Robert from Florida

My name is Robert Black. I was raised in Nebraska and Minnesota. I visited friends in Hacienda Village over several winters and after having a stroke, I realized I would have problems navigating the steps in my home up north so I came to New Port Richey to live year round.

I retired from GE in 2008 with a pension to help me out, but if not for Social Security, I would not be able to live here. I have paid into Social Security since I was 16 years old; it is an earned benefit, not an entitlement. If  Social Security and Medicare were reduced, my problems would multiply.

I come from a small town community and was raised to believe in honesty, working for what you get, the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated, and respect. In my adult years, I dedicated myself to many civic concerns including becoming involved in housing issues that affected low income and minority people.

Here at Hacienda Village housing is still a concern, but it is now affecting me. We have gone nearly a year without a full time manager and have a new regional manager as well. Our community is advertised as having gates and yet they are always open.

One of the issues we face at Hacienda Village occurs when a homeowner passes. Oftentimes, their sons or daughters have no interest in keeping the home and sell it directly to ELS. ELS then turns around and rents the home. The problem is that homeowners have to follow rules on upkeep while ELS is derelict in keeping their rentals clean and in good repair. This double standard has a negative effect on homeowners and the community at large.

These are our homes. I want to be proud of where I live. Hacienda Village used to be a premiere community, but not now.

I wish ELS would live up to its mission statement that reads, “Our mission is to operate high quality site-set housing communities responsibly and ethically. To share an absolute passion for excellence and resident satisfaction at every level. To empower every employee to take initiative and be a creative agent of change. To set and meet aggressive goals that benefit our residents, employees and shareholders.”