Displaced fire victims from a mobile home park fire receive temporary housing.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS – A recent fire at Country Squire RV and Mobile Home Park in Desert Hot Springs destroyed nine mobile homes and displaced 185 people.
Soon after, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) issued a Red Tag deeming the park unsafe for occupancy. The county and HCD communicated with the property management company regarding health and safety requirements. During a follow-up inspection of the property, HCD notified the city that it was allowing families to return to units that were unaffected by the fire.
With assistance from the nonprofit sector, funding from the City of Desert Hot Springs, and ongoing services by the County of Riverside, the local governments have helped the families who were unable to return to their homes to move into temporary housing.
“The support for these families and the resources we have secured for this response have been phenomenal,” Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said in a statement. “This has been a major effort to stabilize the housing situation for families who lost everything in this fire and provide hope and relief to folks prior to the closure of the shelter at the high school. The city and the county are definitely here to support the community. We are coming together and united in support of our residents.”
The City of Desert Hot Springs is actively providing assistance for families most in need, offering temporary housing to those who lost their homes. Along with Catholic Charities, the county’s Housing and Workforce Solutions Department engaged the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County to assist with the longer-term housing placements by offering security deposit assistance that can help these families move into apartments.
Many nonprofits have assisted. The American Red Cross has played a vital part the entire time, making the high school shelter possible and continuing to assist with case management. The Coachella Valley Housing Coalition is working with one family on down-payment assistance to purchase a home. The Tzu Chi Foundation has also stepped up to help several families.
In addition to local government representatives, State Assemblymembers Greg Wallis and Eduardo Garcia have pledged their assistance to the efforts. The staff of U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz has been on site as well collecting intake forms on what the residents need.
While the housing situation for the families has stabilized for the near term, residents continue to have many questions and concerns, including over the clean-up of the fire debris, rent payments, and safety and park concerns. The state agency of HCD has jurisdiction over the Country Squire RV and Mobile Home Park and oversees permits, inspections and enforcement of all state codes.
Collaborative efforts between Perez, Desert Hot Springs Mayor Scott Matas and City Manager Doria Wilms are taking place to address residents’ inquiries concerning jurisdiction over mobile home parks within city limits, debris abatement, health and safety issues, and landlord-tenant matters. County and city officials will continue to keep residents updated.
“This united endeavor demonstrates the city and county’s dedication to the well-being of the community and our commitment to finding answers for the residents’ remaining questions,” said Desert Hot Springs Mayor Scott Matas.
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