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Residents at slum-like trailer park in KCMO hope change happens fast

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 12:19:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — There's a new company trying to turn around the Stonecroft Mobile Home Park, but residents are questioning the pace of progress.

The new company managing the park off Raytown Rd. didn't have a time frame but said they're in the process.

In May, 41 Action News showed the awful conditions people are living in. They say anything goes - violence, theft, vacant trailers, you name it - enough to make people scared to go outside at night, prompting Kansas City police department officers to patrol the area.

"The police are trying their best to help us. They're right there for us," longtime resident Jackie Patterson said. "We need them."

It appeared progress may have taken place since the last time 41 Action News visited in May. It seemed that there was less garbage and about half the trailers were marked for removal.

"They're just trying to clear everybody out pretty much," one man said who was moving out of the park.

At least 43 trailers are uninhabitable and vacant, stripped and strewn with trash. Many trailers have "No Trespassing" notices and orange X's spray-painted on them.

The management company, M. Shapiro Real Estate Group, is located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, about 35 minutes northwest of Detroit.

Regional manager Austin Shapiro said they're going to bring in new homes and get the squatters out.

"Our mission is to provide a safe, clean, affordable community for residents, and that's the people who are rent-paying, responsible occupants," Shapiro said over the phone.

Shapiro said people who are negligent and residing in homes they shouldn't be will be removed as quickly as possible.

Many residents hope it happens fast.

"They keep saying yes," Patterson said. "I'm from Missouri, show me."

When a trailer caught fire in April, Kansas City fire crews said they couldn't get a truck into the park because of a faulty access bridge, and two of the hydrants didn't work, which impeded their ability to fight the fire.

Fire department spokesperson Chief Jimmy Walker said they respond to two to three fires a year at Stonecroft.

Shapiro says the hydrants are repaired and they're working with engineers and contractors to fix the bridge.

"Just pray for us. And hope we get help," Patterson said.

The city was just at Stonecroft this week and issued several code violations for garbage at nine properties. The city has issued more than 100 violations during the last several years.

On May 30, the city gave management 30 days to correct the issues.

An inspector will follow up on Thursday, July 25.