KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Joy Ufford, 90, has called the Heart Mobile Village at 7000 East U.S. 40 Highway home for the past 51 years. But Monday afternoon, she received official notice the owners sold the park to Jackson County for construction of a new detention center in order to avoid a legal battle.
The Jackson County legislature approved Monday morning the purchase of the mobile-home park, which sits near the Truman Sports Complex. Later in the day, residents learned management hope to move everyone out over the next six months.
"It never even entered our minds about that we’d ever have to move," Ufford said.
When word first started circulating about a sale, Ufford didn't think it would happen.
"It was flooded in 1990," she said. "We thought that they would not want to buy land that could be flooded."
However, the site, according to the county, has all the criteria officials were looking for – at least 50 acres of land, easy access to transportation (RideKC travels on 40 Highway), and proximity to the I-435/I-70 interchange, which provides travel times between 20 and 30 minutes to county courthouses and Truman Medical Centers.
The sale affects about 100 families who live on the property.
"I feel for a lot of people here that's lived here for years and years, especially the elder, you know, what are they going to do? " Loretta Barbee, another Heart Mobile Village resident, said.
Management assured residents they don't have to "worry about moving right now" and that they've made arrangements to help with the moving process over the next six months.
They're also offering up to $5,000 for relocation costs, unless tenants are behind on rent and utility payments.
"We've been looking, but nothing that we can afford since COVID," Barbee said. "You know, COVID really just put everybody down. Everybody lost their jobs and everything. I mean, I mean, we'll make it through. Don't get me wrong, we'll — we'll do what we have to. If we have to go to a shelter, we'll have to go to shelter for a while, but we'll make it through."