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Posts Tagged ‘Midfield Mobile Home Park’

Flight and Fight: MHC Residents Making Choices

April 4th, 2017 Comments off
FlightandFlightMHCResidentsMakingChoicescreditCalgarySun-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: Calgary Sun.

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada, residents at the now city- owned Midfield Mobile Home Park are heading towards the end of a three year journey – that concludes with the community closing down.

It’s very depressing. I don’t want to see it,” said resident Cindy MacDonald, who also shared that she can hear demolition crews tearing down her neighbors’ homes.

According to the Calgary Sun, six months before the community is scheduled to be shuttered, it now looks like a ghost town, as residents are moving out.

Nearly half of the trailer [sic] pads in the 183-pad park [sic] are today vacant,” said Doug Cassidy, director of real estate and development services for the city.

We continue to work with residents to facilitate where we can. Many of the residents have worked independently, in terms of either moving their units or making plans to move otherwise.

While Cassidy is confident all 183 spots in the community will be empty by the end of September, some longtime residents have said they have no plans to move from the community, which is central to key services.

There are people that are going to fight to the bitter end,” said MacDonald.

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Midfield, identified by red marker. Credit: Google.

Beginning in May 2014, residents of the Midfield community received letters stating that the community would close on September 30, 2017, because aging water and sewer pipes were unsalvageable.

They were told by the Calgary City Council that they would be relocated to the soon-to-be-built East Hills Estates on the outskirts of the city.

Then, the council told them that wasn’t going to happen.

With few options, as many communities are full, many community residents who opted to move their homes versus demolishing them, have decided to relocate their homes outside of city limits.

The city of Calgary offered eligible residents tenants a lump-sum payment of $10,000 to leave and a maximum of $10,000 toward the costs incurred to move their factory-built home, as well as counseling services.

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Credit: Midfield Park.

All residents that have moved have received money, in accordance with the Midfield Closure Program,” said Cassidy.

The remaining residents continue to receive assistance from the city in finding a new place to live, and a housing fair is scheduled for June.

Cassidy shared that after the community closes, the city will start working to remove underground utilities and prepare the land for grading work.

The future plans for the land, which is located in a highly desirable inner-city area, have not been revealed.

Similar cases continue to play out not only in Canada and in the U.S., but also in Australia, where residents of the Wantirna Caravan Park must move as a property firm plans to build high rise towers. That story is linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

NPR, MHAction memo, Cities Raise Fees, Close Manufactured Home Communities too

January 9th, 2017 Comments off
NPRMHActionCitiesCloseCommunitiesToocreditCBC-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Midfield Mobile Home Park. Credit: CBC.

The Daily Business News has provided in-depth coverage of the reaction to the National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast and story Mobile Home Park Owners Can Spoil An Affordable American Dream, and the attack on investor owned communities by MHAction.

The ongoing response from the industry’s professionals is to keep pointing to facts – versus private agendas – that have shown that exaggerations about manufactured homes and the community sectors of the industry are alive and well.

As commentary on Industry Voices (see examples, linked here and here) has reflected, the industry’s professionals do not believe in protecting bad actors.

With all the noise around media-driven misconceptions, it’s often overlooked by groups like NPR and MHAction that even cities and towns shut down communities, or do other things that they blame private investors for doing.

A recent example is found in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The city has plans in place to close a manufactured home community that has been around for over 45 years, Midfield Mobile Home Park.

They treat us like trailer trash,” said long-time resident Rudy Prediger, referencing the City of Calgary’s stewardship of the property.

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Rudy Prediger. Credit: Calgary Herald.

They made promises then broke them, they treated us with disrespect,” says Prediger, speaking of the city’s management.

I have a legal right to protect my property and that’s what I’m going to do.

Prediger speaks to a story that plays itself out repeatedly. Not just in manufactured communities, but in also in aging residential and commercial properties and apartment communities as well.

Per the Calgary Herald, the issues at Midfield began back to 2010, when their city council decided that repairing the park’s infrastructure, which included its aging sewer and water system, was too costly.

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A Google search on this date for apartments being redeveloped yielded over 40,000 possible hits. Conventional housing and commercial properties are also the subject of redevelopment, for the kinds of reasons cited by GMHA’s Jay Hamilton, below.

During that year, notices went out to the homeowners to inform them the community would close down in 2012.

Residents were told that they could move to land the city had purchased for a new community, and would be given a moving allowance to do so.

In 2014, plans for the new “mobile park” — all other existing ones in the city were full — were scuttled. Residents then received notice of Midfield’s official 2017 closure, along with a list of resources, which included contact info for such agencies as the Calgary Homeless Foundation and the Mustard Seed, according to the Herald.

Up to $20,000 in buyouts, along with counseling, was offered to each of the 173 owners.

Midfield sits on what’s considered to be “prime inner-city land” in Calgary.

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Aerial view of Midfield. Credit: Calgary Herald.

What often happens in these instances is that private and public community owners find themselves in “lose-lose” situations – which Jay Hamilton, Executive Director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) – described a few weeks ago.

