Posts Tagged ‘residents’

“Otter-ly” Surprised by New Residents

March 21st, 2017 Comments off

The Northport Community. Credit: Record-Bee.

In Lakeport, California, residents of three different manufactured home communities were evacuated due to intense rain and flooding. After years of back-to-back fires, many residents feel pretty lucky that there was only minor damage.

And the residents of the Lucky Four Resort even got new neighbors after being away.

According to the Record-Bee, what ended up being just minor flooding turned the laundry facility into a new home… for otters.

I’m not sure who was scared more, my husband or the otter,” said Lucky Four Resort owner Marilyn Williamson.

Williamson said as a whole, the community handled the high waters well, aside from the new otter residence.

In addition to Lucky Four, the city of Lakeport also evacuated the Aqua Village Mobile Home Park, as a preemptive safety measure, with residents able to return a little over a week ago.

Most of the homes were set to rest above their skirting, which allowed water to flow freely underneath them. Dealing with a manmade lake, residents are prepared for potential flooding.

We’ve been here before,” said Williamson. “We made it through without having to shut anything down. It’s nothing like the (flood) in ‘89.

Everything is pretty much back to normal,” said Aqua Village owner Ron Paulson.

But in nearby Clear Lake, some communities fared better than others, based on positioning and flood protection. In the case of Willow Point Resort, the community is evacuated even though it is dried out.

While the homes avoided water damage, overworked systems around the community affected the sewer system. The community had to shut down all electricity, water and phone service, and they will likely stay down until the sewer system can recuperate.

Other communities and RV parks have also been temporarily shut down, some disconnecting phone service entirely.


Credit: Google.

As was the case for Northport Trailer Resort. Owner Tom Turner took measures to prevent flooding, but a quarter of his property still ended up underwater.

A lot of it is just putting dirt where it used to be,” said Turner.

Cleaning up is the most tedious part — getting all the lake mud off the property. It has that ‘lake sludge’ smell.

Turner also said that what ended up being a minor disaster has a number of Lake County residents sad, given recent, destructive back-to-back fires in recent years. Even so, he believes there is reason to be optimistic.

We have to keep our spirits up,” said Turner.

Northern California’s drought recently lifted. Let’s all have a Spring and Summer we can finally enjoy.

For more on the California floods, including the impact on the Balls Ferry community, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Last Stand for Manufactured Home Community Residents?

March 20th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: Delaware State News.

In a story the Daily Business News covered back in December, residents of the St. Jones Landing community in Lebanon, Delaware, have taken additional steps to try and stay put.

According to Delaware State News, residents George Makdad and Breanna Waltz filed a Chancery Court lawsuit against St. Jones Landing, LLC in February to halt construction of housing that they believe would illegally improve the land at their expense.

The story begins back in August 2016, when Makdad received an eviction letter from K-4 Management. The letter stated that the company intended to build apartment style housing, and that he would need to relocate by August 31, 2017.

Then, Makdad says the second page of the letter noted a March 31st date to leave his residence in the community.

St. Jones Landing residents claim that the departure date, while an issue, is just one of many. They claim that K-4 is planning to actually replace their homes with newer manufactured homes, which violates Delaware state code with  change of use for the land involved.

The proof, residents say, is in the fact that the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority (DMHRA) has already authorized some moving expense payments to residents vacating the community. This, residents allege, is a state code violation based on knowledge of the replacement homes not altering land use.


The St. Jones Landing Community. Credit: Delaware State News.

In the lawsuit, residents note that St. Jones Landing owner Andy Strine was a board member of the DMHRA that “continued to authorize thousands of dollars in payments for moving expenses,” and voted to “authorize payments for moving expenses knowing that there was no change of land use for St. Jones Landing.


A “Better Use of Land?”

K-4 Management sent a letter to residents on March 4, 2016 that said, in part, “with the new rent justification law and increasing regulatory burden placed on mobile home parks [sic], we must find a better use for this land. The intended future use is an apartment style lease project.

K-4 also offered to facilitate the entire move if a resident relocated to one of its other communities.


Credit: Delaware State News.

The expense of moving your home will be at no cost to you through the Delaware Relocation Trust Fund,said the letter.

If your home is non-relocatable, and you purchase a home from us in another one of our communities, we will give you a credit of 50 percent of your down payment up to a maximum of $2,500.

According to the community owner, the letter was intended as a one-year written notice of lease termination to meet Delaware Code.

The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Residents Face Challenges

March 17th, 2017 Comments off

An unrelated manufactured home in Weimar, Texas. Credit: Rentals.

