Corporate Investors Buying Mobile Home Parks All Over Country Resulting in Rent Hikes and Evictions
The following news stories are two of many examples of the concerns of low and fixed income mobile home park residents across the country who are worried about a growing trend of corporate investors purchasing their community and dramatically raising space rents beyond what most of them can afford, often resulting in eviction and abandonment of the home they own, as most older mobile homes cannot be relocated and /or there aren’t any places to relocate. Senior communities are the preferred acquisitions for investors.
Seniors Living In Huntington Beach Mobile Homes Say They’re Worried About Losing Their Homes Since Corporation Bought The Park And Started Raising Rents
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – (SOURCE: FOX 11 – L.A.) Retired teacher Jeanne Farrens was hoping she could stay in her home the rest of her life, but now she’s not so sure.
“Right now, my biggest fear is that I’m gonna lose my home,” Farrens said. She is one of the hundreds of senior citizens facing uncertainty in Huntington Beach. The seniors live in mobile home parks that have been purchased by corporate investors. It’s a growing trend all over the country. Corporate investors are buying mobile home parks and raising the rents. In Huntington Beach, six out of 17 mobile home parks are now owned by corporate investors.
“Immediately, the rents go up to levels they can’t afford,” says Carole Rohr. who lives at Skandia Mobile Country Club.
Julie Paule from Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, the group representing the owners of mobile home parks, issued the following statement to Fox 11.
“Mobile home park owners oppose this overreaching and unnecessary effort to thwart the will of voters and pave the way to bring rent control to Huntington Beach. There are safeguards in place that ensure no seniors will lose their homes, and any suggestions otherwise is simply untrue for the majority of the renters.”
But seniors tell us there are no safeguards in place for the majority of the renters. Farrens says, “If we don’t get some resolutions, there will be many of us that will be joining the homeless population.”
CAN COLORADO KEEP MOBILE HOMES AFFORDABLE FOLLOWING 45% RENT INCREASE AFTER INVESTOR PURCHASE OF MOBILE HOME PARK?
GOLDEN, COLORAD – (SOURCE: The Denver Post) Heather Malone and her family were priced out of the apartment market in Golden 10 years ago, so they moved into a mobile home park.
Rent in the park, Golden Hills, was affordable. That allowed Malone to stay close to work, to keep her kids in the schools they loved and near the hiking trails they enjoyed on the weekends.
Everything changed last year when a California company bought Golden Hills. Malone soon learned that her rent would increase to $796 a month from $550 – a 45% leap.
Such a hike would be a problem for most renters, but mobile homeowners face a unique dilemma: they own the structure but not the land, which means the solution to skyrocketing rent is not as simple as just moving somewhere else.
Now Malone is forced to think about getting another job – perhaps at a grocery store, to get extra cash and a discount on food. It would mean seeing her children less. Another rent increase, even a small one, could mean her family will need to go elsewhere.
“All the stress that comes with struggling financially,” Malone said, “we’re feeling it so hard right now.”
Malone’s experience in Golden has become increasingly common throughout Colorado, as corporations gobble up mobile home parks and increase rents at rates that many cannot stomach.
It’s these stories that have prompted Colorado Democrats in the state Capitol to bring a bill that includes statewide rent stabilization to mobile home parks – a radical move for a legislature that just three years ago killed a bill that would have allowed local governments to cap rent increases.
There’s a big difference between mobile homeowners and, say, apartment renters. Mobile homeowners invest lots of money into their properties – not just through purchase, but through upgrades and maintenance – which makes relocation especially unappealing. Despite the name, mobile homes are rarely actually mobile.
That’s what gives park owners the latitude to continually increase rent – something the creators of Colorado’s Mobile Home University preach as one of their core teachings. Frank Rolfe, who runs the boot camp for prospective mobile home park buyers has likened it “to a Waffle House where customers are chained to their booths.”