Linda McCoy, 69, has lived in Halcyon Mobile Home Park since 2010. She and her community have come together to fight back against developers who threaten to displace them.
Ainsley Meyer: Why has Halcyon Mobile Home Park been in the news?
Linda McCoy: Last July, we got a notice that Halcyon MHP was up for sale for development.
Patty Zeitlin wrote to Mayor Jenny Durkan, State Legislator Gerry Pollett, and Judith White from the Mobile Home Owners Association (MHOA) of Washington. Not much happened for a couple months.
In the early fall, Patty Zeitlin, Eloise Mickelsen and I started meeting to organize an effort to save Halcyon. We have a unique situation in that our mobile home park is held in trust, with annual profits going to a Nursing Scholarship Fund at UW. We were looking at what our legal grounds might be as well as anything that would help us gain protection from the city.
In November we kicked off our community-wide efforts. We brought together several community leaders: Rep. Pollett and Rep. Cindy Ryu; Judith White and Dan Young; representatives from City Council; Haller Lake Community Club Board members; and community leaders from the Association of Mobile Home Owners (AMHO), Kylin Parks and Ishbel Dickens.
Kshama Sawant, though not our specific district representative, was the one who stepped forward to make sure we got a City Council hearing. She made sure we knew we had her support. This helped us move forward.
On Dec. 26, Blue Fern Development put out a press release that they intended to buy the mobile home park and build 196 townhouses on the site. More Halcyon people got more involved, and by the time we went to the first Hearing with Sawant’s Human Services Committee on Jan.18, we had a large group of people ready and willing to tell their stories to City Council to make our case for getting help to save our homes. We had two more meetings with the City Council, Jan. 22 and Jan. 28. By Jan. 28, Blue Fern had pulled out, saying that the site conditions were not conducive to the kind of development they had planned. The City Council unanimously passed a one-year moratorium on the development of the land at both Halcyon and the mobile home park next to ours, Bella Bee, as well as a proposal to research re-zoning these two sites as Limited Use – Manufactured Homes Only. This success made all of us really happy!
AM: Why is Halcyon Mobile Home Park important to you and your neighbors?
LM: Halcyon is a place where people feel they can manage, and can have decent lives.
Halcyon is one of the last affordable housing places left in Seattle that is not specifically government sponsored low-income housing. This gives our homeowners freedom, and it gives our community the strength of diversity. We have a large skill set when we all come together. We have discovered more about each other in the process of trying to save our homes, and that knowledge gives us strength as well.
AM: Are you hopeful for the future of Halcyon Mobile Home Park?
LM: I think Halcyon homeowners have a chance at securing a sale that will not force us out of our homes due to cost increases. Cost is our big challenge now that development is off the table. There is still a lot to do to try to make it workable for us.
Our goal now is to have a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to saving affordable housing purchase Halcyon. We want to be in partnership with such a nonprofit to create a cost-effective, fair, and transparent management plan that will assure us of secure home ownership here for many years to come.
The nonprofits we know of that can be of help are: Resident Owned Communities, USA, Low Income Housing Institute and Manufactured Housing Preservationists.
I hope people take note of these nonprofit organizations and consider them when they are donating to important causes. Just like Nature Conservancy buys up land to preserve the environment, these nonprofits buy up land and houses to preserve for people to use who can’t afford market rate rent.
Many of us at Halcyon support proposed statewide legislation regarding mobile home owners and mobile home parks, and we will add our story to those efforts in Olympia. Our story is an important one!
Read about more Rampant Radicals highlighted by our Advocacy Department. Read the full Feb. 20 - 26 issue.
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