In Weimar, Texas, a situation at a city council meeting this week spurred a bittersweet commentary regarding low income, manufactured home community residents, and the struggles that city officials often have in trying to solve related challenges.

This past Thursday Weimar council had a real challenge on their hands. There was a mobile home park [sic] in town that wasn’t zoned as a mobile home park [sic],” wrote Colorado County Citizen Publisher Michelle Banse Stokes in an editorial.

Changing the zoning designation meant several families would have to upgrade their substandard housing with repairs or replacement. Not changing the designation would mean that they’d have to go. It was an oversight that’s been going on for decades. And the families held their breath as they awaited council’s decision.

Stokes then took note of how the council was trying to work through the situation.


Publisher Credit: Michelle Banse Stokes LinkedIn.

The mayor called several times for someone to speak, but the families, little ones in tow, simply sat in silence,” wrote Stokes.

Council members discussed the problem for over an hour, seeking advice from the city attorney and code enforcement officer. It was easy to see that they didn’t take their jobs lightly.

Weimar officials, and our mayor in particular, have been making a visible effort to clean up our little town. Old homes are being torn down and replaced with new brick ones, citizens with debris in their yards are being cited and loose animals are being impounded. And I think everyone would have to admit, these are good things for our town.

As the council members worked to come up with a viable solution, Stokes noted her feelings about the battle between better quality housing, while realizing the potential of pushing those less fortunate out in order to make that housing a reality.

No one wants to see children living in poverty, but it exists all around us. Cleaning up this mobile home park [sic] will make it look better from the outside and it may raise the standard of living there, but it may also push out the people that live there now,” wrote Stokes.


Weimar, identified by red marker. Credit: Google.

One council member suggested during the meeting that they could just get new homes, as it would be cheaper than repairing the ones they had. Let’s get real … if these people could afford a better home, don’t you think they would already have it?

In the end, as the council rendered their decision, Stokes had mixed feelings.

My fear is that these families will be forced to the outskirts of town by the new ordinance and it’s requirements. And that is why I was glad I wasn’t in council’s shoes Thursday when they declared the property a mobile home park [sic],” wrote Stokes.

All and all, I agree with their decision. There really wasn’t anything else they could do. I can only hope that they will make good on their word to work with the property owner and residents by providing adequate time to get the homes where they need to be.

For more on the challenges that manufactured home communities face, and the hope provided by organizations such as St. Vincent De Paul in Oregon, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Multi-Acre MH Expansion Approved, Residents Concerned

March 9th, 2017 Comments off

A Hynes Group Home. Credit: Concord Monitor.

In Allenstown, New Hampshire, officials have formally approved the sale of 166 acres of town-owned land to a Canada-based manufactured home developer, Hynes Group.

The company, which already manages the 300 unit Holiday Acres community in town, plans to expand it by an additional 210 units, which will be age-restricted.

Per the Concord Monitor, the Allenstown select board okayed the sale by a 2-1 vote this week, with selectman Jeff Gryval voting against the measure and selectmen David Eaton and Jason Tardiff in favor.

The Hynes Group says that the new homes will be larger than the current homes in the Holiday Acres community, with additional extras such as garages.

The major factor to take into the study was that it was age-restricted. And the impact of that is that it reduces the number of school-aged children dramatically,” said Russ Thibeault of Laconia-based Applied Economic Research.

Based on an estimated average valuation of $141,068, Thibeault says that the new development would add about $29 million in property value to the tax rolls, and Allenstown could expect a net increase of about $500,000 in new tax revenues once all the homes are built.


The entrance to Holiday Acres. Credit: Concord Monitor.

Thibeault’s analysis also projected about $1 million in revenues from one-time sewer and water hookup fees.

Mark Fougere, of Fougere Planning & Development Inc., in an analysis submitted to town officials, thought that the revenue number could be even higher.

The estimated positive fiscal impact of $513,000 outlined on page 29 is, again, very conservative and we would expect actual positive revenues to the community to be higher than this finding,” said Fougere.

Even with the positive report, many residents who were at the meeting this week have expressed concerns that the development will burden the town’s services and contribute little in terms of revenue.

And, the issue of just how many students the development might bring made for some strong responses, including one from a unique source.


NIMBY Strikes Again?


Allestown, NH (shaded in red.) Credit: Google.

Our schools are currently struggling to financially meet the needs of the existing student population. They are not prepared to accommodate a large influx of additional students. School taxes will increase as a result,” said Kathleen Pelissier, the town’s clerk and tax collector, in a letter sent to certain residents urging them to contact the select board before the vote.

