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Discrimination!? Ethnic, Racial Bias by Manufactured Home Community Investigated – Investors and Community Owner Alert

February 21st, 2019 Comments off

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Keenya Robertson is a fair housing advocate and the President of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence (HOPE).  She said “Something is not right,” per Yahoo News.

 

People are being treated differently because they are from a different country.  That is a violation of the Fair Housing Act,” Robertson said, according to Local 10 News.

 

 

It’s an issue that may not seem to some to be discriminatory, at first glance.  But as one digs deeper, because a country of national origin is involved, it would be an apparent violation of the Fair Housing Act.  The racial composition of those nations may also be perceived as a factor.

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Nadeem Green, JD, Fair Housing attorney, author, instructor, now retired.

As years of articles published here on MHProNews by attorney Nadeen Green, JD – the “Fair Housing Lady” – advised manufactured home industry professional readers, the protected classes include: “Race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin,” as the National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) also states.

 

Lakeside Park Estates

In order to become a part of Lakeside Park Estates, a 55-and-older community of mostly Canadians who come to Florida for the winter, a member must first fill out a rental application,” said Yahoo News’ report. “The first page of the application lists what applicants would be charged based on their background. U.S. residents are charged $50, and from there, the prices go up significantly. The highest application fee listed is for natives of Colombia, who are listed as being charged $175 per adult for an application.”

Lakeside Park Estates is owned by Trinity Broadcasting Network, as the sign in the photo below reflects.  It is located just west of Interstate 95 on Pembroke Road in Pembroke Park, in Hollywood, Florida, explained the narrative by Local 10 News.

The property is a 55-and-older community reportedly made up of so-called ‘snow-birds’ who are mostly of Canadians, who winter in Florida.

 

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The first page of the Lakeside Park Estates application spells out what you’ll be charged to process their application.  That document states that a U.S. resident would pay $50.  But a Colombian would pay $175 per person.

 

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Robertson has been a fair housing advocate for approaching a quarter of a century, and she said, “I have never seen anything like it.”

Equality under the law means just that, say the experts.  Investors? Manufactured home community owner/operators?  Is a property you are involved in committing some blatant or subtle form of discrimination?  Bear in mind the related report, below the by line, which will be updated with a planned follow up soon. Stay tuned.

 

MH Industry Pro Takeaways?

In the meantime, it can be less costly to double check your paperwork and procedures, than it is to face litigation with individuals, fair housing advocates, state agencies, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Bear in mind that in some states there are additional protected classes, as Green has previously said.

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Related Reports:

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Puzzling Case of Millie Francis, Where are Religious Liberty, Fair Housing, Resident, and Manufactured Home Organizational Defenders?

 

Arrested! Attorney General Files Charges on Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer, Police Arrest Suspect

“Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

 

21st Mortgage Suit’s CFPB Denial, Exclusive Document on Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Housing Brands Investigation

Thorns and Roses In Manufactured Home Community Controversy

 

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

 

 

 

 

 

City Settles Case with Community Owner for $1.5 Million

August 7th, 2018 Comments off


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The City of Chino recently reached a $1.5 million settlement with a manufactured home community owner.

The suit originally asked for $34 million, and was filed in July 2010 by Chino MHC, owner of Lamplighter Chino Mobile Home Park,  per the Champion Newspapers.

The settlement agreement resolves long-standing disputes and litigation between the parties,” city spokeswoman Arianna Fajardo said in July. “The settlement makes clear that it is not an admission of any wrongdoing whatsoever on the part of the city. Instead, the city council wished to move beyond the disputes and avoid further expenditure of time and funds litigating these matters.”

The California Supreme Court declined the city’s request to hear the case.

In 2011, Superior Court Judge Joseph Brisco ruled that the City of Chino could not prohibit the conversion of the park, even though a survey of residents reportedly revealed most opposed the plan.

The City of Chino appealed, but lost in October 2012, when the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that the city council could not stop conversion of the mobile home park to resident ownership, unless city could show the owner was taking the step to avoid the city’s rent control policy on land-lease manufactured home communities.

