Placeholder Image photo credit: Noah Abrams/KRCB
Littlewoods Mobile Villa residents pose for photos
after a press conference to discuss their plight
on Tuesday, August 28th.

Staring down eviction and homelessness, Sonoma County mobile home residents are speaking up.

A tight-knit crowd of more than 50 people gathered this week, filling up a quiet corner of Littlewoods Mobile Villa in southeast Petaluma.

The all-ages, 78-unit mobile home park is home to mostly low-income Latino families. Many are longtime residents, like Martín Contreras.

"I've lived in Littlewoods 23 years, my entire life," Contreras said. "I know the amazing people and community that is present here. Lots of respectable, hardworking families, many of whom work multiple jobs and want nothing but the best for their children."

The park's owners have threatened to close, citing the cost of maintenance, and Petaluma’s new mobile home rent stabilization rules.

In response, residents have joined together as Littlewoods Neighbors United; focused on keeping negotiations, and the park, open, Contreras said.

"They're treating us like a business," Contreras said. "We just want to keep little woods and mobile homes in general, open and affordable."

Resident Juan Magaña, speaking through an interpreter, said Littlewoods already represents so-called “housing of last resort.”

"It is important that this park remain open because I wouldn't have a way or means to relocate my mobile home to another place," Magaña said. "And, there being little to no areas to relocate to, the cost of living nowadays would make it even harder for me."

Littlewoods residents aren’t the only ones in Petaluma threatened with closure either. Jodi Johnson is a resident of Youngstown mobile home park on North McDowell Boulevard, across town from Littlewoods.

"The retaliations that have happened to you are happening to us at Youngstown as well, and we are much more powerful together as we fight this fight against the injustice of investors retaliations," Johnson said.

Looking to raise awareness, Johnson said she has invited state and city leaders to a September 12th protest at Youngstown, but she said the fight goes well beyond just Sonoma County.

"We anticipate that this is a national issue and we intend to make it something that cannot be suppressed anywhere," Johnson said.

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