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Posted on Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 9:34 a.m.

Ypsilanti Mobile Village park to close due to 'despicable' conditions, leaving some residents with nowhere to go

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Mobile Home Park_11.jpg

Ypsilanti Mobile Village residents confront owner Dominick D'Mello (right, wearing sunglasses) over the fate of their mobile homes.

Tom Perkins | For

Angry questions and a few threats flew at Ypsilanti Mobile Village owner Dominic D’Mello after the he arrived for an unexpected visit on Thursday and was surrounded by residents.

“When is the park closing?” one asked.

“I may be 74 years old, but I would lay you out if all these people weren’t here!” a man said.

“How long will we have to move out? And I don’t like to be lied to!” another resident yelled.

The park on East Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti Township has deteriorated into a blighted community in which live wires are left unattended, contaminated water seeped into the park’s drinking water, sewage lines remain uncapped in the open and other hazards create dangerous conditions.

Because the situation has spiraled out of control and D’Mello doesn't have the funds to correct the problems, he's stated his intention to close the park. That means many of the low-to-no income residents will lose their mobile homes and have no place to go.

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A condemned mobile home sits in in the Ypsilanti Mobile Village park.

Tom Perkins | For

Residents say D’Mello doesn't return phone calls about the fate of their mobile homes and never visits the park. He arrived unexpectedly on Thursday to find township building inspectors there and an reporter interviewing residents.

Word of his arrival quickly spread throughout the park, and he was surrounded by a group of 20 angry residents demanding answers.

Residents are upset by how the park deteriorated into a condition that officials describe as "wretched and despicable." And township officials say they're concerned over how D’Mello will handle the park’s closure and why conditions remain dangerous.

"If you didn't know any better and you were simply blindfolded and turned loose here, you would think you were in a third-world nation because of the conditions that are so deplorable. And it's sad, it really is," township attorney Doug Winters said.

D'Mello said he bought the property in 2004 for nearly $900,000 and still owes roughly $550,000. The park had 64 mobile homes in 2004; now 21 remain, of which seven are condemned. 

Until 2008, D’Mello rented out some of the homes. Otherwise, residents own their mobile homes and lease the “pads” for $325 per month.


This photo shows standing water on a mobile home pad after the park experienced flooding.

Photo courtesy of Ypsilanti Township

As conditions deteriorated between 2006 and 2008, the township took legal action against Cormello LLC, D’Mello’s company, and Paramount Bank, which holds the park’s loan, for numerous code violations.

In a complaint filed with Washtenaw County Circuit Court, the township cited numerous issues, including dilapidated mobile homes, debris such as appliances and garbage littering the park, residents illegally tapping utility lines, D’Mello allowing a resident to live in a condemned mobile home and general disrepair to the park’s infrastructure.

The complaint also called the park a “haven” for prostitution and drug use.

A consent order signed in November 2008 by Judge Donald Shelton and attorneys for all parties sought to address the issues. D’Mello was to furnish titles and lease agreements for each mobile home, and he and park management were ordered to notify police upon learning of drug use or prostitution.

Most importantly, the township was to inspect each mobile home when a resident left or was evicted to ensure it was up to code. Since then, every mobile home the township inspected has been condemned.

As the number of renters decreased, D’Mello said he received less rent money, and the situation eventually became financially impossible. He added it's the owners' responsibility to keep their properties up to code, not his, so he couldn't be held responsible for what happened to the park.

Many residents told township officials they were in a "rent-to-own" arrangement with D'Mello until 2008, when the court ordered him to provide proof of ownership for each mobile home. Rent-to-own arrangements aren't permitted in mobile home parks. Once the consent judgment was signed, those residents became the owners of the mobile homes, officials say.

Mike Radzik, the township's director of the Office of Community Standards, said the accelerated rate at which residents left in recent months created serious issues. As D’Mello pulled condemned mobile homes from the park, he was supposed to terminate the electrical boxes that provided power to the units. But township inspectors found roughly 35 boxes with live wires sticking out of them or the ground on Aug. 26.

A DTE crew terminated power to the boxes on Aug. 27. Some residents were caught stealing electricity by connecting jumper cables to the boxes or using a garden hose as a conduit run through a hole drilled in a box, officials said. In one case, someone had rigged wires to steal electricity to power the Ypsilanti Mobile Village's streetlights.

D’Mello offered no explanation beyond denying the wires were live.

The park also failed to turn off water to the units that were removed. On Aug. 31, inspectors discovered two underground pipes broken and spewing water onto the pads of those mobile homes. The water gushed for 72 hours before the park shut it off. In that time, the park used more water than it does in a month, Radzik said.

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The frame on this condemned mobile home broke as it was being removed from the Ypsilanti Mobile Village

Tom Perkins | For

But after the pipes were turned off, standing water on the pads began to backflow down the pipes and into the park’s drinking water. The Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority requires “backflow prevention devices” on pipes, but the Ypsilanti Mobile Village doesn’t use them, the township said.

Bill Elling, a building inspector for the township, went door-to-door warning residents of possible contamination. Elling said it was a full nine hours after D’Mello was aware of the problem that letters were distributed to residents.

