Residents of a North Amityville mobile home park who are being displaced for apartments lashed out Tuesday at the Babylon Town Board as it prepared to vote on a relocation plan for the residents.
A half-dozen Frontier Park residents spoke at the town board meeting, many expressing outrage at town support for a relocation plan in which developer R Squared Real Estate Partners of Plainview would pay the residents $20,000 over three years once they vacate their mobile homes to make way for 500 apartments. Residents said most of the more than 300 people living in the park are young families starting out, seniors or the disabled living on fixed incomes. Those residents won’t be able to afford local housing even with the money, they said, and have invested much more into their homes, which cannot be moved due to their age.
Roger Cornell, who paid $25,000 for his mobile home in 1994, said his pregnant daughter has been living with him to save money and is now considering moving out of state.
“I thought the town was supposed to help us live here,” he told the board. “These people are being forced out onto the street.”
William Rapp, attorney for the park’s civic association, has filed three lawsuits to stop the development. He said there’s been no evidence that the developer has the money to pay the residents.
“I think they’re trying to trick the residents into leaving,” he said after the meeting. “There should be a resolution from the town demanding the developer come up with a surety bond, otherwise this is all just smoke and mirrors.”
Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer said afterward that he understood residents’ frustration, but assured that “if the money is not there, then the project doesn’t proceed.”
The board voted to enter into a partnership with the Long Island Housing Partnership, which will administer the relocation plan. The plan must now go before the LIHP’s board for approval.