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VPM: Chesterfield mobile home park could be a ‘model’ for revitalization

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Nonprofit Project:HOMES purchased Bermuda Estates in 2020 and has worked with residents to address the park's needs.

This is part two of a two-part housing series from VPM News Focal Point.

On a hot summer evening, Alvaro and Rebecca Hernandez tend to their bountiful garden.

Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers fill the plots around the Hernandez home at Bermuda Estates, a manufactured housing community in Chesterfield County. Like the Hernandez’s garden, the neighborhood is flourishing, too, thanks to long-awaited investment and new nonprofit ownership that has committed to working with residents on the park’s revival.

“I feel happy and...

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Our thoughts on this story:

A non-profit buys a 50-space mobile home park for a total package price of around $6 million (original price plus improvements) and saves the residents from the evil park owner and they live forever in a land of unicorns and pixie dust. Sheer genius, right? Well, they could just have given each resident $120,000 cash to go buy a nicer stick-built dwelling with zero lot rent (the lot rent is $483 per month). I can’t believe that I’m apparently the only one that sees these type of virtue signaling events make no economic sense. Either the folks who fund these non-profits have poor math skills or have never looked at Realtor.com.

Wood TV: Nonprofit buys mobile home parks to help with affordable housing

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new property acquisition is helping a West Michigan nonprofit continue its fight against homelessness in the community.

Putting an end to homelessness is the mission of Family Promise of West Michigan.

“There’s families you see all over town and you don’t realize the need that they have, in terms of their housing insecurity,” said Lisa Valk, Chief Operating Officer at Family Promise of West Michigan. “We want every family, every child in our community to go from insecurely housed to securely housed.”

One of the nonprofit’s programs, Partners in Housing, allows Family Promise to rehab manufactured homes. They...

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Our thoughts on this story:

So the non-profit spent $7 million cash for two mobile home parks with the intention of using the cash flow to buy more parks. Knowing how the world works, I’m assuming the non-profit bought these for a 5% cap rate and the two properties have an EBITDA of maybe $350,000 per year. That’s if they collected the rent and knew how to run a park, which they don’t. So the EBITDA may be more like $175,000 per year. And that means they will be able to buy a new park about every 20 years or so. Not exactly the potent force in housing they are claiming. Seen it all before.

VPM: Louisa mobile home residents living in ‘precarious position’

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Residents are pushing back against the investment firm that bought land beneath their trailers.

This is part one of a two-part housing series from VPM News Focal Point.

The trailer that Gabino Felipe owns at Six-0-Five Village Mobile Home Park is one of the only places his family can afford to live in Louisa County.

But Felipe might soon be priced out of the place he has called home for the past six years, as a nationwide trend threatens one of Virginia’s most affordable remaining sources of housing. Pending lawsuits could stave off a steep rent hike that residents allege violated their lease terms and state law. But a ruling in their...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Bestplaces.net tells me that Louisa County, Virginia has a median home price of $299,700 and a three-bedroom apartment rent of $1,440 per month. So here’s what’s maddening about this article:

“In December, Six-0-Five’s management tried to raise lot rents by more than 40%. The increase would have meant Felipe’s monthly rent payment increased from $445 to $625.”

So the rent is going up $180 per month to $625 and somehow that’s going to render these residents homeless? At $625 that’s less than half of apartment rents.

I would contend that anyone who cannot afford $625 per month needs to immediately move out of Louisa County and move to someplace less expensive. There are many counties in the Midwest where housing costs are half that amount. But the era of mobile home park owners subsidizing residents (which is what’s happening when the owner does not charge market rents) is ending. It reminds me of the current homeowner insurance issues in Florida. If you can’t afford insanely high insurance on your house, you need to move to a place you can afford – but the insurance companies are no longer going to subsidize you living on the beach.

Petaluma Argus Courier: Mobile home tenants protest threats of rent hikes, closure

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Residents of Petaluma’s Youngstown Mobile Home Park held a protest Tuesday afternoon in response to threats of rent hikes and closure, even as the city strengthens protections for renters.

