Booted

These folks want to stay, but soon they'll have no choice

Vega had managed to keep her home in compliance with county codes and never had her power shut off. She said she had always followed the rules and wouldn't protest the upcoming eviction. "I don't want any problem. I love this country," she said.

Standing at her doorway, she laughed as she recalled a relocation assistance offer — $700 — from the county. "What does that buy?" Then, her eyes glistening for a moment, she swept her hand toward her lawn. "It hurts, but what can I do?

Blue Lake's homeowners association — formed in response to the pending evictions — hopes to find an interested developer who will purchase the land and build mixed-income housing. It's likely too late for the residents of about 150 trailers who have held on until now.

Lucy Delgado (center) and other  residents of Blue Lake Mobile  Home Ranch face a bleak future
Jacqueline Carini
Lucy Delgado (center) and other residents of Blue Lake Mobile Home Ranch face a bleak future

Looking at the remains of her neighbors' homes, Lucy Delgado said, makes her feel as though she were going to choke. "Sometimes, I feel I might die," she said. She has looked fruitlessly for a new place to live. Most two-bedroom rental apartments she's found cost around $1500 a month, more than three times what she and her husband pay to keep their trailer on a narrow parcel at Blue Lake.

Sitting in a rocking chair, she whispered sweet nothings to her son, Daniel, but remained stoic. From the kitchen a few feet away, her friend, Jolanda Lopez, piped up. "She cries a lot."

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