Last families sign deal to leave South Side mobile home park

Mission Trails residents receiving $4,600 to move by Feb. 28

By Cory Smith - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - After refusing to sign for months, the last four families at the Mission Trails Mobile Home Park agreed Monday to leave the South Side mobile home park.

"They signed because they're absolutely tired of struggling and not getting anywhere," said Jessica Guerrero, a spokeswoman for the predominantly Spanish-speaking families.

The four families will receive $4,600 to vacate the park by Feb. 28, making way for a new mixed-use apartment complex in the 1500 block of Mission Road. They'll also have their outstanding late rental fees waived. But despite the compensation package, Guerrero said it is not enough.

"This is not what they needed in order to (relocate) soundly and safely," she said. "People had not paid (rent) in the last couple of months because they were saving up for their relocation. This is where it ends for these residents."

The mobile home park was rezoned last May, forcing residents to relocate their mobile homes. In return, residents received compensation to cover moving expenses. In the months following the rezoning, nearly 300 residents left the park, but the four families stayed hoping to receive more money and more time to leave despite missing the signing deadline.

The remaining families gathered Monday to make their demands. A compromise was finally reached after a closed-door meeting among residents, officials from Implicity Management and District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran.

"It's always been the issue to make sure that everyone has a place to land," Viagran said. "Every single family will be able to move to a new location of their choosing and has received compensation and assistance to help with the transition. We were able to accomplish this without spending taxpayer money."

But residents who signed a deal months ago said the money was not enough.

"We've been paid and it wasn't enough," said Mary Flores, who signed a relocation agreement in November. "It created a debt for every single resident and that should have never happened."

Flores lived in Mission Trails for 38 years, but after moving, her family has had to leave town.

"I was born and raised in San Antonio, but I can no longer live here," she said. "That tells you a lot about our city."

Liseila Bonilla said she does not regret holding out. She wants to serve as an example for any future residents faced with the same situation.

"It was worth it to wait because that way more communities will know about what happened here," Bonilla said.

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