Mobile home residents respond to surprise threat of displacement by luxury apartments

Buy PhotosBelen Alvarado and her three children live in Lakeview Mobile Home Park.

Rodrigo Parra giggled as he ran around the gravel lot with his friends, releasing energy after a long day of class. His school, Frank Porter Graham Elementary, just reopened after several snow days. The 11-year-old looked, acted and played like any other fifth grade student. The next day, however, he did what most elementary students don’t have to; he fought for his home.

“I had my first steps here, and I don’t want to move,” Parra said through tears while standing on a podium facing the Chapel Hill Town Council. “I had all my memories here. My parents are scared. We don’t have nowhere to move.”

Developers presented a concept plan to the Chapel Hill Town Council Jan. 24 for the construction of a luxury apartment complex on land where the Lakeview Mobile Home Park currently resides.

The sale of the Lakeview property threatens the residents of 33 mobile homes and 2 duplexes. If the town approves the development in later months, Lakeview residents will face relocation.

Ninfa Parra, the mother of Rodrigo Parra, said she doesn’t know where her family will go if they cannot live in Lakeview.

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