Most of the mobile homes here burned. "Those are the lucky ones," one resident told me. "They aren't in limbo." Owner has not sold. Developer wants to put in low-cost housing. And??? #abc7now pic.twitter.com/gZOGvyd5qb— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) December 17, 2018
"I owned my home, I lived there 29 years," said Dorothy Hughes, who owns one of the 44 homes that the fire spared. Not that home ownership has any benefits.
The urban ghost town--- Journey's End Mobile Home Park in #SantaRosa after the NBay firestorm. Many residents return in limbo. Unable to return, with no payments because their places survived but remain red-tagged. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/jb1e5KAlsT— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) December 17, 2018
Dorothy cannot return because the neighborhood remains condemned. Nor can she or other owners move on with their lives because insurance companies won't pay for the loss. It's limbo.
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On Monday, they got some hope following a meeting with Burbank Housing. The nonprofit developer wants to build low-income units on the site. Residents heard about plans to divide $2.5 million of charitable contributions.
There are $2.5 million of charity dollars on the table to split up. Today, @Burbankhousing, which wants to build the new low-cost building, met with former residents. Who will get what? Case-by-case decisions. #abc7now pic.twitter.com/UTYswwghlx— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) December 17, 2018
"This begins the process," said Efren Carrillo of Burbank Housing. "No, it should not have taken this long. We believe state agencies and federal agencies could have respond quicker. They did not."
Owners of the remaining units believe they deserve more of the money.
"We didn't get a lump sum for insurance like the others did. We got nothing," said Michelle Trammel.
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After the meeting, all residents signed up for individual appointments. Another step in a drawn-out, lingering uncertainty.
Check out more stories and videos about the North Bay Fires.