Mobile Home Parks – Homeowner Risks and Rewards

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Over 100 years combined experience promoting long-term affordability and stability

Preserving Affordable Housing in Mobile Home Parks – The Big Picture –

Mobile Home Park Vulture Capitalist

Vulture Capitalist. Microsoft Designer AI

As the housing and homeless crisis accelerates, even the non-subsidized, tax-paying and upstanding homeowners in manufactured housing parks are being squeezed. Some will lose their homes as exorbitant rent hikes take their fixed income and savings, forcing them to leave their beloved homes at a financial loss.

Most of these victims have done nothing wrong, except they don’t own the land under their homes. Not owning land is not a crime, and has worked well for decades to provide lower-income strivers a foothold in housing. The residents trusted the manufactured housing system to be a fair and equitable “good-citizen” business and not exploit the fact that their wholly-owned homes, their major investment, is permanently tied to rented land.

But current trends of Wall Street and private equity buyouts of former mom-and-pop owned manufactured housing parks have increased the risks to manufactured housing owners and reduced the availability of affordable housing – at a time when affordable housing is most needed.

Additionally, this form of housing is greener, more conservative and less polluting than single-family tract housing. In this time of global warming and resource depletion, manufactured housing parks should be expanded, not exploited.

There ae many solutions to this form of exploitation but require citizen activism and political will to make them a reality.

Manufactured housing is a proven, desirable and viable solution. Here are the commonly known ways to protect manufactured housing affordability and create a better, safer world.

Solutions to Maintain Mobile Home Park Affordability


What are the solutions to maintain mobile home park affordability when speculative private equity firms are buying them to raise rents?

Answer from ChatGPT:

Maintaining mobile home park affordability in the face of private equity buyouts and rent increases is a complex challenge. Here are several potential solutions and strategies:

  1. Community Land Trusts: Establishing a community land trust (CLT) can help ensure that the land beneath the mobile home park remains in the hands of the community. A CLT can acquire and hold the land in trust, making it more challenging for private equity firms to control and exploit the property for speculative gains.
  2. Tenant Cooperatives: Facilitating the creation of tenant cooperatives allows residents to collectively own and manage the mobile home park. By forming a cooperative, residents have greater control over decisions, including rent increases, and can negotiate more effectively with property owners.
  3. Local Zoning and Rent Control Policies: Advocating for local zoning ordinances and rent control policies can provide regulatory measures to limit rent increases. While not universally embraced, some areas implement rent control to protect tenants from excessive rent hikes. This, however, may face opposition from property owners and developers.
  4. Legal Protections for Mobile Home Residents: Strengthening legal protections for mobile home residents, such as lease renewal rights, eviction protections, and limits on rent increases, can provide a buffer against exploitative practices by private equity firms. These measures can be enacted at the local or state level.
  5. Public Investment in Affordable Housing: Increased public investment in affordable housing, including mobile home parks, can help counter the impact of speculative private equity investments. Governments at various levels can provide subsidies, grants, or low-interest loans to maintain affordability for residents.
  6. Impact Investing and Nonprofit Ownership: Encouraging impact investors or nonprofit organizations to purchase and manage mobile home parks can align ownership with maintaining affordability rather than maximizing profits. Such entities may prioritize the well-being of residents and sustainable community development.
  7. Tenant Protections During Sales: Implementing regulations that require notice to tenants and provide them with the right of first refusal during the sale of a mobile home park can give residents an opportunity to collectively purchase the property or negotiate more favorable terms with a new owner.
  8. Education and Community Mobilization: Educating mobile home residents about their rights, organizing community meetings, and fostering a sense of community mobilization can empower residents to negotiate collectively and resist unjust rent increases. Community support can also attract media attention, putting pressure on property owners.
  9. Collaboration with Advocacy Groups: Collaborating with tenant advocacy groups, housing nonprofits, and legal aid organizations can provide residents with resources and support in negotiating with property owners. These groups may also engage in legal action or public advocacy on behalf of residents.
  10. Innovative Financing Models: Exploring innovative financing models, such as public-private partnerships or community investment funds, can provide financial resources to support mobile home park residents and maintain affordability.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these solutions may vary depending on local regulations, political climate, and the specifics of each mobile home park. A combination of these strategies, tailored to the unique circumstances of each community, may offer the best chance of preserving affordability and protecting residents from the negative impacts of speculative private equity practices.

Many of these solutions are covered in this web site. Some activists advocate a stronger approach of direct intervention against predatory purchases of mobile home parks. These may include disincentives (taxes, fees) against selling to predators and various incentives to preserve the parks’ affordability. Legal recognition and preservation of this form of affordable housing has been suggested including a new branch of real estate law. However, this list provides a good overview of currently practiced protection measures.

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