About 100 protesters gathered outside the mobile home park on North McDowell Boulevard, holding signs denouncing the park owners’ actions over the past few months, which have included converting the park from seniors-only to all-ages residents, threatening park closure, and attempting to raise their rents by more than $900 a month, residents said.

“When I moved in here I thought, ‘I can relax, I can retire,’” said Youngstown resident Danny Morton. He...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Look, I know the media would like to convince us otherwise, but America is still a free country and this property owner can certainly tear the park down and redevelop it if they want to. It’s called basic American property law. The residents can protest all they like, but at the end of the day a mobile home park is a business and if the land is worth more in a different use then it’s going to be redeveloped. The property owner is not bluffing and threatening – just telling the truth. The media, in this case, is giving false hope.

The U.S. Sun: Inside $3.8million tiny home community where children can get larger housing but residents wish ‘stigma would go away’

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A TINY home community has brought peace of mind to residents in a small town, but efforts to continue to build out the housing solution have stalled in partisanship.

Lilac Homes - a tiny home community in Kennewick, Washington - opened 16 homes to people in need in 2022.

The Kennewick Housing Authority procured $3.8million to develop a tiny home community on an acre of land, according to the local CBS affiliate KEPRTV.

The housing authority aimed to provide shelter for historically marginalized communities in the neighborhood.

"We are going to be able to house individuals who we have targeted," Lona Hammer, a representative of the housing...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Look at the photo and tell me that you would honestly not freak out if this went in next to your neighborhood? Of course you would. Why would bureaucrats and non-profits be shocked when neighborhoods push back against this type of development? This doesn’t even look good in the photo, which no doubt was staged by a PR firm to be at the most attractive angle.

Axios Miami: Miami votes to pilot a unique model for affordable housing

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The Miami-Dade County commission voted to establish a pilot community land trust (CLT) program last week with the goal of creating 50 units of affordable housing.

Why it matters: A CLT is a unique model of real estate that can help keep homes affordable for generations.

  • Miami is the least affordable metro in the U.S. The median list price for a home was $605,000 as of August, according to RealtyHop.
  • The county has a shortage of 135,000 affordable units for renter households earning half of the area's median income or less, Miami New Times reported.

How it works: In a typical CLT, a nonprofit acquires a piece of land through various...

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Our thoughts on this story:

I’m not sure what to think about this new concept in which the non-profit owns the housing unit and the “homeowner” can’t sell it except at the price the non-profit demands to someone the non-profit chooses. Isn’t that really just a rental agreement disguised as a mortgage? If you take the ability to create wealth out of home ownership then you’re really ruining that person’s future well-being, right? One more case of groups that think they need to control lives because they believe that humans are naturally stupid.

The Durango Herald: As housing prices rise, mobile home park values skyrocket

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In May, La Plata County Assessor Carrie Woodson informed property owners of a staggering rise in the value of their assets. Based on sales that took place between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022, the median increase in property value was 20%.

But one category of properties stood out: mobile home parks.

The county’s mobile home parks – once a bastion of affordable housing – doubled in value, and rents are following close behind.

And when tenants such as Alethea Morris, a resident of Durango’s Junction Creek Mobile Home Park, are asked if parks are becoming unaffordable, the answer is unequivocal: “For a single mama bear who’s got two...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Here’s the key quote from this article:

Given that prohibitive cost of moving a mobile home – often upward of $7,000 – homeowners find themselves stuck, forced to pay lot rent or abandon their home and asset.

Do you see something missing in that list of options? First of all, you can get another park owner to pay to relocate your home as long as it has a HUD seal (post-1976) and you have the basic verbal skills to ask them to do so, but leaving that aside, why would the only other option be to “abandon your home”? Whatever happened to the concept of selling your home? The article says that the median home price is gigantic and affordable housing is sparse so why would these folks who can’t afford to live there simply put their mobile homes on the market and sell them and then move? In most mobile home parks, homes sell for $5,000 to $50,000 based on age and location, but this bizarre concept that “mobile homes can only be abandoned” is just plain stupid.

