Bill Iintroduced in U.S.Congress to Help Preserve Nations Mobile Home Parks

Residents at the Westwinds Mobile Home Park in San Jose, California started this decade with an unsettling surprise.

Just after New Year’s, mobile home park management taped letters to the 723 homes within the community, notifying mobile homeowners that their space leases were going to expire in two years and that there was a possibility that everyone would be evicted. (reported by KAWL/San Francisco),

The San Francisco Bay Area is at the epicenter of a national crisis that is creating harsh consequences for mobile home/manufactured homeowners that own their home but rent the space of land beneath.

A new legislative proposal, crafted amid a brutal housing crisis in the Silicon Valley area and across the nation, would help ward off sales and replacements of mobile home parks that are being eyed as redevelopment sites.

“Every day, manufactured housing and mobile home communities are threatened by redevelopment contractors, aggressive investors, and greedy landlords,” said Rep.Ro Khanna, a Bay Area Democrat who is the primary author of the bill that was introduced recently in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Reported by The Mercury News)


The legislation is designed to keep manufactured home communities affordable for their residents by directing a key federal agency to provide assistance for the acquisition and preservation of the communities. The bill would direct the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to create a grant program to help purchase and preserve manufactured housing and mobile home communities. HUD would also take steps to ensure the owner of a mobile home park obtains a fair price in the sale of a complex.

The bill is designed to be a step towards leveling the playing field by providing some equity to make it easier for a mobile home community to come up with the funds for a down payment, according to Julia Albertson, press secretary for Khanna.

“It’s time for the federal government to step in and commit to preserving manufactured housing alongside the tremendous work of nonprofits and resident groups,”  Khanna said.

It isn’t clear, though, how much of a financial punch might be provided by grants to mobile home residents as a way to ward off the redevelopment of their manufactured home communities. Some Silicon Valley mobile home parks were bought during 2019 for considerably more than the $1million grants envisioned in the legislation.

Plaza del Rey, an 800-unit community in Sunnyvale, was bought in August by Chicago-based Hometown America Communities. The price tag for that deal: $237.4 million. Click our previous report, Silicon Valley Mobile Home Park Sells for $237 Million

Sunshadow, a 121-unit mobile home complex in San Jose, was bought in a $12.5 million deal by legendary Chicago-based realty investor and developer Sam Zell.

In the Plaza Del Rey and Sunshadow situations, both properties may continue operating as mobile home parks on a long-term basis.

Nevertheless, the prices that the buyers paid in the respective transactions provide an indication of what might be needed financially to keep a property as a mobile home park. Undoubtedly, those large purchase prices will also be a prelude to large rental increases, proportionate to the high purchase price, thus achieving a quick return on investment.

“This level of preservation will be a low cost, effective tool to help ensure every family in Silicon Valley can become homeowners,” Khanna said.


Note: for information related to this subject:  click our previous related posts:
Residents of Communities Forming Co-ops  –and- Few Resident Options Available When Mobile Home Park Closes or Acquired By Investor.

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