D’Mello said he immediately told his manager to alert residents.

In addition, open sewage lines, which are supposed to be capped when a mobile home is removed, lie scattered throughout the park.

Township Building Director Ron Fulton said the serious nature of the issues prompted the township to send a letter to the Michigan State Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth’s Building Division, which regulates and licenses mobile home parks.

The letter, dated Sept. 1, detailed the park's issues and was accompanied by 27 pictures showing the leaks, live wires, open sewage pipes and decaying mobile homes. The state sent a letter 10 days later to D’Mello asking him to respond.

“We do not make judgments about a complaint’s validity until a response has been received and evaluated. Your answer will help us determine whether further action is warranted,” the letter said.

Michigan Building Division Chief Larry Lehman said the department must follow the procedure by law. A serious complaint goes through an administrative hearing process that could take weeks to months, he said, adding more serious cases take priority.

Township officials questioned why the state hadn't revoked D’Mello’s license after issuing the same violations in its annual evaluations. Radzik said the building division provides the park with a list of violations, but the park owner only must send a letter stating the problems have been addressed.

Lehman said the state now requires further evidence that problems have been fixed, such as photos or receipts. He also said repeat offenses must occur at the same unit — otherwise, they aren't counted as such.

"Somebody needs to get in a car and drive the 90 miles from Lansing and see firsthand what conditions they have allowed to exist in this township," Winters said. "It’s a dereliction of duty, it’s a horrible malfeasance in terms of how it was overlooked, and I don’t you can find enough adjectives to describe the feelings the township has."

Residents have heard conflicting stories about when the park will close. Many residents — as well as township officials — were under the impression it would close last week.

Most residents who remain say they have nowhere to go and no means with which to move. Because many of the mobile homes are from the early 1960s or 1970s, they don’t meet newer U.S. Housing and Urban Development codes and can't be moved into a new park. The park is shutting down, but they can’t move their homes.

The township has been seeking the assistance of county social service agencies, but one of the prerequisites is proof of eviction or date of the park’s closure, which no one has.

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Ypsilanti Mobile Park resident Nadine Roux invested $6,000 to fix up the mobile home she will now lose.

Tom Perkins | For

Nadine Roux is an unemployed 22-year old student and mother of two who invested $6,000 to fix up her mobile home with her father in 2007. She said she would get a hotel room if the park closed and is fearful her kids could be taken away if she can’t provide a home.

“I’ll be damned if my babies are going to get taken away because of a situation we’re not in control of,” she said, fighting back tears. “My kids deserve the best and me too, as a matter of fact.”

Barbara Webster, an Ypsilanti Mobile Village resident of 18 years, said she and her husband are fortunate her daughter living in Hillsdale will help them move. But they'll also lose their mobile home, and Webster, who holds fond memories of life in the park until recent years, said they really don’t want to leave.

D’Mello told residents Thursday it was the township forcing him to close the park, but then conceded the statement wasn't entirely true. The township is enforcing the stipulations of the consent judgment, and D’Mello can't afford to bring the park back up to code, he said.

When residents demanded to know when they could expect an eviction notice so they could seek moving assistance, D’Mello assured them he would work with his attorneys as quickly as possible to figure that out and a provide a date in writing.

“We’re desperately trying to broker some kind of happy ending,” Radzik said. “This is all unfolding as we speak, and one of my big fears is the owner shuts down, the utilities get shut off and we still have people in these trailers.”

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Tue, Oct 26, 2010 : 4:48 p.m.

This guy owns the pads - the trashed trailers belong to homeowners. the twnshp makes him responsible for their homes but won't make the homeowners responsible - poor things. If the park owner told them to clean up or get out, he'd have to take them to court first $$$ - A judge would never make the homeowner remove the trailers from his park, he'd loose the case and still be blamed for the deplorable conditions. Stealing utilities? If you report someone for stealing utilities DTE says they probably won't follow up or if they do it will be a long time before they ever do.


Thu, Oct 7, 2010 : 1:33 a.m.

I live nearby and walk/drive past the park all the time. The whole area is blighted. A woman can't walk down that stretch of Michigan without being mistaken for a streetwalker and harassed by guys in cars, on bicycles, I've even been propositioned by other pedestrians. It's crazy. I've had a women approach me and follow me for a block or so, trying to find out what my "business" was in the area. There are dirty needles lying in the streets, and garbage everywhere. The park IS a haven- but it's still going to be a haven when it's closed. They can fence it off but someone will cut a hole. I'm afraid it will turn into a lawless hobo jungle in there, a sanctuary for all the criminals- who aren't GOING to LEAVE the ave- to smoke crack, stash drugs or guns, run from the cops, or worse. Michigan Ave in dangerous enough for women- the prostitutes included- that the last thing we need is to create a place someone, ANYONE, could be raped, murdered, and not found for days or weeks. I don't LIKE walking past the trailer park...someone always appears out of nowhere to beg for a cigarette or's a convenient turn-around for cars, so wannabe johns use it as a place to solicit female pedestrians...but I'm not SCARED of the park. It could get a lot scarier.

