Local mobile home park residents are, or at least should be, keeping an eye on developments at the Del Rey Mobile Home Park. Their future may depend on it.
Last year, Del Rey residents found out their land was slated to be sold to a development company called Interstate. As mostly middle- and lower-middle-class workers who own their homes but not the soil it sits on, the Del Rey residents were concerned--to the point of taking action. They formed the Del Rey Neighborhood Association, began a letter-writing campaign and sent a strong message to the developers: Don’t kick us out.
Fast-forward to the present.
Interstate backed out, as did another developer, though Equity Lifestyle Properties, which owns the land, is still interested in selling. At a recent City Council meeting, the city, Del Rey residents and Equity came to a standstill agreement over what to do with the land.
“No party will do anything until October or November,” says Councilor Michael Cadigan, whose district includes Del Rey. “They won’t sell it. We won’t condemn it.”
The agreement allows Del Rey residents to stay in their homes until a buyer is found who will allow them to keep their mobile homes on the property.
File this one under “If you build it, they will come.” Workforce housing may be coming to town in the form of affordable housing and reliable public transportation. That is, if Albuquerqueans vote for it next year. You can thank City Councilor Debbie O’Malley for bringing up the issue, and Mayor Martin Chavez for signing the legislation.
O’Malley was the sponsor behind a bill that would, in her words, “put people where we put public dollars.” It’s targeted at neighborhoods, such as the eastern side of Central, that are already bus corridors and are ripe for redevelopment. Working-class families, according to O’Malley, can work and live in close proximity to one another, while their houses, built by private developers, appreciate in value.
But not by too much. Part of the plan is to impose resale restrictions (there are a few ways of doing this, O’Malley says), so the next wave of low-income workers can afford to live in these enclaves as well. Our tax dollars go toward infrastructure like drainage and sewage.
Mayor Chavez, who was unavailable for comment, made minor amendments to the bill before signing it, including asking the Council to revisit the legislation in six years.
There was some give and take on both sides, says O’Malley, but the end result is that we’ll see it on the ballot in November 2007.