Nine months later, mobile home park still running off generators

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – With temperatures reaching triple digits, health professionals are advising people to stay out of the heat for long periods of time. But what if you can’t stay out of the heat because your home has no working air conditioning? That’s the situation dozens of mobile home residents found themselves in over the weekend.

The El Frontier Manufactured Home Community, on Flowing Wells Road near Wetmore Road, has been running off two large generators for the past nine months.

Last fall, a fire damaged a power pole in the center of the mobile home park. A spokesperson for the management company says it’s a “complex repair that involves a complete rebuild of the electrical system.”

There are more than 70 mobile homes, but only about 30 on the east side are experiencing frequent power outages.

“We were good for the last month and a half I would say…until this weekend,” said one tenant, who we will refer to as “Bob.”

Residents are concerned about potential backlash in this competitive housing market. So, they have asked to remain anonymous.

Bob says the power went out six separate times between Friday afternoon and Monday morning. He says it’s more than an inconvenience.

“I have an elderly woman in the house who really can’t take the heat,” Bob said.

Another man, we’ll call him “Tony,” says appliances have been damaged by the blackouts.

“The refrigerator was off so all the food went bad,” said Tony. “It wasn’t just us, it was neighbors as well. There’s a lot of people in the park that rely on oxygen.”

Making matters worse, residents say the pool is also in disrepair. One mother said it leaves her children no way to cool off.

The El Frontier Community did issue a one-time $200 reduction on rent to those impacted. However, tenants say it came six months after the issues started. Bob says it’s not enough to cover the cost of spoiled food, broken appliances, or hotel stays to escape the heat.

While their rent has gone up, Bob and Tony say their quality of life has gone down.

“It seems like now that it’s getting hotter, the generators are turning off a lot more,” Tony said.

Monday night, the El Frontier Manufactured Home Community Management released the following statement:

“The safety and comfort of our residents is our top priority.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We always make every effort to notify residents of outages. This past weekend a generator needed repair, which we promptly fixed. Every 20 days, we inspect the generators and during this time they are off for approximately 30 minutes while preventive maintenance is performed.

This is a complex repair. Our contractor has submitted repair plans to Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and we are waiting on their final approval to begin construction. We are hopeful for construction to begin soon with completion this summer.

We thank our residents for their patience and understanding.”

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