The Free Press: Madelia mobile home park to break ground on storm shelter/community room

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MADELIA — After a 15-year wait, a Madelia mobile home community is finally getting its community room. The space will double as a storm shelter for its 150 residents.

The facility is scheduled for a fall construction start with an anticipated opening of spring or summer of 2024, said Marjory Gilsrud, Madelia Mobile Village Cooperative president.

“This building will act as a gathering place for our residents,” she said.

The primary funding source for the $800,000 building was the state Legislature-funded Manufactured Home Community Redevelopment Grant Program. The grant will provide funds for a facility offering safety from storms and...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Is spending $800,000 to build a storm shelter for 50 lots really a good use of state funds? That’s nearly $20,000 per household – more than their mobile homes are probably worth. I am endlessly amazed at the level of financial waste at the state and national level. Don’t tell anyone but there is a product at most mobile home shows in which you put a solid steel storm shelter under the deck of your mobile home at a fraction of this cost.

The Islander Classifieds: Closure: Island developer declares ownership of Pines Park

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The new owner of the Pines Trailer Park has spoken.

Louis Najmy of the Najmy Thompson law firm released a statement on Sept. 8 on behalf of island developer and businessman Shawn Kaleta regarding the purchase of the mobile home park at 103 Church Ave., Bradenton Beach.

The announcement was much-anticipated — and the owner highly speculated — since the announcement in January that the park owners intended to sell.

The statement read: “Prime Vacations, founded, built, and run by local entrepreneur, Shawn Kaleta, is proud to announce it has orchestrated the purchase of Pines Trailer Park, one of the most unique island waterfront parks in...

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Our thoughts on this story:

This group paid $16 million for less than three acres. Do you seriously think this is going to stay a mobile home park? I will bet $100 that there is something entirely different on top of this land by the end of the decade (which is about how long it may take to get the necessary permits and approvals to build something else on this land). If you assume a density of 12 units per acre, that would be like spending $450,000 per lot. Not sure how that computes except as a development site.

Oxford Observer: Council sinks affordable housing plan to save park

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Oxford City Council voted down two ordinances that would have paved the way for an affordable housing development in Merry Day Park off College Corner Pike. 

By a vote of 2-5, council declined to change the designation of the 4.7-acre park from “preserves and greenspace” to “employment corridor” in Oxford’s comprehensive plan. 

Following this vote, council unanimously voted against amending the zoning map for that area. The Oxford Planning Commission recommended against both measures.

“Kids don’t have a place to go, there are no other parks,” said Angela Jones Wright, who lives in the nearby mobile home park. “If they don’t have an outlet...

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Our thoughts on this story:

This is one of those strange cases where the word “park” has two meanings. The land in question is a city park that mostly serves the neighboring trailer park.

KUNC: A decade after floods, Lyons mobile home residents haven’t found their way home

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The rain fell hard on Lyons, Colorado. In September 2013, it poured for days, soaking the foothills and filling the creeks and streams.

Bonnie Newman wasn’t worried, even though her mobile home was next to the rushing water of St. Vrain Creek. A meteorologist friend told her things would be okay, and nobody had told her to evacuate. But after days of rain, sometime after 1 a.m., something changed.

“Suddenly there was water,” Newman said. “Lots of water. It was a current of water, and it was right through my yard.”

Fire trucks pulled into the aptly-named Riverbend mobile home park, sirens blaring. Over a loudspeaker, a voice told everyone...

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Our thoughts on this story:

When FEMA gave this person $31,000 they should have immediately moved to a more affordable city and not kept beating their head against a wall of impossibly expensive housing (median home price of $800,000). I am forever bewildered by these cases of people who earn next to nothing trying to live in markets that are insanely expensive. “Move to the Midwest and have a good quality of life” is my opinion on this article.