I hope I’m wrong. But only time will tell.

Pelissier’s letter also said that manufactured homes depreciate quickly in value, and she worried many property owners in the planned age-restricted development might apply for exemptions on their taxes based on age and income.

As a part of the sale, the Hynes Group agreed to upgrade the area around the new development, including installing a sidewalk along the turnpike to the entrance of the new development.

For more on cases of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard), including a recent case in Glendale, Arizona, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHC Residents Asked to Evacuate

February 20th, 2017 Comments off

Floodwaters at the Driftwood Mobile Home Park in Modesto, CA. Credit: Twitter.

Residents of the Driftwood Mobile Home Park in Modesto, California, were issued voluntary evacuation orders on Friday.

The community sits along the Tuolumne River, and with another major storm system due to hit the area; officials were not taking any chances.

While some of the homes in the community sit on higher ground, there are also some that sit closer to the river – literally in their backyard.

According to News 10, resident Raymund Lee says that he has lived in Modesto for more than two decades and was there during the 1995 floods. He doesn’t think the water will get as high and is opting to stay, putting sandbags around his home.

The water is coming up on the backside and sinking many of the mobile trailers [sic] in the mud,” said Lee.

While some residents opted to stay, many of the areas that used to have homes are now empty, especially the ones right next to the river. Heavy winds from earlier in the week have knocked down parts of the fence, which was the only thing guarding the community from the river.

They’re telling us it’s mandatory. They want this whole row gone,said resident Riley Utley, whose home was one of the closer ones to the river. “[Other officials] say we don’t have to…let’s just do it.


The Driftwood Community. Credit: Apartments.

In light of the situation, several towing companies volunteered their services to get homes out of danger as quickly as possible, and neighbors worked to help each other despite the conditions.

Neighbors also came despite gusty winds and heavy rain to help each other out.

We just want to make sure they’re safe. We’ve got kids here and that’s the most important thing,” said resident Carla Pongio, who lives on higher ground.

I can hear the roar of the water. [The storm’s] coming.

Many parts of California are struggling with effects from winter storms, including the Balls Ferry Fishing Resort & Mobile Home Park in Anderson, California, where residents were trying to avoid the Sacramento River as it flooded the area. That story is linked here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

A Victory? Residents Ruled to Be Renters

February 20th, 2017 Comments off

The entrance to Copper Sands. Credit: Regina Leader-Post.

A scenario for a manufactured home community posed to the court of appeals in Saskatchewan, Canada provided an interesting answer.

If you own a manufactured home but rent the land on which it sits, are you legally a renter?

According to the court, you are.

Per the Regina Leader Post, the story began in 2014, when a new ownership took over Copper Sands – an 80 plus home community just east of Regina.

Soon after, the Rentalsman had complaints coming to its office from tenants about that new landlord, Copper Sands Land Corporation.

Rents were increased, maintenance issues were reported and one resident reported that they had been forced to sign an unconscionable rental agreement.

In each instance, the Rentalsman ruled in favor of each of those residents.

And then, the story took an interesting turn.


A home in the Copper Sands community. Credit: Reg Real Estate.

The landlord argued the Rentalsman had no jurisdiction to make those decisions, because those making the complaints owned their homes, while the landlord only owned the site on which they sat.

Because of this, a lawyer for the landlord argued the Residential Tenancies Act, which governs the Rentalsman, did not apply. Further, the complaints from residents needed to go to a higher court.

In winning, we’ve established a precedent that is good for all of the residents of all of the mobile homes [sic] in Saskatchewan,said Don Lussier, the president of the Copper Sands Tenant Association.

It is unfortunate that it took this long and this drawn out, and that the landlord originally took the position that the act didn’t apply.

After two-plus years of legal back and forth, the appeal court ruled at the end of January that the Rentalsman did indeed have jurisdiction over the residents.


Another home in the Copper Sands community. Credit: Reg Real Estate.

I didn’t think the water was muddy to begin with,” said Lawyer Eric Marcotte, who represented some of the Copper Sands residents. Marcotte felt that there was never any ambiguity in the legislation.

The residents of Copper Sands pulled together to support the legal fees that came with having to argue their case at the appeals court. And, despite less than ideal circumstances, brought the community close together.

It’s certainly a financial strain on them. It’s not cheap to take a decision all the way to the Court of Appeal,” said Marcotte.

With the ruling in place, the complaints of those living in Copper Sands, many of which are unresolved, will now go to the Rentalsman.

