A grandmother in Oregon believes she is being unfairly targeted and harassed by her mobile home community’s new landlord because she is gay, an allegation that recently received some attention from the local news after vandals spray-painted the words “die dike” on the side of her home.
Melanie Powell tells KOIN6 that she’s been living as an openly gay woman in her Rainier mobile home park for 25 years without incident, and only recently felt discriminated against when a change in management gave her a new, aggressively homophobic landlord.
“I got my gay pride flag hanging out front,” she says. “I’ve kept my business inside my house. I don’t put it in people’s faces.”
But despite being a rather low-key and rule-abiding resident, Powell says new property manager Maureena Schmaing has issued her several absurd violation notices, which she lays out for reporter Chris Holmstrom in the report below. One of the violations is for “using a flashlight,” while another threatens her for “being outside after 10pm.”
Among Powell’s several other notices are an order to repair her porch, her one-year-old roof, and to repaint her entire home. Concerned neighbors tell KOIN6 that they’ve received no such notices since Schmaing took over, and believe Powell is definitely being unfairly harassed due to her sexual orientation.
“I’m tired of being yelled at, screamed at, vulgar language, being accused of doing stuff we are not doing,” Powell added.
William Pierce, Powell’s neighbor, claims he’s intervened several times when Schmaing comes to Powell’s home to verbally assault her.
When confronted, Schmaing delivers a smugly assholish response to the allegations: “I’m a landlord. I follow the Manufacturing Housing Oregon Law, and I follow all the Title 10 Law with any park site I manage.”
But this story will most likely have a happy ending, as the report indicates overwhelming support coming from Powell’s neighbors. “It’s a great deal of support,” she said. “I don’t know what I would do without having all these people on my side.”