After 30 years, N.J. trailer park plans to double rent for low-income residents

Listen

As a 30-year housing deal in Mount Laurel, N.J., expires, some residents of a trailer park there say they were deceived and are heading to court to fight a plan for doubling their rent.

The owners of Tricia Meadows say when the three-decade deal to provide affordable housing in Mount Laurel ends Tuesday, they can start charging market-rate rents in the trailer park.

Residents say they were misled and can’t afford to pay more.

Their attorney, Paul Leodori, said his clients feel like they are having the ground yanked out from beneath them.

“Now you have the person who was wearing the white hat 30 years ago trying to get low-income housing basically now turning their back on these people, saying, ‘Even though we rented you these properties, we’re now going to double your rent, contrary in what we said in our addendum, contrary to what we said in our lease,” Leodori said.

Many of the residents who have lived there for decades aren’t very mobile, he added.

“The average age of the people I represent is 73, and so most of those people have made a decision that this is where they want to live for the rest of their lives, barring health issues,” Leodori said.

The park’s owners contend this was spelled out 30 years ago and they are just following the deal they made back then.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.