INDIANAPOLIS — At the I-70 Mobile Home Park, reimbursement checks being handed out is a sight many residents never thought they'd see.
"We were in desperate need of some help because of what the owners have done to us," Byron Comegys said. "I'm happy we got a check. I'm happy about it. Yay!"
In late August, the residents who live at the west side mobile home park were told they would have to vacate the property by Oct. 15, but that was easier said than done.
Many of the mobile homes at the park are decades old and not so mobile. Others couldn't be legally moved on public roads without a vehicle title, and most of those records could not be found.
"Thanks to RTV6 you guys have been out here quite a bit, helping us, interviewing and getting things out to the public about whats going on," Comegys said.
After a series of reports from RTV6 highlighting the issue, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed a retraining order halting the eviction until each resident either compensated or given their title. Indiana lawmakers are also proposing new laws, hoping to prevent what happened to these residents from happening to others.
"Which is cool because I guess this is like one of the first trailer parks to be closed in Indiana or Indianapolis because they didn't know what to do. They were like, 'Woah, woah, woah, attorney general, we gotta write some laws on this one.'"
The attorney general's office told RTV6 residents of the mobile home park have received a total of $51,000. This week, residents opened hand-delivered envelopes with checks inside ranging from $1,200 to $3,000. For many residents, that's a new beginning.
"Yes, yes, I'll probably get a home instead of a trailer. A house, probably," Comegys said.
Residents now have until Feb. 21 to leave the property, a four-month extension of a deadline that would have left many of them with no money and no home.
The attorney general accuses the landowners, Blue Lakes Inc., of deceiving consumers, not obtaining permits and exploiting senior citizens. Blue Lakes Inc. has never responded to questions from the press.
- Aug. 22, 2019: Mobile home park residents want answers after they're told they will have to leave
- Aug. 23, 2019: Indianapolis mobile home park repairs blamed for evictions, but are not mandatory
- Aug. 27, 2019: Indianapolis mobile home park residents forced to move out get answers from local attorney
- Sept. 4, 2019: Indianapolis mobile home park residents receive assistance from community
- Oct. 9, 2019: Indiana Attorney General files lawsuit following RTV6 report on I-70 mobile home park
- Oct. 10, 2019: Judge grants temporary restraining order on I-70 mobile home park that was forcing people from homes
- Nov. 11, 2019: I-70 Mobile Home Park residents waiting for answers from court hearing from Indiana AG lawsuit
- Nov. 12, 2019: Agreement reached between Indiana Attorney General and I-70 Mobile Home Park owners
- Nov. 27, 2019: 'Roller coaster ride' continues for I-70 Mobile Home Park residents
- Jan. 16, 2020: I-70 Mobile Home Park residents raise health and safety concerns
- Jan. 21, 2020: Proposed bill could help protect Indiana mobile home park residents
- Jan. 30, 2020: I-70 Mobile Home Park residents being forced from their homes receive payment from AG's office