Lakeview manufactured home community is toying with the idea of purchasing the land they currently lease from Killam Properties Inc.
Generally the main reason that community owners sell to residents is because they were already planning to sell the property.
But in this case, the residents are trying to buy the Gander, NL property because they believe the raises in rent for their land-leases are growing too fast.
Residents gathered at the St. Martin’s Anglican Cathedral for an informational meeting led by Reverend Brian Candow to discuss their options.
“It was a great meeting. Sometimes we’re just moving ahead to go two steps back. There’s no one out there who’s just going to give us the money,” Colleen Maloney, resident of Lakeview Courts, said. “If people are willing to fight for this, then we’ll fight.”
Out of the 86 units in the community, 72 homeowners are interested in the idea of purchasing the property and becoming a co-operative.
However, Killam Properties isn’t about to let the land go cheap, according to the Gander Beacon. The firm is open to the idea, but are asking $2.9 million to purchase the property.
“People are now realizing that this is unacceptable. When I moved down in 1986, it was $115 a month (for land rent). Now, it’s $225. It’s a beautiful place to have, but we’re being taken advantage of,” said Maloney.
Since Killam bought the land that Lakeview Courts manufactured homes that are placed on, the property management company has raised the rent by $10 each year, stated the local paper.
“This is a way of freeing those people down there from, essentially, a poverty trap,” Rev. Brian Candow said.
Where is the Other Side of This Story?
“It’s hard to imagine that people are complaining about such a modest reported annual rise in site fees,” said manufactured home industry consultant and trade publisher, L. A. ‘Tony” Kovach. “It seems that some of the Canadian media have a similar challenge with objectivity when it comes to reporting on manufactured housing as some U.S. media sources do.”
Kovach noted that based solely upon the local reporting, that property tax and rental housing likely went up as or more rapidly. He pointed to the kind of media bias that was spotlighted in the recent OZY Media flashback report.
Lakeview Residents Exploring Options
Residents would need a minimum of $1.2 million in order to secure a loan, for the total $2.9 million.
Lakeview Courts steering committee attempted to turn to the Town of Gander for help, asking them to serve as a guarantor for a proposed loan.
“From my point of view, this was intriguing,” said Councilman Brian Dove. “Being governed by the Municipalities Act, there was nothing we could do.”
The local paper gave a modest nod to the company’s side of the story.
Dan Sampson, Director of Property Management for Killam Properties, was asked about the increases.
Sampson said that there “are a number of reasons for rising rent,” but the local report would not go into further detail.
“If any interested party approached us, we would certainly speak with them about a potential sale,” said Sampson. ## (News, analysis.)
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Submitted by Julia Granowicz to Daily Business News for MHProNews.