As of this month, 50 of the 80 Copper Sands residents had claims before the Rentalsman office. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Residents Concerned about MHC Regulations

February 20th, 2017 Comments off

A Renton, Washington manufactured home community. Credit: King County Housing Authority.

At a recent Ronda, North Carolina Board of Commissioners meeting, guest speakers had a lot to say, dominating the entire first half hour.

According to the Elkin Tribune, the issues were around Ronda’s Mobile Home Resolution and Shady Hill Mobile Home Park. David Yelverton and Shannon Neal, potential purchasers of Shady Hill, presented their concerns about the resolution including the five-year age limit on homes allowed to be located in there.

Mike Finney, owner of Zwin Street Village, who agreed that the age of homes allowed should be extended, supported them.

Finney presented the board with practical concerns of manufactured home community ownership and the benefits around altering the town resolution would be.

I bought the trailer park [sic] because it was a nuisance,” said Finney.

The way the ordinance is set up it’s not profitable. The retail price is not going to be practical. By the time I got [Zwin Street Village] paid off, I would be in the ground.

Tommy Sales, owner of property in several local municipalities including nearby Elkin, said that he’s concerned with the resolution because he is interested in setting up manufactured homes on property in Ronda that he intends to purchase.

The five-year limit deters me from buying,” said Sales.

You can remodel an older trailer [sic] and make it look brand new.”


The Ronda Board of Commissioners meets to discuss the mobile home resolution. Credit: Elkin Tribune.

Other residents posed concerns about the quality of homes that may fall within the current five-year range and exactly what constitutes a manufactured home community.

They may be within the five-year range, but cosmetically could look pretty darn rough,” said Fay Pardue.

How many homes constitute a community?” said Randy Combs.

And why any of the rules would be different. What’s fair for one is fair for all.

Finney made the case for technology being involved in the decision process.

The thing about used single wides [sic], if they are nice and reasonably priced they don’t stay on the market for very long,” said Finney.

Electronic pictures are the only way to go. If they don’t provide the sufficient photographs to make determination, text or email them back.


Credit: Sperling’s Best Places.

I think we can do a bit better for our trailer park [sic] owners. We know that our resolution is too restrictive,” said Mayor Victor Varela.

What I’m suggesting is we modify the ordinance to go back to 1990. No older than 25 years.

Varela then mentioned that more time was needed.

We will be loosening this up, I don’t know to what extent. It’s been a big learning experience,” said Varela.

The consensus is that we’re going to table this until next month.”

As Daily Business News readers are aware, a number of communities around the U.S. are either reviewing or making changes to manufactured home community ordinances, including the case in Arcata, California related to rent control. That story is linked here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Community Owners, Residents, Agree on Bill

February 17th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: History Channel.

In Utah, the relationship between manufactured home community owners and residents has been a long-standing, and well known battle.

But recently, what some on both sides are calling “a miracle” has taken place.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, those who support resident and community owner rights have joined forces to support a bill to better define the rights of each group.

HB236 was endorsed on an 8-1 vote Wednesday by the House Business and Labor Committee, and was sent to the full House for consideration.

As further proof the day of miracles is not over, we are in full support of the bill,” said Mike Ostermiller, who represents the Utah Housing Alliance of Mobile Home Park Owners.

Our group also supports HB236 and believes it clarifies some rights of tenants, including the right to sue park [sic] owners and collect attorney fees if they win,” said Connie Hill, who represents the Utah Coalition of Manufactured Homeowners.

Rep. Bruce Cutler, (R-Murray), the bill’s sponsor, says that it takes some small steps that all sides agree on, but not the much larger steps that both sides have sought through the years.


Rep. Bruce Cutler. Credit: Murray Journal.

I started working on the bill seeking a home run, but that’s not going to go anywhere. So let’s see if we can at least get halfway to first base. And I think that’s about where we are,” said Cutler.

Provisions in the bill include requiring a written lease between home and community owners, which recent court decisions said were not mandated by rule of existing law.

With the bill, failure of a homeowner to negotiate and sign a lease could be grounds for eviction. If a community owner fails to live up to promised terms, homeowners could sue for damages and attorney fees.

Being able to collect attorney fees is important because most mobile-home [sic] owners do not have much money and have been unable to pursue such legal action,” said Hill.


A Utah manufactured home owner in front of her residence. Credit: Salt Lake Tribune.

Other provisions outlaw so called “unconscionable” actions and rules by community owners, such as community owners blocking residents selling their homes to new owners by refusing to rent to them, because they wanted to buy and rent the homes themselves at lower prices.

