Is the economic boom to blame for trailer park evictions? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Is the economic boom to blame for trailer park evictions?

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

Many Southwest Louisiana residents are wondering whether the recent economic expansion is to blame for many area trailer parks becoming RV parks.

Is this true?

Kirkland Thibodeaux has lived in Hidden Pond RV Park for four years with his wife and child, - they have another child on the way.

He now has until Jan. 15 to be out of the park and he believes is because of the plant workers.

"I mean eventually all of this will end up being flattened; none of this will be here - it will be a giant plant town but when everything is said and done with the plants, this will be a ghost town," said Thibodeaux. 

He is luckier than most because the previous park owner, Dalton Langford, is making sure to help the eight being evicted.

"I hate it because it's Christmas time and everything but I don't want to hurt people and I'm trying my best not to hurt them too bad," said Langford.

He also said the new owner, Custom Touch Village, has no plans of converting the rest of the park to accommodate RVs, but that is the case for most like the residents in Acadian Acres.

"It's a landlord's market and it's going to continue that way until after this expansion and we don't know what that crystal ball is going to be," said Mayor Chris Duncan.

Duncan has been hearing residents complaints and is trying to help but has come to the conclusion that not much can be done.

"Property owners have their own rights and like I've been telling people, if you rent, beware," he said.

There are two employee villages outside the city limits, but most of the rooms and apartments remain empty. Sasol reported 75 percent of their workers prefer RVs, according to Duncan, but he said new RV and mobile home parks have been repeatedly turned down.

"I guess they've taken this need and ran and put the mobile homes on the back burner because when a mobile home park is proposed they're turning them down too now so it's a double-edged sword," Duncan said.

Duncan said a lot of these parks, like Acadian Acres, have been zoned both ways so after the boom, they can be turned back into mobile home parks.

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