C. Riffle

Mon, Sep 27, 2010 : 9:22 a.m.

I left a lengthly comment last week,but heres an update.I spoke of My Father and Mother living and Dieing there and how nice their home was. Well,this only reaffirms what was stated in my first post.I drove through the park again,and the latest people in my Dads home, had moved out.I stopped and saw the door locks were off,door open.I went in and was shocked beyond belief.I had hoped to be able to move it,for sentimental reasons -somewhere-?? Well thats no-longer a possibility.The home has been condemed.Why?? Because,all due to lack of maintaining, the home the roof had began leaking and bath ceiling was falling in.It also looked like water had run down the walls as there was water damage to the paneling in liv rm,halls,ect.(My Dad sealed and tarred that roof every year-right up till his death in 2001,and it had NEVER leaked.He had also,yearly,put Liquid gold on all the paneling and it just shown.You could fo eaten off his floors,they were so clean)Now there is bare particle board showing under the damaged tile and dirty ripped carpet.The furnace is gone,the hot water heater was gone,several of the windows were gone-just open to the elements,built in dressers had been ripped out,closet doors gone,kitchen cabinets broken,drawer fronts ripped off;Its basically trashed,like the others were.Just like I stated in the earlier post-the TENANTS -again,NOT ALL-,but most,trashed that Park.I have picts of what Mom and Dads place looked like.You would never believe,whats standing there now, was the same place.Most of the homes in there,were done the same way.The homes came in that park nice-the tenants trashed them,and the courts wouldnt put them out.So now ALL are out,And the ones who are left are NOT the distroyers.The "74 yr old "gentleman was outraged-can you really blame him??? He is a good man -like my Dad was-with a good home and beautiful yard,and he doesnt deserve this.One of his family wrote in as well,voicing her feelings about this.Now tell me-is what happened to my Dads place,the owner or managers fault??No.Because they couldnt get people out when they tried to.You would not believe how upset all this makes me. That was my "home"for a long time.And now-its gone,piece by piece,home by home.


Wed, Sep 22, 2010 : 10:24 a.m.

I have read and reread this areical and comments and it is all very upsetting. The blaming all the residents for the problems that have persisted over the years in this park. My grandfather has been a resadent in this park for over 35 years and has the nicest lot in the entire pack. But where are the pictures of this? A trailer that has been upkept by him, yard taken care of, paid? What is his fault? A 74 year old man that has to move becasue of others neglagence. Not to mention that he himself has mowed the entire park at his age and was told by management that he would be paid for the services he did and never was. He as a tenate tryed to help out but he never recieved anything in return. This all angers me I have been around this park for the past 25 years and it has not always been this way. The place where someone lives that they have taken care of and maintained for this long now to have them told that that they have to leave, how is that right? Some of you that have commented have probally never even step foot in this park or drove thru it and looked for yourselfs. There used to be many nice houses in this park and many people had very nice yards. But when you just let anyone and everyone move in you get problems. Its not the tenates responsibility to fix all the holes in road that goes through there, its not there responsibility to cut off the power and water when they leave. And the face that they cannot move their homes. They may be older homes but some of them have been maintained and taken care of and if they have land or somewhere they could move the home to they should be able to. What is this world comming to? Nothing but sadness. I also believe that the people living in this park that do take care of their property should be givin something to help they relocate and not just left on the street. If it was your parent that did what they were supposed to do and was getting kicked to the street you would be upset too. Is this how the world treats there elders? Did the world forget what respect and manners are? I believe it has, which is very sad. My children have to see there great-grandfather be put out on the street and they are tought that you have to respect and help your elders. What does this show them? That no matter haw good you do in live or how well you take care of things the rest of the world decides whats gonna happen to it. Not you. What does that give them to look forward to? Absolutly Nothing.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 3:15 p.m.

Another wonderful example of the need for Ypsi Twp. to extend the residential property maintenance ordinance to 'commercial', multiple units.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 2:38 p.m.

Another wonderful example of the need for Ypsi Twp. to extend the residential property maintenance ordinance to 'commercial', multiple units.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 1:59 p.m.

@ "a": Tell me why the Township should pay to have these people relocated. The township is "we the people, the taxpayers" I have no desire to pay to relocate these people. The "township" is not a social agency there are plenty of those that might get involved. It is apparent that some readers believe strongly in "Socialism", while I the "taxpayer" believe in " Capitalism". If the township job is to protect the people that is one thing, they have done that, there is nothing further for them to do. Sounds like maybe this "owner" has other mobile Home parks, hope they are not in this same condition.


Tue, Sep 21, 2010 : 12:09 p.m.

As someone who used to live in this park i can say that everyone is to blame from the township down to the resdients that do not care. I can say this much this is not something that happpened overnight. They was previous management that was never there at all!! You might have been lucky to catch her every now and then or have to go to the park she currently works for. Yes residents do have to take pride in thier homes this is very true. This is not a bash session but facts. It is also the owners fault for not keeping up with how his manager runs his property. I still know people who live there and I am saddened by what they have to go through. From what they say up until a couple of months ago they had noone who was in their corner. The current manager is trying but with limited resources and the owner not helping her hands are tied. Cudos to her it shows there are poeple out there that do care. It is truely sad that the township aswell as ownership let it get this far.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 8:55 p.m.

