FLORIDA CITY (CBSMiami/AP) — Residents of a trailer park in Florida City, some of who have been there for years, are being kicked out after the city made a deal to sell the land to developers.
Residents of the 15-acre lot, which is owned by the city, have until Wednesday to leave, according to the Miami Herald.READ MORE: Legendary 'Goodfellas' actor Ray Liotta dead at 67
City officials are working to close a $6.8 million sale with developers. As part of the deal, all trailers, campers, recreational vehicles and their occupants have to be gone, said Mayor Otis Wallace.
“The deal can’t close until the campsite is empty,” said Wallace, who’s been mayor of Florida City since 1984.
Because residents aren’t being told to leave because of their inability to pay rent, they aren’t likely to be helped by the federal moratorium on evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which the Biden administration has extended until the end of the month.
Many of the 70 or so residents are elderly and have physical and mental health problems that make it difficult to work. Several residents said they were blindsided by the notice from the city that they needed to move.READ MORE: BSO Investigates Fatal Crash In Dania Involving Motorcyclist
Located in one of South Florida’s poorest municipalities, the low-income trailer park has been home to residents since the 1980s.
“We just can’t come up with the money to go somewhere else on such short notice,” said Yamil Soltura, 17, a high school student who lives at the park with his father. “If they gave us 90 days, at least we’d be able to work with that, and we could figure out what we’re going to do, work some overtime or something, I don’t know.”
The mayor said the city has been telling residents to make other living arrangements since 2019. The only reason the evictions haven’t happened sooner is that talks with the developers have been delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wallace said.
“I’m very sympathetic to the campers, but as the mayor of Florida City, I’m sympathetic to the taxpayers, too,” Wallace said.MORE NEWS: Cruise Ship Smokestack Catches Fire in Turks & Caicos
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)