Desert Sun: Dozens move into unsafe Oasis Mobile Home Park despite county's efforts to relocate residents

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In a sign of how dire the Coachella Valley’s affordable housing shortage is, new residents are continuing to stream into an east valley mobile home park with tainted drinking water and myriad other health and safety issues, and county officials have been unable to stop them from moving in. 

County officials have spent the past few years working to relocate residents from Oasis Mobile Home Park in Thermal, utilizing a $30 million grant of state funding secured in the state budget by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia in 2021. But officials have struggled to quell the issue of new residents moving in, creating a cycle of new families moving into...

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Our thoughts on this story:

I think this article pretty much sums up the new American concept that “people are too dumb to make their own decisions so the government must do it for them”. The park costs $600 per month in rent and the local 2-bedroom apartments are $2,000 per month. The average tenant makes $20,000 per year. So they obviously can’t afford anything but the mobile home park. And the danger in living there is arsenic in the water, which they clearly navigate around with bottled water. Meanwhile, the government wants them to relocate to $2,000 per month apartments (which is more than their gross income) but have safe drinking water. It’s kind of like the Covid-19 shot that, when Americans decided they were healthy and didn’t need it, were then forced to get it by a government mandate.

Another reminder of Ronald Reagan’s famous quote “the nine scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”.

The Daily Record: Lawsuit claims mobile home park managers conspired to fix and inflate lot rental prices

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CHICAGO (AP) — A lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses nine mobile home community management companies and a mobile home market data provider of conspiring to fix and inflate lot rental prices at more than 150 locations across the U.S.

The lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Chicago claims the management companies bought up mobile home parks and used “competitively sensitive market data” provided by Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Datacomp Appraisal Systems Inc. to exchange pricing information and conspire to raise rents.

“In the face of these significant manufactured home lot rent increases, some manufactured home residents...

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Our thoughts on this story:

The more I read about this lawsuit, the more I’m confused. Apparently tha plaintiffs are claiming that the park ownersused “competitively sensitive market data” provided by Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Datacomp Appraisal Systems Inc. to exchange pricing information and conspire to raise rents”. Every industry group in the U.S. does continual market comp studies to see where they fit into the spectrum of rents and prices including every office, retail, lodging, self-storage and apartment group, right? “Price fixing” is defined as ”competitors that agree to set their prices at the same level”. Simply gathering market information does not seem to fit that profile. Not sure that any judge or jury would disagree.

Their other contention is that “Manufactured home lot rental prices were blatantly inflated at a staggering rate of 9.1% per year between 2019 and 2021.” If you simply go to Google and enter the words “apartment annual percentage of rent increases since 2019” the computer says the following:“Apartment rent growth averaged 11% per year during the rapid inflationary period of 2021 – 2022”. And that does not even count the same response if you enter in ”gasoline prices” which went up a cumulative 45% during that period and “single-family home prices” which went up a cumulative 32%. Once again, makes no sense.

As a result, I must be too stupid to understand this case. Does anyone?

Grist: Mobile homes could be a climate solution. So why don’t they get more respect?

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About 22 million Americans live in mobile homes or manufactured housing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and as the housing crisis continues to worsen in places like Arizona, California, and New York, that number could go up.

But for some, mobile homes conjure up an image of rusting metal units in weed-choked lots, an unfair stereotype that has real consequences — advocates argue that mobile homes are not only a housing fix but could also help with the climate crisis.

According to Andrew Rumbach, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, mobile homes are a good solution with a bad reputation. 

It’s unfair, he said, because the...

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Our thoughts on this story:

After the flooding disaster in Vermont recently the government admitted that FEMA has only mapped out roughly 30% of the U.S. for flood exposure and that most of the maps are 15 years out of date. So who can possibly make this claim: “Mobile home parks are disproportionately located in parts of landscapes that are vulnerable to climate risks. So they’re disproportionately located in floodplains. They’re disproportionately located in places that are exposed to extreme heat. …They’re also disproportionately located in places that are close to other environmental harms.” 

The answer is apparently only this woke writer who apparently knows more than FEMA does. I hope he shares his voluminous research with all of us.