The 'park' owner would likely compensate residents for relocation expenses, in lieu of potentially protracted litigation...

Life in Ypsi

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 8:52 p.m.

A very tragic story regardless who's at fault. I hope the property owner and the township pay for the remaining residents to move to another park. It's unfair the owners are being forced to be homeless. Isn't that the American dream to own property and live in the property without fear of being evicted because they bought it? I would like to say that just because a person is poor it does not mean they should be without blame. Being poor doesn't mean one has to destroy property, engage in illegal activities or live in squalor. By all means I support having a social safety net. What I don't support is people who continually bring problems on themselves by bad choices and being irresponsible and then having an attitude of entitlement. I grew up on welfare for a large part of my childhood and my father always said just because we're poor doesn't mean we have to be dirty. My family conducted themselves in a respectful manner as well. There's no way in the word my father would have tolerated any destruction to property even if it was not ours. This county really needs clean, safe and affordable housing. It's a shame that when such a place exists it doesn't take long for a few bad apples to ruin it for everyone.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 5:56 p.m.

Just to let you know we have access to the internet and we can read. we have been geting two diffrent storys one said the owner is closing. Then you ask the owner he said he is not closing all we wanted to know was the turth.We paid our rent every month even though we would have to wate for management to show up because she was at another park.there was no management in the park. We have kept our lots up. but now were in the process of takeing our porch down now has any one price wood lately its not cheep.we our removing our patio block so yes my yard look junky now. when they came in here and toke the pictures the trailer with the xs on the windows it was a nice trailer that what happen wend they try to move it. The owner had very bad management they would evicted them then let them back in. He just got new management but she won't have a chance to do anything and that is a shame this was a good and we our good people.

Atticus F.

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 2:52 p.m.

Maybe the township should take possesion of the property, and then allow the tennants to take ownership of lot that their homes are located on.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 2:40 p.m.

$14,062.00 is what the owner paid in 2004 for each of the 64 units. If he had maintained the units his investment would still be viable. He chose not to for whatever reason. The Courts and the Township officials are doing their job in protecting the people. So lay off them, the owner is the sole person responsible here. If tenants are stealing electric and he does not report it, he is just as guilty. This is the type of landlord that gives all landlords a bad name, I say shut him down and charge him for charges incurred. Older parks as well as older homes cost more to maintain, possible this owner had no idea what he and the bank purchased. If I recall properly, this park was better in 2004 than it is today. I'm sure the owner did not take the profits elsewhere. Sounds like another piece going up for tax sale. Once again place the blame where is should be placed with the owner. He choose to operate a slum, no one else had the option to do that!

Mr. Ed

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 2:05 p.m.

Stumbo's has to go!


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

In a saner world, housing is a human right, not a free-market 'privilege' that can be summarily taken away through capricious action by a land owner or a lack of concern from township officials. If the township can be allowed to condemn mobile homes and toss out the residents, they ought to be fully responsible for ensuring that each of these mobile home owners receives compensation for their loss as well as relocation to a livable new quarters. Ditto on the thanks to Tom Perkins for covering this breaking story.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 1:43 p.m.

@EyeheartA2, I agree completely.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 1:29 p.m.

Not everything is a black and white 'passion play' between ' heartless' ( or 'virtuous ',depending on your stance)'teapartiers' and "innocent' ( or 'irresponsible', also depending ) dispossesed. This case seems to have a 'rashoman'- like mix of 'pox on both your houses' elements...and also possibly legitimate issues on both sides. All of which should eventually come out in court.

C. Riffle

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 1:25 p.m.

I posted a comment stating that the court system was to blame,and why, and it didnt get posted.Said because I had caps in some quotes.??? So what. The comments were true and I resent that it wasnt posted.There was no foul language,no threats,just truth. Did they not want the truth??Guess not.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 1:13 p.m.

EyeHeartA2, That's great except they need to be able to find a way to move their possessions and they need $1000 down on a new place according to the ad.Plus I'm sure they'll need deposits on new utility hook ups etc. I'm sure they have looked into any opportunities for a place to live, as it is much more vital to them than any of us.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

jen, Exactly right. I guess the assumption might be that they are now homeless....but I hope not. This is a heartbreaking story for those folks.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 12:33 p.m.

What would make you think people in the park are not reading this??? I live in a mobile home park and i am reading it!! just because you live in a mobile home does not mean you can not have park is nothing like that one, but when problems occur, the management handles them, not us! I feel sorry for these people. and it is very possible to spend 6000 dollars on a mobile home, and she did it because she had to, and it could be hard for them to find another place to go due to problems with credit, or income, maybe this guy did not check into it all, they probably had the money to move in and that is all he wanted. It is not the tenants fault at all!!!


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 11:54 a.m.

