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Panicking Manufactured Home Community Residents Turning to Rent Control Demands

June 20th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Still from video, posted further below.

Residents of a manufactured home community in Marin County, California are stressing over announced rent increases that will hit them in July 1, 2019.

 

Per CBS local affiliate KPIX 5, the sharp spike may cause some to lose their homes.

It is part of a trend that has been sparking headlines in various parts of the United States.  Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), and a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful who has been rising steadily in the polls.  Senator Warren recently sent letters to several manufactured home community (MHC) operators that have drawn national attention in the wake of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s viral but errantly named “Mobile Homes” video.

KPIX’s report is posted below. 

 

 

Local media quoted resident Joan Dobkowski saying, More than half of us are on a fixed, retirement income, which means this kind of steep increase is not something that can be handled in that short time period.”

Because they’re almost doubling the rent when we sell our units for the new people,” Dobkowski said. “No one wants to move here. So, we’re losing our homes as well…we can’t sell them.”

Larkspur does not have rent control, though much of the rest of the county does.  David Levin, managing attorney for Marin Legal Aid, said “That’s something [signing a long term lease] the renters [community residents] are wrestling with right nowbecause they’ve been presented with a 5-year lease agreement and that could lock them into the rent increase schedule as proposed.”

They’re going to get less money or possibly even lose some or most of their investment,” Levin said. “In many cases, all these people own is the mobile home [sic].”

This concern is part of a larger trend in the industry, one that was highlighted by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver spotlighted.  MHProNews readers are reminded that in the wake of that report, before mainstream media reports hit, our sources in Washington, D.C. said they expected national blowback. A tangential topic that has tie-ins has drawn attention from several Democratic lawmakers, including 2020 presidential hopefuls. 

Rephrased, there are indications that issues like this one could get hotter.

Representatives for the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA), the National Association for Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) were invited to weigh in on this and related controversies.  They have not responded as of 1:52 PM ET – but were also given an option to respond to our report once published. 

NAMHCO recently weighed in on another community-focused matter, linked after the byline and notices.

While not a producer issue, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has weighed in on a related possible solution.  See that linked further below too.  MHProNews will continue to monitor this scenario.

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Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/