WUOMFM

Flint is tackling blighted mobile home parks

Jul 25, 2015

Along the mix of downtown buildings and neighborhoods filled with small single family homes, the city of Flint also has its share of mobile home parks.  

This is the mess left behind in one of Flint's old, vacant mobile home parks.
Credit Jason Lorenz / City of Flint

The trailer parks are the usual collection of mobile homes laid out in neat lines. But in some cases, it’s not so neat.

Flint has torn down thousands of old, dilapidated homes in the name of blight elimination.  The city is now turning its attention to its handful of trailer parks.

The city is in court with a couple of owners, trying to get them to clean up the sites or pay the city for doing the job. It’s also working with the Genesee County Land Bank to clean up what’s left of two long closed trailer parks.

Megan Hunter is the director of Flint’s Planning and Development department.

There's still work to do at the former American Mobile Home Park, but progress is being made
Credit Jason Lorenz / City of Flint

She says mobile home park owners have long used legal tactics to avoid following city codes.

“In the past, we just haven’t had the resources to go about them,” says Hunter, “But we’re looking at creative ways of using our Community Development Block Grant dollars to support the legal department in doing that work.”

However, if the city is successful in cracking down, that may leave people in those blighted trailer parks without a place to stay. 

But Hunter says people shouldn’t feel stuck living in a mobile home park, strewn with trash and without running water.

“We think that a lot of folks can find quality, affordable housing in other parts of the city that will be here longer term and might be a better situation for them,” says Hunter.