There is a group in this society that has no compassion for people who are poor and we have heard from several in these comments. Its the same people that believe that giving large tax breaks to the rich will make more jobs for everyone else. There is no evidence that this policy has worked since Hoover did it and now, in this country, more and more working people find themselves below poverty level and really can't do anything about it. Plus the division of wealth in this country has become much more polar since the "pump priming" tax cuts, starting with Reagan, have taken place. With the huge loss of manufacturing jobs in the last twenty years, through off-shoring by our companies, the middle class is falling lower and lower toward poverty level. What these companies did not realize is that the rich can never create demand like millions and millions of the middle class can do. So, in essence these companies in the pursuit of profit have cut their own throats by dumping the people that bought their products. The township is partly to blame for this situation as they should have been enforcing building codes all along through periodic inspections. You can't tell me that no one from the township ever drove by this property and noticed that it was going down hill. For the township, condemning is the easy way out. Blame it all on the landlord and close the place down. If I were a resident of the township, I would be at the next board meeting asking what in the heck has been going on for the last two or three years that the township has ignored the plight of this property. At the same time, I think the township should help the residents who have to move out find a place to live.

C. Riffle

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 10:14 a.m.

I was reading this article and got really upset at alot of the false statements.Years ago,I lived in and managed the park. Alot of the problems came when, we would go to court over an issue,and the courts wouldnt back us.I didnt work for the currant owner,but was with his manager,in court, on 2 specific occasions, when the court would NOT back management!!Repetitive trouble makers would not be evicted, as they should of been,Druggies were allowed to stay-(:their rent waspaid,and we hadnt seen them sell.)Of course we didnt-they sold in the house! Just as the prostitutes "worked" in the houses-we didnt see it,so,the offenders were -again- not evicted by the courts.The court system is as much, if not more,responsible for the way that park ended up. No-one can be evicted without a court order,and the courts wouldnt give it!!!What exactly were the owners/managers supposed to do??? And when word spread that people were getting by with stuff in the park, more bad elements came in-usually under false circumstances.(Some one buys a home an puts someone else in it or allows others to stay who were turned down on their own apps. And a maintenance man was always on staff.The work just wasnt done. Again-what was the owner/manager to do??? One manager did the mowing and clean up herself-to try to make the park look better.It wasnt her job!! It was maintenances job.When one person "quit",a new M man washired,and the manager/park was taken to court!!! And guess who won??? Not the park! So placing blame on just the owners/managers is wrong.The people who lived there,(-with exception of a few really good people who lived there too-)caused this themselves by not following park rules(ex;selling drugs,having prostitutes coming in,not cleaning lots up when asked,allowing outsiders who were criminal to live with them,having no pride in their homes-and literally trashing them,having no respect for thier neighbors property and privacy,and quite literally strewing garbage all over the ground by the dumpsters,stealing utilities,allowing kids to pull off the sewer caps,ect,ect,ect..) As for the picts in the paper-Maintence is to turn water off before a home is moved-Maintenance-not owner.And the boarded up home?,I was there when that home was brought in and it was a really nice home.Again-the residents,who lived in it, trashed it.As a matter of fact, I was driving through the park,looking at my parents old home, when I saw the residents ripping the windows out!! It certainly wasnt brought in looking like that! I sincerly feel bad for the few really good, clean,decent people that are left -some who were friends;and what they are now going through.But if the courts would of just helped us get rid of the "problem" tenants,when it started going bad and all along the way as this problem progressed,this probably wouldnt be happening right now.So if you want to blame anyone-blame the courts for not helping managment and the owner when it was needed.Theyre hands were tied, because they didnt get the help.It was a nice park when my parents moved in there years ago.(And it wasnt bad when I lived there later, and tried I tryed to make it better.)When my Dad and Mom moved into the park,the lots were pretty full and very well kept.The homes were kept up nicely,Shoot-they even had cute little post lights right at the lots.The people didnt have alot but what they had they took pride in. You cannot make a person take pride in thier home if they dont care about anything at all.(Sadly,My Dads was the last lite still standing in the park when he passed-and it didnt take long for it to be distroyed- by the residents-,after he was gone.I quit managing along time ago,because I felt like a full time babysitter-to adults!!; who should of been able to know whats acceptable and whats not!! Residents are who trashed that place and then would have the nerve to gripe about it,often to the township.But we werent allowed -by law-to stop them!!! Its sad that a bad bunch got a good hold on the park and ruined it for all.And the bad get off scott free,as always.And the good are left with no where to go.

Thomas Jones

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 9:51 a.m.

Tom, Wow you have truly gain a ton of respect from me for covering this story!! It is sad but really who in that park will be reading this?

Atticus F.

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 9:43 a.m.

I think the majority of posters here are missing the main point...The township is trying to 'clean up' it's image by going into people homes who are 'undesirable' and condemning them... I'm sure in a couple of months, most of the angry posters here will be wondering why there has been an increase in homeless population. Which will lead to outcry to lock these people up in jail. which will lead to an outcry about a new tax millage to increase the capacity of our jail.

Jay Allen

Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 9:43 a.m.

