|Jan 01, 2014 --
Issues with Desert Mobile Home Park, or Duroville as it is commonly called, have been ongoing since 2003. Located on the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian reservation in Riverside County, Duroville was comprised of hundreds of severely dilapidated trailers with exposed electrical wiring, rotting flooring, peeling siding, and boarded up windows. What little infrastructure existed was consistently failing so sewage backups were a common occurrence and the water regularly tested positive for arsenic, fluoride and nitrates. The dirt streets were filled with debris, and packs of feral dogs roamed freely. In 2009 a federal judge finally ordered the park to shut down due to the hazardous conditions. But before the park could close, the more than 1,000 residents of Duroville needed an opportunity to find adequate alternative housing.
Through a partnership with federal, state and private groups, Riverside County developed a new 181-lot mobile home park in nearby Oasis. USDA Rural Development partnered with Coachella Valley Water District to connect the park to a public water distribution and wastewater collection system. Two Colonia Grants totaling $3.1 million and a $2.8 million Water and Wastewater Grant were used to connect to the water system, extend sewer collection lines to the property and pay for water and sewer connection fees for Duroville residents relocating to the park. In addition, a $700,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to Riverside County helped create jobs associated with off-site improvements related to the park's development. Riverside County, through their now defunct Riverside County Redevelopment Agency, contributed in excess of $18.6 million towards the development of Mountain View Estates.
In November 2012, a new mobile home park called Mountain View Estates was finally ready to house Duroville residents. Although located only three miles apart, Mountain View Estates and Duroville may as well be a world away for all the differences between the two places. For families that moved into Mountain View Estates basic amenities like clean, reliable water and sewer systems and electrical service was no longer a dream. As well, the brand new mobile homes offer heating and air conditioning, and the park features lighted, paved streets, a community center, laundry facilities, playgrounds, and athletic field. For the first time in their life, kids could play outside without the fear of dog attacks, or the risk of and parents could rest easy knowing their families were safe. Mountain View Estates was developed in phases, with the first families arriving in November 2012, and the last group welcomed in May 2013.