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

One of the biggest reasons that a Manufactured Home Community Owner sells his property is that over time property taxes increase four and five-fold.  But the owner can’t economically escalate the lot rent quick enough to keep up.  Or the resident could not afford to live there if they did,” said Hamilton.

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments – property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.

As this scenario continues to play out in the U.S. and Canada, the thoughts shared by ROC USA President Paul Bradley are relevant.

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Paul Bradley. Credit: Fosters.

How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities?” Bradley questioned.

It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!’”

Bradley said, “One way to address this is to segment true homeownership land lease communities and differentiate it from traditional ‘parks’ where closure remains a risk, not a certainty but a risk.

NPR’s Latest anti-Investor Owned Community Salvo 

In their latest broadcast and published article dubbed “With Few Legal Protections, Nashville Mobile Home Park Residents At Risk Of Losing It All,” (see their article, linked here), NPR paints a radically different picture than what the USA Today network affiliate, The Tennessean did less than a month ago (see that article, linked here).

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See article that was the source of the above, linked here. Credit, the Tennessean.

Independent community operations manager Tom Fath pointed out numerous errors in NPR’s previous reports, and told MHProNews of the problems that such mainstream media stories cause.

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Sam Landy, REIT.com. To see an exclusive interview with Landy, click here.

UMH President and CEO Sam Landy told the Daily Business News that, “UMH has improved the lives of well over 1,000 manufactured home residents in the Nashville area. We have significantly upgraded communities. Our residents overwhelmingly support the companies actions.” Landy said his firm is preparing a detailed response to the NPR article about their Nashville locations.

The Daily Business News will continue to follow NPR, MHAction and similar cases of closely. The full commentary from Jay Hamilton is linked here. Commentary from Paul Bradley is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Residents of Calgary MH Community Being Forced to Move, But Can They Afford It?

January 21st, 2015 Comments off

calgary-sun-evicted-mfg-home-residentResidents of manufactured home communities in this country and in Canada frequently find themselves evicted from their places of residence for various reasons.  Many times, it’s because the land has become too valuable and owners want to sell it for other types of development.  Other reasons include cities not wanting to pay the cost of replacing aging city utilities.

This is thought to be the reason that residents of the Midfield Mobile Home Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, are being evicted. Although eviction day is more than two years away, some residents say they’ll refuse to leave unless the city honors its original agreement to relocate them.

The Calgary Sun tells MHProNews that residents were given notices in May 2014 saying the city-owned manufactured home community will be closed on Sept. 30, 2017, and previous plans to build a new one in the 800 block of 84 St. N.E. have been scrapped.

Instead of being relocated, residents will be given up to $10,000 to cover the cost of moving their homes, as well as a $10,000 lump sum payment.  The city is also making counselling services available.

However, that’s not good enough for Cindy MacDonald, who started a petition asking the city to honor their 2012 Go Forward Strategy commitment to build and move residents to a new manufactured home community, or, at the very least, pay the Midfield homeowners a full replacement value buy-out. “It’s devastating to be offered such a small amount,” she said.

According to McGarry & Madsen Inspection, it is not unusual to spend more than $20,000 to move a single-wide manufactured home a short distance. This may or may not include $800 to $1,500 to disconnect and reconnect the water and electrical systems, the cost of highway and transport permits, liability and property damage insurance for the move, removal of stairs and skirting, and many other needed repairs and services. Moving a manufactured home is not easy or cheap, and selling it in its present location is preferable. Unfortunately, the residents of the Midfield Mobile Home Park do not have that option.

MacDonald reiterated that the $20,000 being offered by the city is grossly inadequate. “We’ve got people in here with homes worth as much as $160,000. There is nowhere to move them, so the only option is demolition,” she explained.

In addition, she said, “We have to arrange everything. We have to make sure the lot is clear, and then we have to submit all our receipts.”

MacDonald said a recent count shows that 304 people live in the community with 107 being seniors.  Seven are veterans.

Fellow resident Betty Chisholm is adamant she won’t leave. “I’m staying,” she said. “I’m digging in. “I’ve got a mortgage, I can’t afford to go someplace else and pay rent … and they’ve got you over a barrel because they’ve more or less made your house worthless by saying they’re kicking us out with no place to go.”

Area counselor Gian-Carlo Carra said he sympathizes with the residents, but the cost of building a new “park” forced the city to change the arrangements originally offered. “We looked at the dollars and cents of building a new mobile home park, and competing with the private sector on that just did not make any dollars and sense,” he said. “It’s sad when things change and people who are vulnerable are put at risk, but that’s why the council gave them several years.”

Built in 1968, the city took over operation of Midfield Mobile Home Park in 1973, and it has been run by Calgary Housing Company since 2001.  The cost of replacing aging sewer and water pipes has been cited as a reason for the closure, which officials estimated in 2011 to be around $20 million. ##

(Photo Credit: Calgary Sun)

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Article Submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News- MHProNews.