EL CENTRO – In an effort to assist families evicted from the Sleepy Hollow RV Park, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting Tuesday where they voted unanimously to approve the use of Community Benefit Program funds, not-to-exceed $20,300, to provide temporary relocation for the evicted residents.
According Esperanza Colio-Warren, Imperial County Economic Development Manager, 29 families who received eviction notices have been identified as eligible to receive a one-time $700 housing stipend.
“This is a very unfortunate situation” said Colio. “We (ICCED) have been working diligently from day one to try and assist these families.”
According to Colio, most of the affected families have resided at the RV Park for over 22 years.
“There are seniors in their eighties and nineties who have retired there (RV Park) and now their future is uncertain” said Colio.
A total of 57 families received eviction notices July 1, stating they needed to vacate the property as of August 31.
The Sleepy Hollow RV Park is located south of the Quechan Casino & Resort in Winterhaven and is owned by the Quechan Indian Tribe (Manzanita Tribe).
Since being informed of the matter on August 1, the County of Imperial, including its Community and Development Department (ICCED) and Social Services Department, has been working diligently to find a means to provide assistance and services the affected families, according to Colio-Warren.
Additionally, the board of supervisors voted to approve and extend the Tenant-Based Assistance Program for two years from the original grant agreement to benefit the Sleepy Hollow residents as well as other families in the unincorporated areas of Imperial County in need of rental assistance.
Under the Tenant-Based Assistance Program (TBRA) program, the County provides rental assistance and security deposit payments to very-low income, eligible households and low income families who are in need of rent subsidy in order to afford adequate housing. TBRA assistance makes up the difference between the amount the household can afford (30 percent of adjusted monthly gross income) and the monthly cost of rent. All TBRA assistance is made in form of a grant and will not have to be repaid. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to families in emergency homeless situations.