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Legal Aid statement on Euclid Beach Mobile Home Community

Posted February 13, 2023
8:00 pm

prepared comments by Legal Aid attorney Mike Russell for the February 13, 2023 press conference regarding the potential displacement of Euclid Beach residents

Legal Aid represents the United Residents of Euclid Beach, and represents members of the Euclid Beach Mobile Home Community.

I’m here today to speak on the importance of a home.  The word house is used to talk about a building made for people to live in. The word home is used to talk about the familiar space inside and around a person's house.

For Euclid Beach residents – they may own or rent a house here, but the mobile home community is their home.

Some residents of Euclid Beach Mobile Home Community have lived here for decades. Some households include multiple generations. All consider Euclid Beach their home.

The mobile homes – also known as manufactured homes – are not actually mobile as their name suggests.  These homes are “grounded” with concrete foundations, decks, site-built porches, garages, patios, and landscaping. Things that are built with life-savings and retirement accounts, by residents intentionally creating a permanent future for themselves in this park. Although they are referred to as mobile homes, the truth is – for most of the homes in this park – they cannot be moved.

All have fought over time for better living conditions in the park.  Years ago, the fights were with an out-of-state Texas real estate investment firm, and, more recently, with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.

Ultimately, this is not a transactional conversation about land, but it is a transformational conversation about homes.

Legal Aid is here to fight to save homes and preserve the dignity of residents.

We will hold the Western Reserve Land Conservancy to their statutory obligations to Euclid Beach residents as a landlord. We are exploring all options and focused on solutions.

These solutions must be reached through a genuinely collaborative process:  A process that accounts for all the residents’ interest.  And, Legal Aid will ensure residents’ rights and just results.

And, while just solutions are negotiated, we need to focus on preserving affordable housing, not just for Euclid Beach residents, but all residents of this area who face the ripple effect of gentrification based on current plans for redevelopment.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, research shows the U.S. has a shortage of 7 million rental homes which are affordable and available to extremely low-income renters.  Right now – in Ohio, there are only 43 affordable units available for every 100 households with low income.  There is an incredible dearth of affordable housing.

We need more affordable housing, not less.  Legal Aid supports Euclid Beach residents in exercising their agency – they have a say in what happens to their homes.  It is their neighborhood, and safe, stable housing is essential for economic, educational and family stability.

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