreter that in the past, their cars had been towed after being parked in front of their homes for short periods of time. One man said that over eight years, his rent had risen from $750 to nearly $1,100, which is almost his entire monthly Supplemental Security Income.
“It’s like robbing a bank,” Chia Yu Tsai said through an interpreter.
After the meeting, which was not attended by the park’s co-managers, Socorro Ortiz-Galvan refused to comment about any of the issues raised by the residents. Ortiz-Galvan, who runs the property with Norma Martinez, said they had been working at the community for a year and a half but would not answer any other questions, including the name of the property owners.
Messages left for the park’s attorney and for owner Sandra Sierra were not immediately returned.
However, other residents disputed the claims made at Thursday’s gathering, saying that the issues related to the towed vehicles and discrimination had been settled about a year and a half ago, after a community meeting where the residents were able to share their concerns with the owners.
“This is a nice place to live,” resident Marlene Craig said.
Meng later insisted the issues had not been resolved and that the senior residents felt trapped and discouraged by what they claimed were the owners’ attempts to end the complaints.
“Whatever you do, they don’t like it,” resident Amy Tang said through an interpreter. “I feel like I’m living in jail or hell.”