Kera News: Denton mobile home park’s ban on window AC units leaves some residents sweltering

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As Texas’ second-hottest summer on record comes to a close, high heat continues, and residents of a Denton mobile home park say the property’s ban on window air-conditioning units has led to sweltering indoor temperatures.

“It’s like I’m baking in an oven,” Mike, a resident who asked to be referred to by his nickname, told the Denton Record-Chronicle.

With excessive heat warnings nearly every day in Denton County, public health experts have warned against the dangers of high temperatures. But for some residents of Ashli Oaks who say they cannot afford to fix their central AC units, the park’s enforcement of a ban on window units has left...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Oh come on, seriously? “Interior air-conditioning units are not as efficient as window units since they release warm air back into the room”. That’s not the case at all. Interior air-conditioning units work just fine – I’ve been in places that used them and they can cool you to meat-locker levels. The real problem is that they are more expensive than window units. The park owner is trying to keep the park good-looking and window units look lousy. The interior units are fine and so is simply getting the central AC unit back to working, and they look fine from the outside. The real battle here is that the residents don’t want to spend the money and don’t give a darn about aesthetics. You can also put a blue tarp over the hole in your roof, which is cheaper than getting your roof fixed. And you can tape a black trash bag over your broken car window. This writer is a real idiot.

CoastalView.com: Solar panel mobile home project rejected again

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The owners of Sandpiper Mobile Home Park were again conditionally denied approval for their ill-conceived solar panel project by the Architectural Review Board. We are all supportive of solar power but not to line the pockets of property owners. The options they were given were to terminate the project entirely or present a reduced version to the Carpinteria Planning Commission. I don’t think they will accept either one because of their huge investment in this project. My guess is that they will come back with the original development plan and risk a planning commission denial. If denied, things could become complicated because of their...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Pretty crazy when solar panels are deemed to be uglier than a mobile home park. 

Sonoma County Gazette: Sebastopol takes action: The significance of mobile home rent regulations for community stability

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Housing isn't just about buildings and land; it's about the people and communities they shelter. With that in mind, Sebastopol is stepping up by revising its mobile home rent regulations. This move aligns Sebastopol with other cities that recognize the importance of safeguarding the rights of mobile home residents.

Understanding mobile home residents' unique position

Owning a mobile home while renting the land it is on presents a unique challenge. Sebastopol’s city manager, Larry McLaughlin, points out that these residents are both homeowners and tenants, a duality that demands tailored protections.

Key changes and their impact

Sebastopol...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Ronald Reagan was wrong. The nine scariest words in the English language actually are “you now own a mobile home park in California”.

Journal of Business: Manufactured-home owners get noticed

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A new state law in Washington aims to give tenants of manufactured housing communities the opportunity to purchase and own the lots they rent from landowners.

“Manufactured home communities are often sold off-market,” says Victoria O’Banion, Spokane-based marketing and acquisitions specialist with Northwest Cooperative Development Center. “When the park wasn’t listed, residents didn’t know what was happening and that the park was being sold.”

The legislation, known by some as the Notice of Opportunity to Compete to Purchase bill, was signed into law on April 6 and now requires owners to share their intentions to sell with residents,...

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Our thoughts on this story:

So the State of Washington has passed a first-option rule for the tenants:

The legislation, known by some as the Notice of Opportunity to Compete to Purchase bill, was signed into law on April 6 and now requires owners to share their intentions to sell with residents, giving residents a fair opportunity to compete to buy their manufactured housing community’s land, she says.

I don’t know of any owner that would not prefer to sell to the tenants as they do not do nearly as thorough due diligence and their projections don’t include making any profit. The reason that 99% of tenants never buy the parks is that they can’t obtain financing. When you consider the fact that of the hundreds of transactions each year only around 24 deals are sold to the tenants exemplifies that this is not worthy of that much focus. But to the bureaucrats of Washington it was one more P.R. opportunity of virtue signaling.

