Oregonians Value Manufactured Home Communities For Maintaining Affordable Housing

The preservation of affordable housing for low-income citizens has become the #1 priority in several cities and states across the nation. As such, MFH NEWS has recently chronicled the many strides taken by policymakers to retain and maintain the many manufactured housing communities (a.k.a. mobile home parks) in New York, Texas, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Oregon.

The state of Oregon has been particularly proactive in defending, retaining and rehabbing older mobile homes – thereby creating greater stability for those residents. Spearheaded as a collaborative effort by public and private agencies working in conjunction with charitable organizations and the state, Oregonians collectively came to the aid of mobile home parks and their residents. To learn more about one such successe in Oregon, visit our March 15th post, “St. Vincent De Paul Rehabs Sixth Mobile Home Park.”

Oregon Affordable Housing Update:

The following two reports are further evidence of Oregon’s “all-in” commitment to protecting and stabilizing affordable home ownership in the state.

H.B. 2008 means more stability for Oregon manufactured home residents

HB 208 passes Oregon House

Working to retain their large population of affordable housing, politicians in the state of Oregon have long been protective and supportive of the many manufactured home communities/mobile home parks in the Beaver State.

Thanks to the passage of HB 2008, Oregonians living in those many manufactured home parks throughout the state are now one step closer to enjoying greater stability in their communities, according to ktvz.com.

First and foremost, the legislation increases the fees landlords are required to pay tenants if they force relocation. Additionally, the bill requires the Office of Manufactured Park Community Relations to recalculate those relocation fees annually and in line with inflation. Finally addressing that monumental expense, Rep. Julie Fahey (D-Junction City) and Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland) were the co-chief sponsors of the bill. Ten years past due, the bill was also cosponsored by  Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem).

“Despite being called mobile homes, these homes are not actually easy or affordable to move,” Rep. Fahey said. “If it is even possible to move a home, it can cost thousands of dollars. This bill provides more financial stability for the residents of these communities.”

The bill also requires park owners, upon the sale of a park, to notify the Manufactured Communities Resource Center and makes small changes to the co-op membership requirements. These new requirements allow interested nonprofit manufactured park co-ops to better take advantage of the Federal Rural Development program. “In my community. I have seen how financially disastrous these events can be in the lives of hardworking people,” noted Rep. Marsh. “At a time when affordable housing is at a premium in communities throughout Oregon, this bill provides needed protections.”

The bill which passed the house 54-6 now moves onto the Oregon Senate for its thoughtful consideration.

Oregon Housing Fact: There are currently more than 1,000 manufactured and mobile home parks in Oregon, with 62,000 “sited homes” serving as a vital housing for many working individuals and families.

City wins $400,000 state grant

 Newberg, Oregon Granted $400K to Rehabilitate Manufactured Homes

“Manufactured home residents in Newburg could soon get a boost in keeping their homes in good condition as the city gets a $400,000 state grant specifically for that purpose,” reports The Newberg GraphicStuart Brown, a local developer and chairman of the city’s Affordable Housing Commission, told the City Council last month that the grant will be a boon for the city’s largest category of affordable housing (manufactured homes and mobile homes) and one that is often overlooked. “For ownership or rental, we need more inventory, more units and we need to protect the ones we have,” said Brown.

Brown told the council that the city has nearly 700 manufactured homes, sited in mobile home rental communities, not including those that sit on their own property. Brown said the community development block grant from Business Oregon represents a significant boost to the $60,000 sitting in in the city’s affordable housing trust fund as of April.

“This is a great win for us and a big leap…it’s also a big opportunity for us to actually get funds in the hands of the community. So, we’re really excited about it,” he told the council.

Brown said the city expected about $10,000 will be available this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and the rest of the grant funds will be ready for use in the next budget year. He added that the city and commission will begin work to spread the word about the grant later this year. Also, he announced a program the commission is developing with Habitat for Humanity that would give financial assistance to manufactured home residents needing small but critical repairs, like fixing a leaky roof.

He said Habitat for Humanity has requested about $10,000 of city funds with a matching $3,000 from the organization to launch the program, plus private donations that include funds Brown is contributing personally. 

Per Brown, marketing this program to the community would be the precursor for promoting the larger grant.

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