First Families Leave Duroville for New Homes
It is a day long awaited by people living in the rundown mobile home park in Thermal known as Duroville. Friday, 32 families got keys to their new homes in Mountain View Estates. Video by kmir6.comvideo
It is a day long awaited by people living in the rundown mobile home park in Thermal known as Duroville.
Friday, 32 families got keys to their new homes in Mountain View Estates; a project partly funded by the county.
Years ago, federal courts said Duroville must close, but first they needed a new place for tenants to live.
The solution was Mountain View Estates.
But for a time, funding was in jeopardy.
So Friday marked an important day for the lives of dozens of families.
Alberto Oliver walked into his new home for the first time.
He lived in Duroville for nearly a decade.
"Thank you very much, I'm very happy to arrive at my new house, thank you for all coming, it's something I've been waiting for two or three years," said Oliver.
Oliver says living in Mountain View Estates will make a difference for his children.
"They are very happy, they wanted to come today, but they needed to go to school so they couldn't come," said Oliver.
Construction continues, and by May all 180 homes will be filled with families.
"For the families of Duroville this is an incredibly great opportunity, it increases their rent slightly but it moves them from conditions that most people would not realize existed in the United States," said Riverside County Supervisor, John Benoit.
But the project was in peril after the state took redevelopment dollars.
The county fought that, and the state finance department gave back the final eleven millions dollars for the project.
"We felt all along that we have a very solid legal case, but their finally agreeing to allow us to do that and doing that without having to go to court was very much appreciated, and it's the reason we're seeing people moving in today," said Benoit.
Juan Collantes lived in Duroville for eleven years.
"Over there we had problems because the power and the water at times would shut off, and it would take three days for it to come back," said Collantes.
Collantes has waited to move into Mountain View for four years.
"Over there we can't go outside because there's a lot of mud when it rains, and over here there's a park where the kids can play," said Collantes.
Now his children have a safe place to live and play.
The project cost 27 million dollars.
Now that redevelopment dollars are gone, Supervisor Benoit said the state legislature needs to find a way to allow counties to continue to fund projects such as this one.