Residents scramble after water turned off at mobile home park

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They knew it was coming and at 8 a.m. Friday morning, it happened.

The City of Davenport shut off the water to Spring Lake Mobile Home Park. More than four dozen people are left living there, half of them children.

“All my emotions are everywhere,” said Jessica Griffen, a young mom with seven little kids. “I am stressed, I am upset.”

Griffen, like her neighbors, wonders where they and their families are going to live.

“What do they face?” FOX 13 asked homeless advocate Koren Hanna.

“Being on the street,” Hanna said. “That’s it.”

Davenport cut off the water because the landlord has a $45,000 water bill. The city says it has been working with him for years to catch up, but he hasn’t.

The landlord says he can’t pay the bill because so many residents are behind on their rent.

If the remaining residents don’t get out in seven days, they will be escorted out by law enforcement.

Social workers have been scrambling to place people, but say there is very little low-cost or subsidized housing in the Davenport area.

They say Hurricane Irma has just made a bad situation worse. The storm destroyed a lot of inexpensive rentals and the landlords raised prices for the ones that are left due to supply and demand.

“The cost of housing, if we find any, is way over their heads,“ said Jackie Turner, of Tri-County Human Services.

Turner says Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico didn’t help either.

Puerto Ricans who had their homes destroyed are coming here looking for low-cost housing, as well.

Eric Smyth was one of the luckier residents. He began searching for a new place for his family two weeks ago when residents were notified that the water was going to be cut off.

“I literally just found a place yesterday,” he said.

Learn more about what social service agencies are doing to help on the Tri-County Human Services Facebook page.