Washington Post: Idalia Shows Need to Protect Manufactured Homes

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Some of the most enduring images of Hurricane Idalia will be the tree-battered and flood-damaged mobile and manufactured homes in the storm’s wake — a sight that’s become all too familiar in the coastal US. As Florida’s communities rebuild, government leaders everywhere must take steps to protect a key source of affordable housing in the age of climate change.

Nationwide, manufactured homes make up around 5% of occupied housing units and about 7% in Florida, according to American Housing Survey data. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is in the business of building them (Clayton Homes), and investors of all sizes (private equity and...

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Our thoughts on this story:

This author is about as woke as you can get, and tries to argue that if the residents owned their mobile home parks then they would fare much better in storms:

The best laws also require sellers to negotiate in good faith with community members and may grant them a right of first refusal. All in all, those steps should help increase the resilience of manufactured housing in the face of the daunting climate change challenge.

The only way this article could get more woke would be if he advocated residents growing sustainable gardens on their roofs.

Petaluma Argus Courier: ‘Retaliation’: Mobile home tenants say closing park could leave them homeless

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Residents of Little Woods Mobile Villa on Lakeville Highway worry they might end up homeless if the management company running their mobile home park makes good on its threat to close it.

That was the message of many park residents as they spoke out against a possible closure during a news conference held Tuesday evening at the park and broadcast over social media.

The news conference – organized by members of Littlewoods Neighbors United, a group of residents that formed in response to the threat of the park closure – was the latest in an ongoing saga of upheaval at mobile home parks throughout the county.

In Petaluma, an update by the...

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Our thoughts on this story:

If you didn’t see this sequence of events coming, then you’re an idiot:

In Petaluma, an update by the city capping the annual rent increases allowed by mobile home parks was intended to strengthen protections for renters. But it resulted in upheaval after management at two of the parks – Little Woods and Youngstown – responded with threats of closure last July.

Here’s a refresher on the real world. Every land parcel has a litany of possible uses. It will ultimately become the one that’s most profitable. If you cap mobile home park lot rents then you have set in motion many other more profitable uses that do not have caps on rent increases (apartments being the #1 choice).

I wrote a few weeks ago that the rent control proposed by Petaluma would result in the parks being torn down and redeveloped. Looks like I was 100% correct.

CBS Colorado: Capital City-Montevista Mobile Home Park residents raise $11.5 million to stay in their homes

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It's hard enough to afford or rent one home in Denver, let alone an entire mobile home park. The residents of Capital City/Montevista Mobile Home Park in the Westwood neighborhood defeated the odds when they raised nearly $11.5 million to buy the land their homes sit on.

This is a community of hardworking families in Denver, and after the mobile park home went up for sale last year, the community rallied to find solutions.

After ROC also known as Resident Owned Communities pulled out of helping out in February due to safety concerns. The community was worried, but then Sharing Connexion, a nonprofit that connects nonprofits and affordable...

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Our thoughts on this story:

OK, let’s first cut out the theatrics. The residents were at no time at risk of not “staying in their homes”. This is just a story about a non-profit trying to buy the park from the seller after ROC pulled out of the deal. There is still no agreement to the price or the deal even happening so I’m not sure what everyone’s so excited about. I’m also not sure how the non-profit coughing up nearly $12 million does anything other than probably make the rent increases accelerate since the tenants will not be able to manage the property as well as a professional owner could. But, of course, the truth is that people are using this story as nothing more than a virtue-signaling orgy. To that end they forgot to add to the title the words “sustainable, green and zero-carbon emissions’.

Alaska Public Media: After surprise eviction notice, residents of a Soldotna trailer park are wondering what’s next

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The River Terrace RV and Trailer Park is just upstream of the Kenai River Bridge in Soldotna. To the right, there are temporary and seasonal RVs parked along the banks of the river. To the left, about 40 trailer homes house a low-income community, many of them seniors.

On July 27, trailer park residents got notice to vacate by May 3, 2024. The notice says the closure is related to “planned changes in the future use of the land.”

Daniel Lynch has lived in the trailer park since 1995.

