MINERAL — Last December, Lucille Waddy went to the tiny office at the entrance to Six-O-Five Mobile Home Park with a money order for her rent, as she has done for nearly 20 years. Only then did she find out that the monthly cost of renting a lot for her mobile home had jumped from $445 to $625, an increase of more than 40%.
Waddy, 77, is living on Social Security retirement benefits, but she’s paying the increased rent, although other residents are refusing and taking the issue to court.
“I didn’t want to get put out,” she said. “I don’t have anywhere to go.”
Waddy doesn’t understand why the rent shot up. “I still don’t know who...
Now connect another set of dots. This is the second article in which the tenants claim the rents went up and the quality of life went down. “They want the profit, but they don’t want to take care of the property,” said Yvonne Maldonado, a former mobile home resident in New York who serves now as co-director of Manufactured Home Action, an advocacy group for residents of manufactured homes”. That’s a lie and they know that. The rents did go up but so did the quality of the park, as capital was poured back in. I have never, ever, seen an institutional buyer that provided a lower park quality after purchase. Never. I don’t believe it for one second.
So let’s stop the lying in these stories and stick with the basic truth: tenants don’t like higher rents. But they will have to accept that reality or they will be homeless. The MHAction person summed that up when they unwittingly said “there is literally no other place to go.” Bingo. Even at the higher rents the mobile home park is still the cheapest option in town.
For those who cannot pay the higher amounts, they need to come up with a Plan B. There are federal programs offering housing assistance, or maybe they should move in with a family member. But there’s no way that park owners – particularly new ones – are going to keep the rents ridiculously cheap going forward. That era has ended. And if rents don’t go up significantly, there will be a huge number of parks re-developed for more profitable uses.