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Huge Riverside County Park may close for housing standards

Adam R.'s picture

Posted August 7, 2007

A large mobile home park in Riverside County, California may be closed by housing inspectors at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  BIA inspectors ordered repairs to the Desert Mobile Home Park in Thermal, California in 2004. The inspectors believe those repairs have not been made.

The park, known as Duroville, is located on the Torres Martinez Reservation. It

houses thousands of farmworkers and other low-income families. Thermal is a farming community in the desert that utilizes irrigation to produce a large harvest of vegetable crops.

Riverside County is home to a well-regarded mobile home park plan operated under its office of Economic Development.  For years, Riverside County has operated several programs that encourage investment in its parks by both residents and landlords. The County offers financing to landlords that maintain minimum housing standards. Residents can access forgivable loan programs. The County sought to reform its parks after two residents died in separate electrical accidents during a relatively short period in the 90s.

It might be unusual for an economic development authority to act as the lead agency of a housing program, but Riverside County believes that the parks serve an important function in maintaining the region's workforce.

Importantly, Duroville is not a park in that program. Nevertheless, the sheer size of the park means that its closure would have consequences for housing in Riverside County.

The park owner asserts that he has attempted to satisfy the requirements of BIA.