Pasco families desperate for help after eviction notices, water shutoff

DADE CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Nearly two dozen families in Pasco County are desperate for help after being hit with eviction notices.

8 On Your Side has been told by county officials that a neglectful property owner is to blame.

Our crews were in the Lazy Breeze Mobile Home Park in Dade City on Wednesday, as officials worked to shut off water.

“Everybody’s forced to move out of here. I raised a family here with my husband,” said resident Sarah Bryant-Lewis.

Facing a 15 day eviction notice, all families must go.

“We have nowhere to go. We have no money. We have no transportation,” said Willie Lewis, Sarah’s husband.

“They act like they don’t care about us,” he said.

County officials tell us the water system at the park is no longer considered safe and the trailers are unlivable.

8 On Your Side took those concerns to Pasco County Human Services to find a solution, asking whether the county cares about these families.

“Absolutely. Myself and my case managers went out there in January when we first heard about this and the number one thing we want to do is put people in safe, stable housing,” Price said.

Price says the county warned the previous owner of code violations and even threw him in jail this month for not maintaining the property.

“The difficulty is when these landlords are there, they’re very strong and they have a lot of influence on their tenants,” Price said.

Families are worried about money, being denied when applying for a new home and relocation expenses.

“As long as they’re low income, we can help pay their security deposits, their first month’s security, and their last month’s rent and get them into safe, secure housing,” Price said.

Price also says there’s a new program that will cover 70 percent of rent for up to a year to help families in similar situations.

We’ve learned that case workers will be at the mobile home park on Friday to help more families.

Price says the county is experiencing an affordable house shortage, but there are more options on the western side than the eastern portion of the county.

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