Lucila Monroy held her 2 year old son in her arms while the two stared at the burnt remains of their mobile home in Desert Rose Mobile Home Park in Thermal. Monroy is a seasonal farmworker and stay home mom while her husband works in the fields full time.
“We need help for our homes,” Monroy said. “I’m facing the disaster of losing my home, so it would be great to have funding to help not only my family but others who face similar issues.”
Griselda Garcia is the owner of Desert Rose. The mobile home park has been around for almost 20 years. Garcia is one of the community proponents of assembly bill 2056, which aims to help with funding to improve mobile parks where at least 30% of the residents are low income.
“With the bill we want to gain access to clean drinking water and proper sewage systems,” Garcia said. “I would like to have gardens, more trees, a communal area where kids can play basketball.”
The bill was proposed by assembly member Eduardo Garcia who has worked with several community leaders as an effort to help families in the East Valley gain access to affordable housing.
Among those activists is Sergio Carranza, the director of Pueblo Unido CDC, a non-profit that seeks to build sustainable communities in the East Valley.
“This bill was born from the community, and that community is known as the Polanco community, which is a large population of farmworkers that started through their own initiatives to bring new opportunities for affordable housing for their families,” Carranza said.
Garcia is a member of Polanco. She said she has tried fixing some of the issues at her mobile home park through loans, but she said it is not an easy task.
“It’s sad that oftentimes we don’t have the resources to make parks fit for decent living” Garcia said.
With the funds allocated for AB 2056, mobile home park tenants and renters would have access to grants and low interest loans “to either rehabilitate their mobile homes or purchase new mobile homes,” Carranza said.
Those are the kind of resources that could help renters like Monroy in the case of an emergency.
Carranza hopes Governor Brown signs both AB 2056 and AB 2060. The latter aims to grant funds to improve water lines and sewage systems in unincorporated areas in the Coachella Valley.
Carranza said these two bills go hand in hand to improve the living conditions in mobile home parks. Governor Brown has until September 30, 2018 to sign these bills.