A legal help line for community owners and residents that had been operated for two years by the University of Utah law school would also be terminated as a part of the bill, and those running it recommended its termination, saying it was not working as intended. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHC Residents Face Uncertain Future

February 16th, 2017 Comments off

A home at Thetis Lake Campground. Credit: Mobile Homes Victoria.

In the town of View Royal, British Columbia, the potential sale of a community, and developer plans, have residents wondering about their next move.

According to the Gold Stream Gazette, Eric Gieringer and his family have owned Thetis Lake Campground for the last 41 years.

On January 12th, Gieringer sent a letter to the community’s 17 homeowners that stated his desire to retire and sell the property, and that he has entered into a property sales agreement with a developer who plans to submit a rezoning application to the Town of View Royal in the near future.

Should the rezoning application fail,said Gieringer in the letter,the tenancy for the mobile home owners [sic] in the park [sic] will still end and the campground will evolve to fall in line with its current zoning, which is for temporary use and tourism, not permanent residency.

If the property is successfully rezoned, Gieringer has offered $10,000 to any tenant that agrees to completely vacate the property by the end of September.

If residents choose to remain, they will receive the minimum according to the British Columbia Tenancy Act, which is 12 months of the current monthly rent, and be given an extra year to leave.

Residents Lothar Netzel and Jacquelynn Starck say they are not surprised.


Lothar Netzel in front of his home. Credit: Gold Stream Gazette.

Rumors have been going around for years,” said Netzel.

In fact, since 2000, any new tenant arriving on the property has signed a letter indicating that the tenancy might end due to rezoning or a transition into a more traditional campground.

Other residents are also concerned about the lack of affordable housing, as British Columbia has some of the highest costs in the nation.


This news has stressed people out …They are getting rid of the last affordable housing in Victoria,” said Karen Hayes.

It’s impossible. The rents are up to $900 to $1,200,” said Starck.

The application to have the property rezoned is still in its early stages and hasn’t been officially received by the Town of View Royal.

The council will have to weigh its options with regards to potential development of the property, and that its close proximity to a nature park means we’ll be looking for dedicated park land and proper buffers as part of any proposal,” said Mayor David Screech.


Mayor David Screech. Official Photo.

He also sees both sides of the situation.

I respect the owners’ right that they have decided that they just don’t want to run the park [sic] anymore. So unfortunately what’s happening with the tenants is a by-product of that,” said Screech.

Gieringer also understands, but says he has been upfront all along.

I’m not happy about it. It’s not the way I thought this would all end, but we’ve been very frank with all of our tenants that we really saw no future the way this business model is,” said Gieringer.

For more on the housing situation in British Columbia, and manufactured housing as a proposed solution, click here. ##


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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

As Community Floods, Residents Prepare to Leave

February 10th, 2017 Comments off

Residents at Balls Ferry Fishing Resort & Mobile Home Park wading through flood waters. Credit: Record-Searchlight.

The residents of Balls Ferry Fishing Resort & Mobile Home Park in Anderson, California, were dealt a blow by heavy rains this week, which caused the nearby Sacramento River to crest and flood the community.

According to the Record-Searchlight, heavy rain slammed into the area on Monday and into Tuesday, flooding countless areas throughout Shasta County, including the community.


I slept in this morning and management notified us the water level was coming up and we should get ready to leave just in case,” said resident Jonathan Williams.

Water continued to creep up to the skirting of at least a dozen homes, rising 14 inches in less than 12 hours.

I’ve never seen it do this,” said Richard Bremer, 75, who has lived in the community for about 11 years. His home was safe from the flooding, just a few feet from the water’s edge.

It crested one time about 10 years ago but not like this.


Credit: Record-Searchlight.

Even with sandbags lining the entrances of most homes in the community, some still had damage.

For Williams, whose home sits at a high point away from the floodwaters, he said that management has made a real effort to help residents out.


Credit: KRCR.

I’ve lived in a lot of trailer parks [sic],” said Williams.

This park [sic], because of management’s efforts and the owner’s efforts, is a really tight-knit community.

Neighbors also pitched in on Tuesday, helping those who could move their homes and belongings away from floodwaters to higher ground.

When this started happening, a lot of people don’t have trucks that will pull their unit, their RVs. So it’s kind of important we all pull together,” said Williams.

We’re kind of like a family here. It’s not a trailer park [sic], it’s a family park [sic].”

Heavy rain is in the forecast for the area through Saturday, with 24 areas under advisories, watches or warnings for flooding. Winter storms in the region have delivered heavy rains and flooding from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Nevada state line. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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