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Residents of Grand Canyon University-owned mobile home park forced to move

Residents of the Periwinkle Mobile Home Park near Grand Canyon University in Phoenix have been on notice to find a new place to call home.

GCU bought the property with plans to develop student housing, and the deadline to move out was Sunday.

GCU bought the land near 27th Avenue and Colter Street back in 2016. The university’s plan has been criticized for its displacement of low-income residents, some of whom had lived at Periwinkle for many years.

With the deadline approaching, neighbors on Saturday continued their plans for moving out. Others had to abandon homes that could not be relocated.

Resident Alondra Ruiz said she was waiting to see if there would be an extension for her and her husband.

"As of tomorrow, we literally, if we have to leave, we would be in our cars, I guess, or be homeless because we can’t find anything affordable. Everything’s very expensive, and we’ve been looking for almost a whole year, and we can’t find nothing," she said.

A group of people were also helping Esther Cook and her husband pack up Saturday morning.

“Sixteen and a half years, we’ve been here. We were here when they bought the property. We were here 10 years when they bought it, and we never knew it," she said.

A GCU spokesperson said the university would work with any remaining families and had no plans to immediately evict tenants who have an agreement with GCU.

Ignacio Ventura is a reporter for KJZZ. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in news media and society.