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Posts Tagged ‘Richmond’

The Saga of “A Solid Community”

January 20th, 2017 Comments off
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RPD Chief Durham listens to a resident of Rudd’s Trailer Park during a Community Walk. Credit: TwiCopy.

In Richmond, Virginia, a manufactured home community is going through the pains of change.

Dennis Pasqualino purchased Rudd’s Trailer Park at auction in March. When the purchase was completed, he told residents that he planned to install surveillance cameras and remove some of the empty homes.

While that hasn’t happened yet, Pasqualino said he was working to address crime by securing the vacant homes, and that he’s working with the city and nonprofits to bring in new homes and assist residents with down payments to purchase them.

I think everybody’s on the same page now — let’s save the park [sic],” said Pasqualino.

This was a solid community prior to all of this happening, and what we need to do is make it a solid community again.

According to Richmond Magazine, while conditions at the region’s communities vary greatly, the situation at Rudd’s involves a number of older homes in bad condition, which led the city to issue notices of code violation and condemnation.

That resulted in a federal housing discrimination lawsuit against the City of Richmond, a civil rights complaint and two settlements.

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Melody Scruggs walks in the Rudd’s community. Credit: Richmond Magazine.

The community also caught the attention of local affordable housing advocates, who formed the Virginia Mobile Home Park Coalition in the spring of 2015 in an effort to assess the conditions of the region’s communities and look at ways to improve them. One of the coalition’s first steps was to commission a study, which was completed in November.

We weren’t really aware of the scale of mobile home parks [sic] living in the region,” says Lee Householder, CEO of ProjectHomes, one of the coalition’s members. “We wanted to understand better how many units there were, what the condition was, so we could get our arms around the scope of the problems.

According to the daughter of one of the residents, the problems at Rudd’s are abundant.

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Melody Scruggs. Credit: Richmond Magazine.

Most of these trailers [sic] are so old, it’s really hard to get them up to code,” says Melody Scruggs.

Her mother’s home was built more than four decades ago, and her late father lived there for more than 30 years.

With the addition of a smoke detector, it passed inspection, but she says it has mold in the ceiling. Some of the electrical sockets don’t work.

My mom’s on a fixed income, and it’s hard to find a place in her price range,” said Scruggs.

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A map of Rudd’s Trailer Park (shaded.) Credit: Counts Auction.

In and around Richmond, manufactured home community residents are twice as likely to live in poverty as the rest of the region’s population, 28 percent versus 14 percent, and their median household income is half the region’s average at $27,000.

Demographically, these households have a higher percentage of Hispanic residents than the general population and a lower percentage of African-American residents, according to the study, which was commissioned by The Virginia Nonprofit Housing Coalition, the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, and The Community Foundation.

The study also found that 70 percent of community residents in the region own their homes.

What that says to me is these manufactured home parks [sic] are well-positioned to be vibrant, stable communities of homeowners,” says Christie Marra of Virginia Poverty Law Center, another Virginia Mobile Home Park Coalition partner.

Manufactured homes are the most affordable type of home ownership option that we have.

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A family at their home in the Rudd’s community. Credit: Richmond.

At Rudd’s, residents are cautiously optimistic about fixes.

All of us are concerned,” Scruggs says.

Will the city allow Pasqualino to do the changes he wants to do, or will they try to close it down? We’re all worried about that. People don’t want to put money into fixing the trailer [sic] if the park’s [sic] going to close.

With that, Scruggs does give credit.

I’ve got to give it to [Pasqualino]. He’s really trying to fix it … if the people could get some assistance to fix the trailers [sic] and bring them up to code, it would be a much nicer place to live.” ##

(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.

Modern Modular Classrooms will Serve VA Schools Well

May 4th, 2015 Comments off

modular classroom canada  joe bryksa winnipegfreepressBroad Rock Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia is receiving a 12-classroom modular complex, and E.S.H. Greene Elementary is getting one with nine classrooms, each unit with two bathrooms, interior hallways and enough space to serve meals, as richmond tells MHProNews.

Both schools are above 125 percent capacity, and while school officials try to persuade city leaders to allocate $30 million for a new school to alleviate overcrowding, the modular units will fulfill the current need. It will also allow the school system to get rid of old single-room trailers that have no bathrooms, have been poorly maintained and do not function well as classrooms.

