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Syosset Mobile Home Park residents say long fight is over

Theresa Walch stands in front of her

Theresa Walch stands in front of her mobile home at the Syosset Mobile Home Park where residents may be receiving eviction notices as the landlord is trying to evict them on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015 in Syosset. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Some of the last eight of 80 families living in the Syosset Mobile Home Park have quit their nearly eight-year fight against eviction and developers, residents announced Friday.

“We’re not giving up,” said Theresa Walch, 52, a resident of the community since 1999, who announced on Facebook Friday the plan to end the fight. “We’re being forced. People are being sued for pain and suffering.”

Notices of eviction for the park’s residents began arriving toward the end of summer, after a July court ruling. Uniondale-based STP Associates LLC, which owns the 5-acre site, started eviction proceedings in 2007 for a development a company spokeswoman said at the time was to include condominiums, rental apartments and a commercial area. One of the two principals of STP is Jerome Genova, father of town attorney Leonard Genova.

Walch said she was forced to take a $2,500 settlement because of “frivolous” lawsuits she and other park residents have faced. She said she and some of her neighbors were scheduled to sign the papers Friday night, agreeing to vacate. She expects to move by next month.

“I’m working two jobs and moving somewhere else,” Walch said. “That’s all we could do. We fought as hard as we could.”

Jeffrey Miller, an attorney for STP, could not be reached, but he said in an emailed statement in September that the court-authorized evictions came after residents “lost multiple litigations and appeals over the last several years challenging nearly every aspect of their eviction.”

Ousted resident Robert Carman, 55, who uses an oxygen machine, says he cannot afford to live anywhere on his disability income. He has said he plans to live in a tent.

“You just can’t win against them,” Carman said. “I’m going from my mobile home here to Jericho Turnpike. And that’s as far as I’ll go. I’m tired. I give up. I’m done. I gave to this community, now I need help and nobody wants to help me.”

Carman’s neighbor, Dawn St. Clair, is a renter who expects to be forced out on Jan. 4. She said she’s struggled to find a place that will take her with two kids, a dog and a cat. She said she may be forced to go to Social Services and into a homeless shelter or move out of state.

“My heart is broken,” St. Clair said. “I lived in Long Island my whole life, and there’s nothing here for me anymore.”

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