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Posts Tagged ‘mobile home parks’

Rent Control is the Wrong Prescription for California’s Housing Crisis

September 16th, 2016 No comments

How much sense would it make if your doctor applied a band aid to fix a broken leg? None whatsoever, however, this is how misdirected some prescriptions are to solving California’s housing crisis.

According to analysts, government imposed regulations and fees are leading contributors to why California is the most expensive place to live in the U.S., placing homeownership out of reach for many middle-class Californians. Instead of addressing the root cause, some policymakers are championing rent control, despite the fact that it has never effectively preserved or expanded affordable housing stocks.

One of their favorite targets is manufactured housing communities or mobilehome parks, as if private property owners are responsible for the housing crisis. However, when manufactured homes offer all the quality and comfort of a stick-built house, at prices 30% less, government should create incentives to build more mobilehome parks and not less.

Rent control’s failure is obvious when applied to manufactured homes, primarily, creating a tradeoff between lower rents and the capital investments parkowners must make to protect a park’s viability, quality of life and the value of the privately-owned homes located in the community. To understand how it has truly failed to increase the stock of affordable housing, one must also understand how parks operate.

Unlike traditional rental property such as apartments, mobilehome parks operate like small villages or cities. They provide all the benefits of a traditional neighborhood (i.e. security, social interaction, open space, and close proximity to needed goods and services) and they appeal to all income levels. The notion that all mobilehome community residents are poor and in need of financial assistance is wholly inaccurate. The only real difference is the park’s residents own the manufactured home, and the parkowner generally owns the land beneath it.

Rather than collect taxes like cities, parkowners collect rent to cover property taxes and fund essential neighborhood services, such as park management, roads, lighting and landscaping. In some cases, rents also cover all utilities, including cable. Some parks include clubhouses, fitness rooms, pools and golf courses. Consequently, when the government imposes a rent control ordinance that reduces or freezes rents at below market rates, it threatens a community’s quality of life.  Just like cities, when revenue does not exceed expenses, essential services are reduced or eliminated altogether, and as the maintenance of neighborhoods decline, so do property values as blight takes root.

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Government subsidies for traditional housing and apartments require means-testing; however, mobilehome parks are the exception. It’s true. In fact, rent controlled mobilehomes in Malibu California are selling for $4 million dollars or more!

As a consequence, parkowners who are under rent control are required to personally subsidize the housing of residents regardless of income or need, forcing these small business owners to close parks when rents no longer support the balance between affordability and sustainability.

Under these circumstances, there is also no financial incentive for builders to expand or build new mobilehome parks, limiting the potential for more affordable housing and local jobs.

This is why state and local government regulators should abandon the current course of driving up the cost of housing with costly, unneeded regulations, only to hastily impose price controls that don’t work once homeownership becomes unattainable. It is time for real and meaningful solutions. Making housing construction less expensive and more plentiful so that the savings can be passed on to all prospective homeowners is a good place to start. WMA and our members look forward to fully participating in this important public policy discussion. ##

sheiladey-wma-westernmanufacturedhomecommunitiescalifornia-postedindustryvoicesmhpronewsSheila Dey
Executive Director
Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association

(Editor’s Notes: Sheila Dey’s article is republished here with her written permission. This relates to a recent Daily Business News article by Joe Dyton on rent control – linked here – and is a different take on the same topic shared by UMH CEO Sam Landy, JD – linked here.  Other perspectives on the rent control – or other MH industry related issues – are welcome.)

 

 

Discrimination, Injustice against manufactured housing – a Call for Action by Industry Professionals

August 30th, 2016 No comments

Tony, this news story out of Dover, DE is yet another example of blatant agenda and discrimination against our industry. More importantly, this is discrimination against affordable housing and the individuals who live in manufactured or pre-fabricated homes.

If anything, this Dover zoning/MHC story is a case of officials harming their own constituents. Rent control is proven not to work, save to drive out more affordable housing over time. Further, in neighboring Maryland, there are conventional houses built on land-lease.  Do you see the excuses used against manufactured homes in Dover being used against those conventional houses built on a land-lease in Maryland?  No.

TMHA’s D. J. Pendleton, quoted in the article linked here, was correct.  Excuses by public officials to deny manufactured homes are often fig leaves, mere window-dressing used to discriminate against manufactured housing, land-lease communities and sizeable groups of Americans.

The problems with the ABC TV news story out of Houston is also a case of media ignorance or bias.  By saying what kind of housing the shooting took place, almost implies that the house had something to do with the crime.

When have you ever heard a reporter say, “there’s been a murder in a site-built home”…?

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Graphic credit, MHProNews.com. The Dover story Brad is commenting on, is linked here, or by clicking the image above.

Lisa Tyler, Ph.D. and William P McCarty, Ph.D. have researched this issue of crime in manufactured home communities, and have disproven the old MHC’s and crime myth.

Todd Lamb is correct. Hands-on owners and managers who properly run their manufactured home communities – and lawfully screen for criminal history – will routinely find less crime than conventional housing neighborhoods in the same area.

However, I believe more than anything that these injustices should be motivation for us as an industry to do everything we can to elevate our brand identity.

If we continue to be complacent, history will continue to repeat itself and we will see more and more zoning laws that harm and hinder our much needed American manufactured home industry. ##
Editor’s Note, the comments above were submitted in reply to the story linked here, and to another story we will link up soon.)

brad-nelms-coo-manufactured-homes-com-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comBrad W. Nelms
Mr. Nelms works with ManufacturedHomes.com and ModularHomes.com,
two companies dedicated to raising the brand image of manufactured homes and modular homes.

Manufactured Home Community Owner Pounds “Park Owner,” Corruption in Government and Media Bias

August 30th, 2016 No comments

Tony, I agree with the Daily Business News article and the comments from other manufactured home industry professionals regarding Councilman David McCartney in Baytown. He should face criminal charges. However, we know that will not happen.

Once again, it’s the hypocrisy of our Government, this time, local government.

Properly operating a business is a full time job. Properly managing a MH Community is a full time job. There are many people who think they can own and manage a manufactured home community and keep their day job. I suppose you can, but the results are an absolute disaster.

 

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Todd Lamb’s comment above is about the story, linked here.

Regarding the ABC News 13 report, also from the Houston metro. Crime occurs all over America. Apartments, houses, MHC’s, rich and poor communities – it strikes all over.

Sure, there is more crime in certain demographics, certain neighborhoods, certain sides of towns, etc.

But manufactured home communities that are well managed or in nicer sides of towns have little to no crime, while those that don’t get the proper attention may tend to have more criminal activity.

The attitude and practices of ownership and proper management of these communities is a major contributing factor to avoiding crime, but it’s not the catch all.

We work diligently to screen our people and have a no-nonsense attitude toward violating our community rules. This takes daily discipline and persistent dedication, usually not something that is going to happen while you are working another job.  But the results are a cleaner community, overall happy homeowners and less crime.

Thanks for all you do. ##

(Editor’s Notes: Todd Lamb is quite right about crime in manufactured home communities, as a study by independent researchers demonstrates, see article linked here. This post will be updated with a link to the story soon to be published that Lamb is commenting on, meanwhile, ICYMI, the Baytown story is linked here.)

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Todd Lamb
Lamb Investments, LLC
TMHA: Texas Manufactured Housing Association member
Black Raider Oil
Houston, TX area