Jodi Arnold: Tired of Waiting for Repairs
I’ve lived in my community since 2002. I had just gotten married and we were looking for a first home, and we moved here. Everything started out fine, but we started to see that things were never fixed when they broke. We had a street light in front of our house that went out back in 2002, it was just fixed last week, after talking to management about it for nearly fourteen years. We kept being told we were on a list, ELS doesn’t do anything, they put you on a list and for all you know you could be on that list forever.
Now, I have some roots in the front of my house that are growing under my home, I’ve been told it will ruin the foundation, and I’ve told ELS about it but they just don’t do anything. They kind of blow you off with maintenance things, they give you something just to shut you up for a while, like saying you’re on the list. I don’t believe they actually care about the residents around here, it’s just a money thing for them. Zell owns a lot of properties there is no reason he can’t put any money into these properties with what he is making.
I think there has to be a time limit for the maintenance on the property. We homeowners have a time limit to clean things up, or we get fined, so ELS should also have to have a timeline they should have to stick to. For example, the people here at Golden Terrace Village had my truck towed out of my driveway for expired tags, it needed to be repaired before I could drive it anywhere and I was waiting to get that done. But they towed and it cost me $369 to get it back. ELS is in no hurry to do what it takes to fix the things they need to fix but we residents have time periods to fix what they want fixed. They should be fined, as we are, for not making repairs in a timely manner.
There are things I really like about my community. I like the closeness, we’re all friendly with each other, and everybody looks out for each other. It’s a huge park, so you don’t know everybody, but everyone is nice. We keep our yards up the best we can. Some of us are disable so it’s a little harder, but people help each other out. When it snows neighbors shovel driveways for those who can’t. I have disabled, and I’ve lived here by myself for eight years since my divorce, but I feel very safe, I know people are looking out for me.
I’d like to stay here, this has been my home, and I’m paying a mortgage. But the lot rents keep increasing, it just went up $800. With my mortgage and property taxes, my total costs are over $1000. I’m on a fixed income, social security disability, the rent increases leave me barely enough money left to live off.
A majority of community is elderly or disable, and a lot of people are moving out because they can’t afford the lot rent. There should be a cap on how much ELS can raise lot rent. If this goes on every year no one will be able to afford to live here, especially the people already here on SSI or SSDI, we don’t have the money to keep on paying the lot rent and have them not even doing anything to maintain the community.