“There’s no need for these people to become homeless, and that’s what’s gonna happen to the majority of them,” Lynch said.

He said there are few options for...

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Our thoughts on this story:

There doesn’t seem to be that much left to wonder about:

On July 27, trailer park residents got notice to vacate by May 3, 2024. The notice says the closure is related to “planned changes in the future use of the land.”

It’s a simple formula that mobile home parks + low lot rents = redevelopment. Do you see that as a recurring theme in most of these articles? I sure do.

Reuters: Mobile home park owners accused of rental price-fixing in new US lawsuit

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Sept 1 (Reuters) - A group of the country's largest corporate managers of mobile home communities and a market data provider were sued in U.S. court on Thursday for allegedly conspiring to inflate rental prices for older and low-income residents.

Two Illinois residents who rented lots for their manufactured homes filed the prospective class action in Chicago federal court against Datacomp Appraisal Systems and nine other companies that own or have controlling interests in more than 150 housing communities across the country.

The lawsuit alleges that the corporate owners shared competitively sensitive information about lot rentals and...

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Our thoughts on this story:

“Price fixing” is defined by Webster’s as “the maintaining of prices at a certain level by agreement between competing sellers”. I haven’t read the case, but it appears that all the defendants did was to get market comps from the same source -- as well as other input from other sources probably -- to determine what the “fair market value” of rents are in that market. If researching what market prices are is wrong then, using this same argument, every gas station that looks at what their competitors are charging, every grocery store that surveys what the store down the street is charging, and every apartment, office, hotel and commercial building owner in the U.S. are also guilty of “price fixing” but I doubt that anyone will support that argument. When you add the fact that you have many of the largest REITs in the U.S. funding the defense, I doubt it will survive the first round (if it even goes that far).

The U.S. Sun: I built a $25,000 tiny home but couldn’t afford a place to park – now I rent a $350 plot thanks to my ‘letter’ deal

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AFTER building a dream tiny home for $25,000, a person who wanted to live off the grid found out they had nowhere to park it.

But thanks to a clever letter, they now live for $350 a month and zero mortgage on a Christmas tree farm.

L. Gilbert (@_l_gilbert_), who uses they/them pronouns, is an artist living in California who became sick of living with roommates in the nation’s most expensive state.

As a way to make their own affordable home, they built a DIY tiny home using salvaged lumber and new materials like a trailer and solar panels.

In a recent video for Kirsten Dirksen’s YouTube channel, Gilbert gave a tour of their unique tiny...

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Our thoughts on this story:

I really try to understand this whole “living small” thing but frankly it just seems awful to me. If I had to live in the home shown in these photos, I would be extremely depressed.  When I was at Stanford there was this professor that lived in a closet in the engineering department and lived on nothing but ramen. Students thought that was the coolest idea ever but it seemed to me like a really low quality of life. At some point being a miser becomes a sickness and not a virtue.

Bangor Daily: A Houlton mobile home park is getting clean water after 6 years of using bottles

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HOULTON, Maine — After nearly six years of undrinkable chemically contaminated water flowing through their pipes at the Houlton Mobile Home Park, residents will soon get relief, according to the park’s owner.

Once the final piece of financing is approved that is.

State testing showed unsafe levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in the well water almost as soon as Tony Brettkelly purchased the mobile home park off the Old Woodstock Road in Houlton about six years ago, he said.

Park management has been supplying residents with bottled water ever since, although the contaminated water is used for laundry, showers and...

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Our thoughts on this story:

Now hold on a minute – doesn’t the article admit that nearly the whole city has this same problem – including the school district?

Since state mandatory testing of public water systems for PFAS began last year, several County schools tested with unsafe levels of PFAS and lead in their water, including Hodgdon Middle High School and Mill Pond Elementary School, where students have been drinking bottled water since last November. An extensive carbon treatment system is being installed at the two schools, with completion slated for late fall.

Then why is the mobile home park owner being singled out here? Gee, I can’t possibly guess why.