DIGGING DEEPER: Mobile home park shuts down after years of neglect

ROCKFORD (WREX) – People have called the Timberlane Mobile Home Park home for decades. But now, the park sits nearly empty. Residents were forced out due to what health experts describe as unsafe conditions, which created health concerns for people living there. It’s not a lot, but what it is is ours,” said resident James Brough.

The health department said the water is broken lines, and the landlord won’t fix it because she can’t afford it, I guess,” said resident Cheryl Miles. But what led to these unsafe conditions? 13 Investigates filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the Winnebago County Health Department and found that a September 2018 inspection and subsequent follow-up inspections led to numerous health concerns outlined in a notice sent to owner Sheri Saleh.

These violations ranged from garbage visible throughout the park to multiple condemned vacant properties. However, The most pressing was a failing water system that the health department outlined as “apparent breaks in the private water supply system. In that January 23rd, 2019 notice sent to Saleh, the WCHD gave her a date of April 1st, 2019, to fix violations or vacate the property entirely.

DIGGING DEEPER: Mobile home park shuts down after years of neglect 1

They told us we’d have to be out by the end of March,” said Miles.

Saleh declined an interview with 13 WREX, but in a letter she sent to residents, she said she could not afford the thousands of dollars worth of repairs and would have no choice but to give residents until the end of March to move out. I want an explanation why she didn’t learn more about taking care of the property,” said resident Sam Knipprath.

She has a big old fancy house, and she doesn’t care about one person out here that loses anything,” said Brough. “We shouldn’t have to lose our homes because of her negligence. 13 Investigates filed a FOIA request with the Illinois Department of Public Health and found Saleh has been running the park without a license since April 2016. Residents were left outraged. Scrambling to find a new place to call home. They directed us to get help, but we aren’t getting any help at all,” said Brough. So, with no help, people packed up and headed out.

Leaving the place they’ve called home for years.

I’m losing everything,” said Brough. “I got a daughter crying because we are losing our home. It’s just not right. I just want to sleep all the time because I’m depressed,” said Miles. “I’ve been here so long now it’s my home. It’s only water problems. Someone should be able to fix that. I’m just disgusted; I’m losing my home,” said Knipprath.

Take it with me. According to the Winnebago County Health Department, Saleh shut off the water to residents the week of April 1st. A spokesperson for the WCHD says the department estimates there were still about six families on the property following the April 1st deadline. Due to no potable water on-site for residents, the health department says it was forced to condemn those remaining properties. The Illinois Department of Public Health says it turned the case over to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Eddie Bowers
Eddie Bowershttp://homezlog.com/
With an eye for design, I have always loved home improvement. Whether it's making a house look bigger by painting walls white, adding a new kitchen, or finding the perfect piece of furniture, there is something out there that can make a space feel more comfortable and inviting. I love to explore the latest trends in home decor, as well as home repair, so I can help people find solutions for projects and projects. My articles aim to provide the latest tips and tricks, help people understand home improvement terminology, and inspire them to take on their home improvements. I am passionate about creating content that can help people solve problems, and I'm excited to use my skills and writing experience to help people through home improvement, home repair, and interior decorating.