By: Sarah Snyder
MIDLAND - Numerous evictions, no water, and claims of racism: neighbors inside a Midland mobile home park are crying foul. NewsWest 9 cameras were rolling when law enforcement arrived on the scene.
Neighbors at the Westgate Mobile Home Park just off Interstate 20 in Midland say they're ready to open the floodgates on what they call bad management.
"It's just bad out here," Arcilia Martinez, who was asked to leave her home, said. "It's just terrible."
Ricky Stevens bought several homes on the Westgate property, he sold one to Irby Solis and on Tuesday the new owner tried to move the home, but Westgate claims Stevens never paid for it. An employee parked a semi truck in front of the home so Solis wouldn't be able to take it off the lot. Neighbors tell NewsWest 9, the employee even vandalized the home - that's when the Sheriff's Office showed up on the scene.
"They parked in front of it and said we weren't moving it, and if we did, they would flip it over," Ricky Stevens, a Westgate neighbor said.
"They parked in front of them and we had to call the police," Irby Solis, who tried to buy a home said. "They took the axels and things so we couldn't take it."
But the issues surrounding Westgate don't stop there. Neighbors tell NewsWest 9 multiple evictions, water woes, and racism have plagued the park.
"It's miserable," Stevens said. "They don't have water half the time. At least 10 days out of the month there's no water in this park."
The management served an order to vacate to the Martinez family who claims they never missed a rent payment; but they don't plan on packing their bags.
"I have not gotten anything from the courthouse," Martinez said. "There's no reason to vacate me because I haven't been behind on my rent. I haven't missed a payment. That's why I'm going through with the lawsuit on discrimination with Housing and Urban Development because I feel I'm being discriminated."
The management declined to talk on camera but they told NewsWest 9 since they took over the park two months ago, they've evicted 11 families due to failure of payment. They also deny any stereotyping and claim they have evicted families of all ethnic backgrounds. Neighbors are circulating a petition hoping to pursue legal action against the owners.
"I want people out there to know we're protected as people," Martinez said. "With the economy the way it is and all these families leaving and having to move out to other towns just because of them - it's not right."
NewsWest 9 also spoke with the Chief Deputy in Midland County on Wednesday and he couldn't comment on camera and would only say they've been on numerous calls to the Westgate Mobile Home Park. He also said the cases will go before the Justice of the Peace to determine who owns each property in question.