In the wake of Hurricane Sandy last October that ravaged over 100 factory-built homes in Moonachie, New Jersey’s Vanguard and Metropolitan Mobile Home Park, of the 3,500 people statewide awarded rebuilding grants, only ten were for manufactured homes. The 400 residences in the two communities comprise one of the most concentrated areas of damage in Bergen County. Many residents of the two low income communities do not speak English or are large families living on a single income, and are drawn by the low rents. While the state says manufactured homes are not excluded from receiving grants, in fact the state is reluctant to replace homes on land not owned by the homeowner. In addition, it can be more expensive to repair a factory-built home than to replace it, plus the added expense of elevation of the foundation if the home is in a flood plane. Although the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said in a January report damaged Moonachie neighborhoods have a high incidence of factory-built homes, of the 35 grants coming to Moonachie only a few are for manufactured homes (MH). As northjersey.com tells MHProNews, many residents of land lease communities were initially informed they were not eligible to receive any of the $1.8 billion from the federal government for rebuilding, including Lori Dibble, of the Manufactured Homeowners Association of New Jersey. Initially told she was not eligible because, living in a manufactured housing community, she did not pay taxes, she discovered nearly a year after Sandy that manufactured homeowners were indeed eligible. The state expects to receive another chunk of money in coming weeks to assist the roughly 9,000 additional applications.
(Photo credit: Elizabeth Lara/northjersey.com)