Putting a Human Face on the Jackson’s Park Exodus

Jay Barrett/KMXT
Situated between the City of Kodiak and the town’s priciest neighborhood on Spruce Cape is Jackson’s Mobile Home Park – 12 acres packed full of old single- and double-wide trailers. For decades, it has been Kodiak’s catch-all neighborhood.

It has welcomed residents wanting to put down roots on a budget, people who needed a couch for a few nights or more, and for many, it was a relatively inexpensive place to rent a room in a community that is notorious for having the tightest, most difficult housing in the State of Alaska.

But one year ago the residents of the 100 trailers in the park were told they would have to leave by May 1, 2016, not quite two weeks from now.

Kevin Suydam, a high-line Kodiak fisherman and classic car collector, purchased the entirety of Jackson’s with the intent of clearing the property and subdividing it into residential lots.

In the past year, residents have pleaded with the Kodiak Island Borough to aid their plight any way it can. In response, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the assembly have taken steps to allow greater density in other trailer parks, relaxed restrictions on where mobile homes can be placed, and waived certain fees. But many of the trailers are so old they fall apart when moving is attempted. Many are just being abandoned in place to await destruction.

KMXT’s Kayla Desroches spoke with five people who’ve been connected to Jackson’s in one way or another for up to 20 years. This week we’ll hear how they are dealing with the upheaval of being evicted a year ago and the pressure to move out as the deadline nears.

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