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$140,000 in outstanding water bills could soon force families from their mobile homes

The city announced Tuesday the owner of Elms Mobile Home Park off Dort Highway has only made one payment for water since August 2015. According to the city, the owner owes more than $140,000 in water bills. (Photo Credit: Stephanie Parkinson)

A landlord not paying for water could be what soon forces a lot of families to leave their homes in Flint.

The city announced Tuesday the owner of Elms Mobile Home Park off Dort Highway has only made one payment for water since August 2015. According to the city, the owner owes more than $140,000 in water bills.

This is news that's difficult for those who live in the park to hear. According to the city, those who live there have been paying the owner for water every month.

"We are out of a home. We're on the street. I mean there's just no other way to put it," said John, who didn't want to appear on camera or have his last name used. "That's not only going to put my family out on the street but several families that live here"

John has lived with his wife at Elms Mobile Home Park for about a year. He says they bought the trailer off the owner but says now it would cost them more to move it than it's worth. So if he has to leave they won't be able to take their home with them.

"I mean without this trailer we're on the street," said John.

"It's hard to hear, it's very hard to hear," said Chandra Walker-Smith, emergency case manager, Genesee Health System Water Outreach Team.

Tuesday representatives from the American Red Cross and Genesee Health System Water Outreach Team went door-to-door offering to help the people who live in the 24 occupied mobile homes. They are trying to find them all new places to live.

"We just try to keep an open mind and just try to help out as much as we can," said Walker-Smith.

But for John this is home.

"That's the first place her and I have ever owned that we could all our own and call home and now we're at risk of losing it," said John.

John says he's paid his water bill, but the City of Flint says the owner of the mobile home park has not been paying the City of Flint.

"Our water bill is included in our lot rent and we pay that every month. It's a little over $340," said John. "My wife and I, we're living off her disability check, my donation at the plasma center plus my ARMY Reserve pay and that's not going to get us very far."

According to the City of Flint there is still more than $100,000 in back property taxes on top of the more than $140,000 in past due water bills. If those aren't paid up soon this mobile home park will likely end up closing. That means everyone, including John and his wife, will have to leave.

We made calls to the owner of Elms Mobile Home Park. Those calls were not returned.

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