Residents of a Calverton mobile home park said they are trying to save an elderly couple from eviction as park managers seek rent from the wife, who is hospitalized from injuries in a car accident, and the husband, who is in a nursing home with dementia.
Rose and Sal Allocco, both 82, were injured March 30 when their car struck a guardrail and overturned on Route 58 in Riverhead, police said.
Neighbors said Rose, who was driving, recently woke after weeks in a coma at Stony Brook University Hospital. She remains hospitalized. Sal sustained minor injuries and, due to his mental state, he has been at Oak Hollow Nursing Center in Middle Island.
Diana Ruvolo, a neighbor in the Lakewood community, said a manager with Kingsley Management Corp. — the Provo, Utah-based company that owns the park — asked her on Thursday to go to the nursing home and have Sal sign a rent check for April.
When Ruvolo declined, citing the man’s dementia, the manager said the company could soon begin eviction proceedings against the Alloccos, who have lived in their Lakewood unit for 42 years, Ruvolo said.
Ruvolo, who has lived at the park for 14 years, said a manager replied: “You mean to tell me he’s that bad with dementia he can’t sign a check?” That manager did not respond Friday to calls seeking comment.
Rose Allocco is her husband’s sole caregiver, and the couple have no children, neighbors said. Sal Allocco “doesn’t even realize there was an accident and his wife was in a coma in the hospital,” said Ruvolo, who said she has visited the couple regularly since the accident.
Rose Allocco was in fair condition Friday, meaning she was conscious and her vital signs were stable, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Kingsley bought Lakewood and two other mobile home parks in the Riverhead area in December 2011.
Kingsley account manager Norm Sorensen said Friday that he knows the Alloccos personally but was not aware of the husband’s dementia. He said he was not sure when eviction proceedings would begin, but said tenants usually receive a notice after 30 days of nonpayment.
“My heart goes out for them, and I’m trying to do what I can,” Sorensen said. “Nothing has gone forward, but we’re trying to be like, ‘Hey, how can we make sure that it doesn’t?’
“Ultimately, it’s a business,” he added. “There’s always those questions to answer.”
Ruvolo said park managers who called her into their local office Thursday wanted her “to gather the residents and see if they’re willing to chip in the money for the rent.”
April rent for the couple is $617.43, and Ruvolo said park managers told her the Alloccos face additional arrears for late payment. In May, their rent is set to rise to $639.04. Sorensen said Kingsley has waived late fees for the couple.
Ruvolo said she has contacted several Riverhead Town and New York State elected officials for help, and is seeking a lawyer to help her get legal guardianship over the couple so she can pay their rent and make decisions regarding their medical care.
Christine Milken, a receptionist at Apple Honda, near where the accident happened, created a gofundme.com Web page to raise $1,300 for the Alloccos’ April and May rent.
“They actually crashed right in front of my job,” Milken said. “We were first on the scene. We watched them being taken away in an ambulance.”
Milken said Rose Allocco’s injuries added urgency to the effort. “I would hate for her to do all this fighting,” she said, “and find out that she’s lost her home of 40 years.”