Someone in this debacle did say that they could not tell the democrats from the republicans. I agree with you. Often the left and right are clear in debates such as these. I will more than likely shock a few here. A "trailer" (come on that is what it is) is the property of the individual. They then pay rent to park the trailer on a lot, hence "lot rent". It is up to the real estate/property owner to keep conditions of the lots up to code. Sewage, drains, electrical, streets, curbs, gutters, etc are the property owners and NOT the folks who own the trailers. The property owner is at fault here, 100%. ***In some cases when a park is NOT full, a trailer park owner will buy cheap low cost units and park them on his land. He will then "rent" the unit out per month (like an apartment)and charge a premium for the unit & land. Maybe this is the case for some and this only thickens the plot. I have no idea as to why anyone would toss the trailer owners under the bus and say they share the blame. So when you see on the news that an apartment building is being shut down because taxes, electric and water have not been paid and the tenants are sitting on the curb, do you then say that THEY share that blame too? This happens on the Detroit news 1-2 times per week. I am typically on the right side of the aisle, but this is messed up.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 9:42 a.m.

Gee you would think with all the bleeding hearts on here that you would see some names, addresses, phone numbers of people willing to take these folks in? Or I guess you are all just talking a good line and are happy these people are living in Ypsi and not in your sub?


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

As an owner of a clean, very nice mobile home community in Springport (Jackson county) I can shed some light on the plight of the tenants. Our township (Springport) specifically prevents us from placing homes older than 1997 in our park. Regardless of the condition of the home, we cannot accept it. That is a township rule, not ours. The homes older than that are only worth $3-4K max. Typical moving costs are at least $4K, so that isn't really an option for the tenants. Regarding drugs and other crimes, it takes about 3 months to kick out problem tenants, even with police help. If there is a drug problem, the police need a while to collect evidence before the courts can order an eviction.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 8:04 a.m.

My neighborhood looks nice because everyone does their part. When someone's house begins to look like Sanford and Sons, we complain to the directly first and to the city second. We don't stand for illegal activities like open dealing, prostitution, etc. We don't pretend it's not happening, and we do whatever it takes to end it--cops or not. That's what living in a community means. And frankly, it's the ONLY difference between a neigbhorhood and a "hood."


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 7:44 a.m.

@Deb - "Some attention should be focused on the City of Ypsilanti for allowing such squallar to exist," Watch your mouth! This dump is in the Township, not the City.


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 4:47 a.m.

Most mobile home communities will not take in older mobile homes. They want newer ones to help in bringing in "better residential renters for the property." aka higher rent. The newest looking one in the pictures was a half torn down one from the mid 70's. This is a no win situation. You have an owner who did not crack the whip when things started heading down hill, and you have people who just do not give a rats back side that made it all the worse. Leaving behind the ones who are trying to do what they can with what little they have to maintain there property. This is a classic case of life flipping the bird at the people who are trying hard to do the right thing and saying "too bad so sad, now get out!


Mon, Sep 20, 2010 : 4:46 a.m.

Mr Ed, You hit the nail on the head. The northern part of Ypsi Township is abominable. The money for improvements has gone completely to the south side of the township. I don't know where anyone lives, but I do know that the decisions made by the township in the past 10-15 years have poured money into the south (south of Ford Lake and I-94)side of the township and left the north side in bad shape. If anyone has even driven down East Michigan in the past 10 years, hope you locked your car doors! The strip from city limits to Wayne County line is really bad. There are a few shining exceptions such as Coach's. But this trailer park has been in disrepair for years. For the township to act "shocked" is laughable unless they never drive in the northern part of the township. I guess that's entirely possible.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 9:40 p.m.

Mr. Ed, Trustee Martin does not live on the south side. Without giving out his address, he lives in the Ecorse Road area. Please have your facts straight...

dading dont delete me bro

Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 9:03 p.m.

offensive language? hunh? they should be able to move their trailers. any lawyer worth his/her salt should be able to get a 'tenant' out of those living conditions (grounds) and out of a contract. question then is who is going to pay for a deposit where a new lot rent can be established. this guy sure isn't. this guy can't bring his place up to code. it's a sad situation all around.

Mr. Ed

Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:39 p.m.

Mr Attorney said- "If you didn't know any better and you were simply blindfolded and turned loose here, you would think you were in a third-world nation because of the conditions that are so deplorable. And it's sad, it really is," township attorney Doug Winters said. The twp really needs to focus on solving the problems of the people that are less fortunate. You can say what the attorney said about most of Ypsilanti Twp. The government has turned it's back on the North end of the Twp. The Southern part gets all the new developments and government resources.Who in local government lives North of I94.Stumbo lives in the Southern part of Ypsilanti Twp so does Lovejoy, Eldridge, Martin, Sizemore, Doe. Makes ya think about the poor citizens of in North Ypsilanti Twp. No one cares, the citizens first campaign only applies to South of I94


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 7:06 p.m.

Thanks Dalex64. Clearly, the trailers rest upon rented pads. But some of the trailers are privately owned, though on rented pads, and, some of the trailer owners have not had their trailers condemned. To deny them access to their property would pose an unusual situation. Trailer park law is needlessly convoluted and state driven; hopefully the trailer owners will not be denied access to their property.

Hot Sam

Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 7:04 p.m.

