#Occupy the trailer parks

#Occupy the trailer parks February 6, 2012

Stimulus plan: Government-backed low-interest loans for manufactured home communities to allow homeowners to purchase the land beneath them.

These people pay their rent, so they can afford the loan payments. When you own a not-so-mobile home but rent the land it sits on, you face the prospect of imminent upheaval, homelessness and the loss of all your savings if your landlord decides to sell the land, hike the rents, cut services, or do all three at once. Helping these communities own the land in trust will protect them better than precarious and contested rent-control legislation, and it will mean that their homes build equity instead of depreciating, helping millions of Americans achieve a financial security they do not now enjoy.

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Massachusetts:Mobile home park rent control board up for vote in Easton (Mass.)

Many tenants have lived here for years. Most are elderly or families of modest means.

The roads are filled with potholes. A fire hydrant is not functioning. A broken water pipe was only recently patched up. The park lacks the community center commonplace in most other mobile home parks.

The residents have been willing to wait for the problems to be repaired as long as rents were stable.

But on Aug. 1, after a five-year court-ordered rent freeze lapsed, their landlord, New York-based Morgan Management LLC, raised rents from $330 to $468.69 a month.

“That’s’ a 33-percent increase because we didn’t have rent control. That’s a lot of money,” Scot Walsh, president of the Easton Mobile Homeowners Association, said.

Missouri: Columbia Regency residents remain uncertain about future of mobile home park

The closure of Columbia Regency mobile home park has put new pressure on the [Columbia, Mo.] City Council before their Nov. 21 vote on the rezoning of the property.

If the council approves the rezoning, each trailer owner will receive $1,200 from Aspen Heights, the buyer, and an extra two months to move out. If the council rejects the rezoning, residents won’t receive the money or the extra time, and they will possibly have to move out anyway.

California:Mobile home owners organizing to protect rent control

With the repeal of rent control in Capitola mobile home parks last month, pressure is mounting on mobile home owners elsewhere in the county.

In Watsonville, [Calif.], a dispute over rent increase at a Green Valley Road park has led a park owner to file a $400,000 claim against the city.

Other mobile park residents are seeing services cut and rents increasing as well, according to Bill Neighbors, a Watsonville mobile home owner and chairman of the Santa Cruz County Mobile and Manufactured Home Commission.

… The Capitola City Council repealed its rent control ordinance after spending more than $1 million over 10 years to defend it.

California:County Planning Commission Pursues Ordinance to Manage Closures of Mobile Home Parks

If owners of mobile home parks decide to close and sell their land, they will have to apply for a closure permit and could have to pay homeowners the market value for their units, under an ordinance proposed by the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission that will go before the Board of Supervisors.

There are 20 such parks in the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County that provide thousands of affordable homes. State law allows counties and cities to manage park closures and mandate reasonable compensation for relocation to the homeowners.

Iowa: AG presents proposal to protect tenants of mobile homes

It lacks the teeth of last year’s failed proposal, but Bill Brauch, assistant to Attorney General Tom Miller, said this proposal stands a better chance of passing the Legislature.

The measure, approved 2-to-1 by a Senate subcommittee on Monday, outlines a set of conditions that would need to be met before a landlord could legitimately terminate or not renew a tenancy, it would require a one-year lease for all mobile-home park tenants, and it would give tenants 14 days — rather than the current three days — to pay rent after receiving a nonpayment notice before they’re evicted.

Florida:Naples Estates residents frustrated at 13-year legal fight to purchase community

It’s been more than 13 years since senior citizens at Naples Estates sued to win the right to own their mobile home park, but they’re still waiting to buy it.

After hearing days of testimony from appraisal experts, a Collier judge last year set the price for the close-knit East Naples park at $14.4 million, well over the $11.8 million the residents were hoping for.

Since then, more residents in the age 55-plus park have died, others have given up or moved away — and the lawsuit has been at a standstill.

Colorado:Fort Collins forum: Mobile-home owners ‘most vulnerable’ in the U.S.

Debra Goodson, a former resident of the soon-to-be-closed Bender Mobile Home Park at 912 Wood St., north of Fort Collins, said the family was “devastated” when she, her husband and 7-year-old daughter learned they’d be moving.

“We had no savings and a very short time to figure out what we were going to do,” she said.

About 32 families are being displaced when the park closes this spring. It is to be replaced by a development with homes valued up to $450,000. In 2008, 12 families were displaced when Grape Street Mobile Home Park closed; in 2006, the closure of Dry Creek Mobile Home Park eliminated the residences of 130 families.


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  • Evan

    I’m a libertarian (and longtime lurker on this blog), and I like your stimulus plan.  Assuming reasonable management, it wouldn’t cause any harm and would do a sizable amount of good – which is more than you can say for a lot of stimulus proposals.

    Since it doesn’t look like Congress is going to enact it any time soon, I think it would be a good idea for local credit unions to start doing the same thing.  It’d probably be on a much smaller scale, but at least it’d be something.  Googling shows a fair number of credit unions offering loans to buy mobile homes, but I didn’t see any advertising loans to purchase land under mobile homes.  It seems that it’d be right in line with their mission statement, though.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     A Libertarian?  You poor bastard. 

    Right now, the flagbearers for your (horribly flawed, IMHO) theories are ROn Paul and his dingbat cheerleaders.  (We’ve got one hanging around here somewhere.)

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     A Libertarian?  You poor bastard. 

    Right now, the flagbearers for your (horribly flawed, IMHO) theories are ROn Paul and his dingbat cheerleaders.  (We’ve got one hanging around here somewhere.)

  • friendly reader

    There are libertarians and there are libertarians. If Evan actually cares about poor people, that puts him miles ahead of Ron Paul or Chris Whatshisface who lurks around here (hi Chris!) mortally. Besides, he recognizes a good idea when he sees it, that makes him way smarter too.

  • Honestly, there are probably assholes in every political philosophy. The Internet encourages the most irritating ones to show themselves (mainly because in real life it’s much easier to leave or shoo them away) but that shouldn’t mean that every libertarian has to be like that one guy.

  • Anonymous

    “We need to evict you to build more housing developments that we don’t need, will sit unoccupied, and then be torn down! This is America, bitches!”

  • P J Evans

     Because it’s so important for every homeowner to have more space than they need (especially a large master suite) and a yard they won’t use.