About 718 residents of a Hollywood mobile home park will have to find a new place to live by the middle of 2013, the tribe announced.
The Seminole Estates Mobile Home Park, located at 3300 N. State Road 7 and previously known as the Hollywood Estates Mobile Home Park, will close in June 2013 to become the future site of homes for members of the Seminole Tribe.
The decision to not renew the rental permits was made Friday, with input from tribal members and elders who said they want to keep their families intact and preserve the culture. The tribe said most of the mobile home residents live in South Florida only during the winter.
"Right now, there is not any more land to build homes for tribal members, and they've got a long waiting list and people who want to live on the reservation," said Gary Bitner, the spokesman for the Seminole Tribe.
But current residents are upset with the decision and say thousands of senior citizens will be affected.
"It’s inhumane what they're doing to the elderly. It's abuse," said Nancy Gallagher, the president of the homeowner's association.
On Saturday, several protested on State Road 7, asking people to boycott businesses owned by the Florida Seminole Tribe.
"Do not spend your money at the Hardrock because these people have no compassion whatsoever," said Bianca Sapia, a resident of the community.
The tribe said more than 200 members are on a waiting list and seeking housing at the new location.
The residents were notified immediately and received a $100 cut in their monthly rent, partly due to the closing of several of the community’s amenities, the tribe said.
A grant program for lower-income families will provide them with up to $3,000 for expenses if they move by the end of this year, according to Bitner. Rent will increase for those residents who stay past the end of the year.
"If you stay past December, they're going to hike your rent up and make it even harder for you to survive," said resident Wendy Isachsen.
Construction on the 110-acre property is expected to begin late next year. The mobile homes will be permanently closed to residents June 30.
The Seminole Tribe began to manage the park in July.