Dale is right. These trailers are not real property and do not come with the same rights as real property. Having experienced these things with family members, I must say that they are one of the worst things that anyone...especially the poor...should put their money in to. If you want to help someone, steer them in to one of those apartments an earlier poster mentioned.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 6:56 p.m.

AlphaAlpha, the trailer owners do not own the property. They have no property rights. Once the place is condemned, and they have been evicted (legally, not physically), then they are not allowed on the property, even to access the things that they own. Since their trailers aren't up to modern codes, they can't move them. So you see how screwed they are.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 5:59 p.m.

Yeah right Snarky - after all he wouldn't be a slum lord if those darn tenants just pitched in and did what he was supposed to do. Talk about entitlement mentality! HTR!


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 5:57 p.m.

Yeah right Snarky - he wouldn't be a slum lord if those darn tenants just pitched in and did what he was supposed to do. Talk about entitlement mentality! ETR!


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 5:45 p.m.

@Speechless, Well said. Thank you. You made my day.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 2:37 p.m.

"...Ypsilanti Mobile Village park to close due to 'despicable' conditions...." Homelessness, it seems, is not considered a 'despicable' condition at all. The stark coldness of our society's priorities never ceases to amaze. ------------ "... I can't stand reading this publication anymore, thanks to its role as a platform for uber-conservative libertarians to beat up on poor people...." The comments section provides the David Koch & Glenn Beck wing of local libertarians an oasis in an environment relatively awash in liberal & centrist views. Here, in the peanut gallery, they can create a limited, virtual reality in which Tree Town & vicinity can mutate quickly into a Mississippi of the North. The heaping of blame and demonization upon the poor, homeless, and unemployed has become a growing theme for hard right Republicans and libertarians. A few comments above show a vocal loyalty to these talking points, which seek to undermine support for social programs through long-term cultivation of harsh, callous public attitudes toward those much less fortunate, the losers in the giant craps game that is the national economy.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 2:06 p.m.

Deb: "A consent order signed in November 2008 by Judge Donald Shelton and attorneys for all parties sought to address the issues. DMello was to furnish titles and lease agreements for each mobile home, and he and park management were ordered to notify police upon learning of drug use or prostitution. Most importantly, the township was to inspect each mobile home when a resident left or was evicted to ensure it was up to code. Since then, every mobile home the township inspected has been condemned." Where was the Twp? Seems they've been dealing with this issue for at least 2 years and this wasnt something that popped up over night. Amazing how such a sad story concerning those caught in the middle of State and Property Owner mismanagement has to turn into a political issue let alone a blame game for those who decided to call this place home for so many years.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 12:50 p.m.

Strange...I can't tell who the liberals and the conservatives are here. Deb, I'm not sure if your defense of the tea party against attack was a gesture across party lines or if you are defending your own. You want the people to people to pull "together" to fix the situation. Some of them have no resources; should those with more resources help those with less. Should every person do according to their ability? Hmmm... who eles said something like that? I'm sure I'll think of it.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 12:43 p.m.

An interesting nuance: if the park 'closes', what happens to trailer owner property rights? Can they be denied access to their property? By whom? Wouldn't they also be able to sue the owner and mismanager for breach of contract by not allowing access to the trailers? And how deep are the owner's pockets? Many landlords would argue the key fault here resides with the property owner. The owner is ultimately responsible for vetting potential residents, enforcing park rules, much maintenance, most of the issues at hand here. Landlords generally can evict law breakers fairly easily; nearly anyone can be evicted within a short time if they are violating their lease. This owner appears to be a real estate rookie: having bought at the top, deferring maintenance, leasing to anyone with cash, etc., as well as blaming his 'manager', the local government, likely everyone but himself for the issues he faces. Quagmire...

Josh Zincke

Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 12:04 p.m.

To all tenants their are apartments for rent down N.Harris Rd just blocks away. I checked some out myself they run from $450-850. Sad about the mess going on there in the Mobile Village


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 12:01 p.m.

Ed, Would you live there and be happy with the conditions? I really feel for the people here but why choose to live like this? Why choose to tap into the power lines illegally rather than pull together and make a home a better place? This didn't happen over night. The conditions are dispicable, third world countries live in better conditions. It takes a village but the villagers have to have some part in improving things too. I'm amazed no one has been killed in these fire traps or has come down with a dreaded disease with open sewer lines and garbage everywhere. Resources are readily available, no one has to live like this and no one should choose to raise kids in filth. Some attention should be focused on the City of Ypsilanti for allowing such squallar to exist, there's reasons we have fire marshalls, zoning administrators, and building inspectors. Where have they been? And why didn't the residents complain to the city? This entire situation is appalling and it didn't happen over night. Not sure what this has to do with the tea party though, as you've pointed out, but if you look at this story closely enough it's repulsive to most people no matter what political affiliation they are with.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 11:35 a.m.

a very unfortunate situation for the residents as they have little or no options. arms folded... not a good sign the talks were going well.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 10:54 a.m.

