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The Curious Case of a Sewer System… Or Not

May 27th, 2017 Comments off
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A look at the community in the 70’s. Credit: Post Star.

An interesting situation is playing out in the case of a Moreau, New York manufactured home community.

According to the Post-Star, the owner of Bluebird Terrace is taking a unique stance on whether his community should get sewer service.

There are no septic system problems there,” said owner John Cannone.

But I also desperately need sewer.”

The confusing response from Cannone just scratches the surface of the issue. The Moreau Town Board has been considering the issue for weeks, but Cannone did not reach out to board members or attend the board meetings.

I read news coverage about it, but didn’t then check the town website for agendas or the meeting schedule,” said Cannone.

I never knew there was a meeting. I will be at the next one.”

The Town Board says that it could apply for a federal grant on Cannone’s behalf, to bring sewer service to the community, and the grant would like cover almost all costs. One board member objected on the grounds that Cannone should pay the costs himself; while another member said that the system was not necessary.

In his defense, Cannone says he fixed all the septic systems in the year after he bought the community, and the state Department of Health confirmed that in 2015, and the community passed inspection.

But recently, residents have complained about issues with backed up toilets and odors, so the Department of Health inspected the community earlier this month.

Credit: Post Star.

The Department did not find any septic systems in failure or any evidence of sewage on the ground,” the department said in a statement.

However, two minor violations were cited related to the security of two septic covers. Although the security of the covers do not impact the ability of the septic system to function properly, the Department is in the process of following up with the park operator to ensure that these violations have been corrected.”

Cannone says that he’s also had to pump out one septic tank twice in the last month, but doesn’t think there are any problems with it.

That can fill up a tank quick,” said Cannone. And, he still wants the sewer service.

That would be awesome. Most likely because of neglect in the past, I’ve spent a small fortune just pumping septics. It’s not a great thing.”

The town board is due to discuss the grant application again at a June 12 meeting. ##

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

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

 

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MHC Community Owners Seek Code Changes

February 7th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: Bismarck Tribune.

In Bismarck, North Dakota, affordable housing is of vital importance.

And, according to the Bismarck Tribune, a group of manufactured home community owners are petitioning the city commission for the creation of a task force to keep manufactured home community living affordable.

 

These homes represent the most affordable unsubsidized housing in Bismarck,” the letter from community owners reads.

Unfortunately, Bismarck’s city policies unfairly burden the affordability of manufactured homes and impose on these homeowners costs which other homeowners are not asked to bear.

According to Myron Atkinson, spokesman for the group, and owner of Tatley Meadows, the issue is the manner in which costs for water, sewer, property taxes and other services are calculated.

The current calculation leads to a higher price per unit for those living in manufactured home communities versus those in other residential properties.

For example, sewer service is charged at a rate of $2.41 per unit for those with one to four families on a meter,” said Atkinson.

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Credit: MH Village.

For those with five or more on a meter, the rate is $2.92 per unit, meaning mobile home [sic] owners pay a higher rate even though they each own their homes individually.

Atkinson shared that some progress has been made over the last year but there are still discrepancies.

Manufactured home owners were specially assessed at 200 percent of a special assessment basis, compared to 100 percent for a single-family dwelling.

While that percentage has been reduced to 150 percent, it’s still an issue for Atkinson.

We want our people treated like every other homeowner,” said Atkinson.

We [MHC operators] are expecting a sudden change in sanitary sewer rates being affected by federal environmental regulations, with rates expected to go from $2.56 to $2.92. It’s going to make a real difference in what rent increase is going to have to be.

And that rent increase has MHC owners concerned. Atkinson is estimating he will have to raise rents $15 per month just due to the sanitary sewer rates. By comparison, he says that he usually tries to keep increases below 3 percent annually as he adjusts for rising costs in employee salaries and services.

If you’ve got affordable housing, you should keep it affordable,” said Atkinson.

While the group has not heard back from city commissioners, Atkinson said that they are hopeful for a response soon, and that the proposed task force would include both residents and owners working with the city to find solutions to the challenges. ##

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHC Ownership: Good Retirement Income

December 22nd, 2011 Comments off

Frank Rolfe, CEO of MHC owner American Home Communities, LP, writes in NuWireInvestor that buying a small manufactured home community for retirement income is a feasible way to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Given that safe investments only give you a return of two percent, you need $3,000,000 in order to earn $60,000 a year. Noting that only 60 percent of Americans have sufficient resources to comfortably retire, Rolfe suggests buying a 30-100 homesite ‘”mobile home park” valued at $500,000 with 5-20 percent down can return an income of $60,000. Many communities have close to 100 percent occupancy, and it’s an affordable housing market for which the demand, especially in a recession era, is ongoing. He says you do not have buildings to maintain and upgrade, only water and sewer service to keep flowing and roads to keep solid. Noting the importance of being fair to the residents, it nevertheless costs $3,000 to move a manufactured home; and even if you do lose a few, raising the rent $20 a month on a 50 unit MHC will bring in $1000 more each month. The days of a ten percent return on your IRA or mutual fund investment are gone.

(Photo credit: TriStar Estates)