Duroville Replacement Housing Project to be Celebrated Jan. 5 Affordable, Modern Mobile Home Park to Replace Substandard Trailers
OASIS – Riverside County officials invite the community to celebrate the grand opening of Mountain View Estates, an affordable housing community in the eastern Coachella Valley, at 10 a.m. Saturday at 68-990 Harrison St. in Oasis.
Mountain View Estates will provide 181 new modular homes to transplant residents from the hazardous, dilapidated living conditions at Desert Mobile Home Park known as “Duroville.”
“Workers and their families have been living in conditions at Duroville that are hard to fathom in our country,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “Mountain View Estates is a well-designed community that dramatically lifts living standards for these families. The project’s underlying human need makes it unlike any other project that Riverside County has undertaken.”
The county’s Economic Development Agency will screen a video showing the dramatic improvements in living conditions. Refreshments will be available after the ceremony.
Residents of the new park have access to public water and sewer systems, electrical service, wide paved streets, curb and gutter and interior street lighting – basic amenities lacking at Duroville. Additional features include a community center, clubhouse, soccer fields, volleyball court, basketball court, laundry facilities, playgrounds and gym.
The serious health and safety conditions at Duroville prompted the federal government to file a complaint against the park’s owner, Harvey Duro, and seek the park’s closure. The county in 2007 stepped forward and planned Mountain View Estates as a new mobile home park. Approximately $28.4 million has been invested in the project from county funds, federal grants and private financing.
Supervisor Benoit championed the efforts of his predecessor Supervisor Roy Wilson to complete the project, carrying it through the recent challenges of constructing a sewer line and successfully appealing the state’s denial of key funds. The project’s completion and relocation of residents is a crucial component of the federal government’s plan to close Duroville, located on 40 acres allotted to Duro on the Torres-Martinez Indian reservation.
With the assistance of U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and state legislators, the county secured a significant federal grant that funded a new water and sewer system to serve the park. The improvements were connected by the Coachella Valley Water District in November.
Amid the redevelopment wind-down in California, the project was nearly jeopardized by the state Department of Finance’s decision in April to disallow redevelopment housing funds to complete it. After personal appeals from Supervisor Benoit, Bishop Gerald Barnes of the Diocese of San Bernardino and other key partners, state finance officials in October reversed their position, approving the county’s appeal to spend the remaining funds to purchase and install modular housing units on site.
“The county prevailed against every obstacle along the way to build this community,” Benoit said. “The success of this project is a triumph for everybody in the county and a particularly bright feat in the eastern Coachella Valley.”
Fifty families from Duroville are now living at Mountain View Estates. With 70 units already installed at the park, the county anticipates all 181 families will move into Mountain View Estates by the end of May 2013.
Attendees should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 951-955-0757.