A fall clean up of what? 7 condemned homes, open sewers, roads in disrepair etc? How can the remaining 14 residents accomplish that? They can't! As for the water contamination problem, that's on the owner of the park to fix NOT the remaining tenants. "Misdirected anger towards the owner"........get real. If he cared anything about his investment it wouldn't have got to this point, would it? Seems there's a lot of blame to go around starting with the State who was suppose to inspect this park and assure everyone it remained in compliance, they didnt do their job and neither did the owner. Sure, he cant help it when residents walk away from their homes in disgust and then leave their home to whomever to strip the metal off for profit, then again they left for a reason and it seems they were tired of their living conditions, not their home but the overall condition of the property. Like I said, there's enough blame here to share but its not with the remaining 14 residents.

Alan Benard

Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 10:54 a.m.

I can't stand reading this publication anymore, thanks to its role as a platform for uber-conservative libertarians to beat up on poor people. What good it does for its service area is negated by this shameful practice. The fact that these attacks are nearly always factually incorrect only makes the matter worse, if you consider to be a credible news source. Keep selling those page views, and your soul, Tony.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 10:26 a.m.

Now come on! You try and move a trailer that old, the frame would be so rusted apart, it would never make it down the road. And I would feel sorry for the tow company, because of the metal gone, it might be scrap in the middle of the road. I really feel for the people still trying to have a life as a home!!!!


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 10:21 a.m.

It states in the article that most of the homes are from the 60s and 70s and do not meet US Housing and Urban Development Code so they won't be allowed to move them to another park. How about the owner assesses what needs to be fixed, holds a meeting with the residents and assigns tasks and deadlines? Those willing to invest time/money/resources can stay, those unwilling can go. It is COMPLETELY possible to invest $6k in a trailer home! She didn't say she dropped $6,000 in one session...most people fix up their home over time. She could have easily spent that much if she were to replace kitchen/bathroom fixtures, re-paint, replace carpet, repair walls, and maybe even replace the cabinetry. My ex's grandfather lived in the first trailer on the left a few years ago. It was a beautiful trailer inside - nice fireplace, skylight, garden tub, new carpet even though it looked like crap on the outside. He also however was one of the many drug addicts in the park and I learned there is a large number of prostitutes and crackheads that party in the park. BUT I also learned there are nice families dealing with this problem and taking care of themselves in the park.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 9:37 a.m.

@donderop, "trailers in better condition than the one in the photo are available for considerably less than that". Spot on, I find it hard to believe that she put 6 grand into that trailer. It's market value, even in excellent condition would be about half that much based on its age and the fact it is a single wide. I agree with most others here and don't understand the "mis-directed"anger toward the owner. They should take that negative energy and use it to clean up the place. If the 22 renters would all get together and have a couple "fall clean up days" they could have the place looking much better right away!


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 9:24 a.m.

Ms. Roux says she invested $6,000 to fix up the mobile home? Trailers in better condition than the one in the photo are available for considerably less than that.

Tom Perkins

Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:53 a.m.

AA, Most of the residents aren't stealing electricity. Those who gathered on Thursday were upset because they say they have been paying their bills on time and are now losing their mobile homes.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:38 a.m.

"Were desperately trying to broker some kind of happy ending, Radzik said. This is all unfolding as we speak, and one of my big fears is owner shuts down, the utilities get shut off and we still have people in these trailers. If the owner shuts down this 'park' the 'tenants' are occupying the trailers illegally. They should be arrested immediately. What has happened to the right to own property and do what you want~need to do with it with the required legal notice? You can't just squat and stay illegally. Who cares about a 'happy' ending. You must be kidding, there will be no happy ending with tenants that steal utilities and trash their living space and instantly threaten physical violence to the park owner.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:27 a.m.

JGS-read the article again. The answer to your question is in the article


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:16 a.m. would be nice to know what dading said. That way the response by JGS would make sense.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:15 a.m.

What's wrong with this picture? It appears that some of the residents have an entitlement mentality that just does not make the cut. AA, you are spot-on in your post. This entire situation did not happen overnight and has probably been spiraling downward for quite some time. The owner has some culpability in this mess but the residents bear the greatest blame for the situation there. Pick up and clean up after yourselves. When someone is committing illegal hook-ups, report it. The owner's is not responsible for babysitting and functioning as a "mommy" for the development.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:05 a.m.

It says right in the article why they can not move the houses Most residents who remain say they have nowhere to go and no means with which to move. Because many of the mobile homes are from the early 1960s or 1970s, they dont meet newer U.S. Housing and Urban Development codes and can't be moved into a new park. The park is shutting down, but they cant move their homes.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 8:04 a.m.

You must be kidding. The owner tried to make this work with little or no help from anyone that lives there. 'It takes a village.' You have to take pride in where you live. You cannot wait for someone to always do everything for you. Now it is too late. It is all ways someones elses fault. None of the residents share any of the blame.


Sun, Sep 19, 2010 : 7:27 a.m.

@dading - I was wondering the same thing. If you own it then why not move it somewhere else? Like you said, it's mobile. There must be more to it than what we're thinking. I really feel sorry for the people living there and how they've had to live for years. Now they're getting thrown to the streets, it's just sad.