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TRAILERS TAKEN: Some, but not all Ian survivors asked to leave Bonita Springs RV park

Hurricane Ian survivors miss out on state-donated trailers as RV park asks them to leave
Posted at 7:55 AM, Jul 04, 2024

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Some people at the Gulf Coast Camping Resort in Bonita Springs are scrambling to find housing in just a few weeks.

The Unite Florida program, which has provided temporary travel trailers for 22 months to people displaced by Hurricane Ian, will end in July.

Monday, Fox 4's Anvar Ruziev spoke with people in Iona who say they need more time to find a place to live. Watch that report here:

No Place to Go: Hurricane Ian survivors face eviction as temporary housing program winds down

In his reporting, Ruziev found other RV parks, like the Gulf Coast Camping Resort, are allowing certain residents to stay and pay lot rent in Unite Florida donated RVs. However, not every residents has been approved to stay. Linda Luck is one of them.

"We were told that we were going to get a title to the trailer as a donation from Unite Florida, as long as the park approved us," Luck said.

Many residents only discovered this month that the park denied their requests to stay, and now they say they don't have enough time to look for a new home.


Park management declined to comment, but blamed the decision about trailer donations on the state.

But people like Luck blame the park.

"The state of Florida has awarded us these trailers so we're not homeless. How can a private company, Gulf Coast RV Resort, strike that and block us from getting our title?" she asked.

Jessalyn Oney, another recipient, said, "You have to be approved by the park, and they're not giving the trailers to people. You had to be approved, which we were in the beginning."

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Emergency Management, nearly 80 trailers have been donated to survivors in Lee County so far, with efforts to donate more where local zoning and jurisdictions allow. However, specific requirements for these donations have not yet been clarified.

The Florida Department of Emergency Management said that once the program ends, the trailers will either be donated to non-profits, other states, or kept for future use in similar missions.