School board member Kimberly Gray, upon returning from examining modular units at another school system, said the modular classrooms will be nicer than the school itself. It will take about three months to prepare the mods for the Aug. 16 deadline for the next school year, including site preparation.

The project is estimated to cost $1 million, which will include site work and lease of the buildings for one year. The overriding need for additional classroom space became more crucial when the previous school board closed Summer Hill Elementary, a crumbling building but in a district where enrollment was booming. ##

(Photo credit: winnipegfreepress/Joe Bryksa–modular classroom)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Bill to Reduce Tax on Factory-built Home Sales in Danger

May 30th, 2014 Comments off

Following a post MHProNews published Dec. 27, 2013 regarding the sales tax increase imposed on manufactured and modular homes in North Carolina that began Jan. 1, 2014, we have learned the N. C. House version of an omnibus tax bill reduces that levy, supported by Rep. Ken Goodman (D-Richmond). But yourdailyjournal.com reports the Senate threw out the tax reduction from its mark-up of the measure. Rep. Goodman says it hurts those buying off-site built homes as well as those producing them. ##

(Photo credit: Royal Homes of Raleigh–North Carolina)

The Fed Says: Economy is Gaining Strength

January 17th, 2013 Comments off

From HousingWire comes news that all 12 Federal Reserve districts indicate the economy is growing, at least moderately, in their areas, according to the Beige Book. Loan demand grew in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta but fell slightly in St. Louis. While posting a modicum of growth in loan demand, the increase for the districts of Cleveland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Richmond, and San Francisco was virtually nil. While lending to real estate developers beyond multifamily projects is at a standstill in San Francisco, commercial real estate lending improved in the New York, Cleveland, Kansas City and Dallas districts. Real estate activity expanded or held steady in 11 of the 12 districts for existing home sales and leasing. MHProNews has been informed a rise in the prices of lumber and drywall in the Kansas City district hindered construction.

(Image credit: texaslendingtoday)

Senior MHC without Power

November 2nd, 2012 Comments off

TheWesterlySun reports the town of Richmond, Connecticut is providing extra services to the seniors of Hillsdale Mobile Home Park who are without electricity as the result of Hurricane Sandy. The town’s emergency management director has been delivering meals to the residents, and Verizon has re-established phone service. As MHProNews has learned, an ambulance is stationed in the community should medical services be needed, and the police make regular patrols through the area.

(Photo credit: TheWesterlySun–Hurricane Sandy wreckage)

Federal Reserve District Banks upbeat on Housing Market

September 3rd, 2012 Comments off

According to nationalmortgagenews all 12 Federal Reserve banks reported improvements in residential real estate in their districts, as noted in the Beige Book. Compiled on Aug. 20, the snapshot says the housing market is “positive with continued increases in activity expected.” While the Philadelphia and Kansas City banks remain cautious about the shadow inventory in their districts entering the market, the New York, Richmond and San Francisco branches have noticed a reduction in the number of distressed properties. Atlanta, Boston, and Dallas banks report inventory of homes for sale is declining, pushing prices up. As MHProNews has learned, at the same time, Boston, Cleveland, and Kansas City districts predict gains will be modest moving forward.

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

Fed Reports Increased Real Estate Activity

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

Construction Site in Dallas, Eric Miller PhotoReports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest that overall economic activity continued to increase at a modest to moderate pace in January and early February. The Fed reports manufacturing continued to expand at a steady pace across the nation, with many districts reporting increases in new orders, shipments, or production and several districts indicating gains in capital spending, especially in auto-related industries. Activity in nonfinancial services industries remained stable or increased. Reports of consumer spending were generally positive, except for sales of seasonal items. Residential real estate market conditions improved somewhat in most districts, with several reports of increased home sales and some reports of increased construction. Residential real estate activity increased modestly in most Districts. Boston, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Dallas reported growth in home sales, while New York noted steady to slightly softer home sales. Philadelphia reported strong residential real estate activity. In contrast, home sales declined in St. Louis and San Francisco noted that home demand persisted at low levels. Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas, and San Francisco reported increased multifamily construction activity. Banking conditions generally improved across the districts. Of the districts reporting on hiring, most indicated a slight increase. Prices of final goods and services were relatively stable in most districts.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)