License to Operate Manufactured Housing Community Revoked

Following a story MHProNews last posted May 5, 2014 regarding ongoing problems at Meadowbrook Park manufactured housing community (MHC) in Richmond, Maine, the state’s Manufactured Housing Board (MHB) unanimously voted to revoke the license of owner Russ Edwards after chastising him for poor management of the community going back to the 1990’s. One board member at the hearing, who represents factory-built manufacturers, says she’s embarrassed he is part of the industry. Theresa DesFosses says, “You would let people live in your community without water, with raw sewerage, no matter whose problem it is.” Edwards in turn blamed his manager, John Wilson, for withholding rent payments, thus preventing him from being able to afford repairs.

Edwards was cited for three violations, each subject to a $1,500 fine: a vacant home that is unsecured; a broken septic system resulting in overflowing sewage; and failing to provide potable water for residents when the local utility shut off the water for fear of contaminating the local water supply. As tells MHProNews, Meadowbrook has failed every inspection since Edwards became the owner in 1990, including leaving unprotected electrical conductors that could electrocute someone if they came in contact. Rick Breton, owner of 15 MHCs in Maine was at the hearing, and says he is under contract to purchase Meadowbrook from Edwards, claiming he will bring the community up to date and make all the necessary repairs. Meanwhile, a group of residents has formed a not for profit organization and wants to purchase the community as a co-op. ##

(Photo credit: Joe Phelan/–Russ Edwards  at Manufactured Housing Board hearing)

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