Under this scenario, non-purchasing resident households will not be required to vacate their spaces,” former-city attorney Jimmy Gutierrez told the council.  He had warned officials that the decision could result in lawsuits that the city would lose.

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A Community Sector Industry Attorney Comments

Hart King tells MHProNews that they were not involved in this case, and that the comments from C. William “Bill” Dahlin “are personal and do not reflect any client or the firm.”

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It is my understanding the tenants also sued the city [in 2014] and I am not sure if this second piece of litigation is also at issue in the settlement referenced in the article,” Dahlin told the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

As an FYI, an approved subdivision of a MHP in California makes the park exempt from local rent control once the first space has been sold,” Dahlin said.

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Click to learn more about this upcoming wholesale event, which is not related to the story posted.

As a generality most park owners do not require existing residents to buy their space when a subdivision is approved. Rather the park owner generally allows existing homeowners to continue as tenants, but frequently do require a successor tenant to buy the space.” the California-based attorney said.

I assume this subdivision was pursued because the city’s rent control ordinance had the rents at a small fraction of market rent. After this subdivision was judicially approved the state legislature made it almost impossible to subdivide a MHP w/o tenant support. That legislation has effectively stopped almost all subdivision applications.” Dahlin added that this was “Just another consequence of rent control. The state has also made park closures economically VERY difficult and that has prevented older functionally obsolete MHPs from closing to allow newer developments to proceed. Yet another consequence of rent control and one factor in the state’s “housing crisis

The battle is part of the ongoing struggles between local jurisdictions and manufactured home community owners that are taking place in many parts of the country.  Some other recent cases are linked below.  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

MHCs and Rent Control – Cure or Cause for Affordable Housing Crisis?

 

Manufactured Home Community Owner Alert, Rent Control, MHAction Plans Organized Action in Several States

 

“Unconstitutional Taking,” “Gentrification on Trial” in Recent Oak Hill Manufactured Home Community Ruling

UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control

Different Kind of Community Closure, Continues Grabbing Headlines in Mainstream News

 

 

Manufactured Home Community Tangled in Legal Issues, Resident AG Complaints

August 12th, 2016 Comments off

Twin CirclesRobinsonTownshipMobileHomePark___Pittsburgh_Post-Gazette-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNewsThe manufactured home community in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania remains in legal limbo between its owners and the final residents remaining on the property, which is moving towards closure.

Channel 11 News shared its investigation of Twin Circle Mobile Home Park with MHProNews, where only a handful of residents remain.  Residents state that they’re awaiting compensation outlined by the state’s Manufactured Home Community Rights Act.

As a general rule under the act, owners are required to pay some $4,000 to $6,000 to relocate residents, with the lower end of $2,500 compensation if the home has already been abandoned.

Most have already moved out of the location. Among the remaining residents include Skip Benish, concerned with relocation, as well as his recent $6,800 worth of renovations he completed on his home.

Benish explained his frustrations, “All new windows, crown molding all around, paint, carpet and sub-flooring. I’m fighting for my rights is what it is.”

More than 20 residents have filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office against the owner of the community, who plans to build a strip-mall on the property. Eileen Yacknin, litigation director at Neighborhood Legal Services Association, has said that “Clearly, this violates the law, in my opinion.”

11 Investigates conducted an investigation recaped in the video below. The report has the all-too-common errrors found in media report, including refering to the homes as “mobile homes (sic),” when informed industry professionals can look at a glance and see from the exteriors that they are in fact manufactured homes.

Nomenclature issues aside, the local media reports highlight the tensions and negative publicity that generally arise in a town when a community closure takes place, and residents and ownership haven’t worked closely together to make the transition as painless as possible.

The Post-Gazette has reported that Gary Kalmeyer, an attorney for park owner Bill Chen, asserts the community’s ownership is working to comply with state law.

MHProNews previously reported on this case, and will continue to monitor the matter for industry professionals. ##

(Photo credit, Post-Gazette)

 

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Frank Griffin, Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Reported by Frank Griffin to Daily Business News – MHProNews