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County helping those in need of homes

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County leaders have a plan to take some of the county’s dilapidated mobile homes and hand those trailers over to an area charity that will use them to help people in need.

Colleton County leaders are working with members of the county’s Forfeited Land Commission in creating the program. The Forfeited Land Commission is comprised of different leaders from across the county: the commission operates as a county-based entity. Every county in the state has such a commission, whose sole purpose is to take ownership of property that is either not paid for or not claimed by property owners. In Colleton County, this commission is working with leaders in the county’s Planning and Development Department to put those forgotten mobile homes to good use.

“The trailers were seized by the county from individuals who either did not pay taxes on their mobile home, or who did not redeem it from the county in the allotted one year since it was seized,” said Philip Slayter, planning director for Colleton County. Slayter has been heading up this program and is working with the Forfeited Land Commission.

According to Slayter, most of those seized mobile homes in Colleton County have since been demolished, either because they were already in poor condition or because they didn’t match county and state living codes. However, there are many trailers that were not demolished.

“The rest of these trailers/mobile homes would potentially be transferred to an appropriate non-profit, for them to help people who need housing and who can best help the homeless,” said Slayter.

There is no accurate number yet on how many trailers have been demolished, versus the number saved to transfer to people in need, he said. “We are now going through that inventory, figuring out how many units we have to donate,” he said.

Slayter says the units (mobile homes) that the county seized were scattered across the county. “There was no particular area where the units were taken from,” he said.

Slayter says the most appropriate non-profit to include in the county’s mobile home plan would be the county’s Habitat for Humanity. However, this non-profit has recently relocated its headquarters. Slayter says the county is working with this non-profits leaders and is not closed to working with other appropriate entities, as well.

“At this stage, we are dealing with the demolition of a number of the dilapidated units and we are researching who will take ownership of those salvaged, for the sake of repurposing them,” he said.

This project has been ongoing since earlier in 2017. It will continue into 2018, with no set timeline on when the salvageable mobile homes could be delivered to residents in need.

Heather Walters (1224 Posts)