In more conservative ‘red state’ areas as well as more ‘blue state’ jurisdictions in various parts of the U.S., there is a growing concern over the ‘black hat’ behavior of investors who purchase manufactured home communities, and then dramatically hike the site fees.
It’s a troubling trend MHProNews has tracked and led on in several ways, as has our MHLivingNews sister site. But there are growing signs that not only are Democratic lawmakers troubled by these practices, so too are Republicans.
The video that follows is from Iowa, not North Dakota, where the story that is the focus of this report further below originates. So far, no local TV news videos from ND have been located, but the pattern in that state mirror what occurred earlier this year at several land-lease communities in IA.
We’ve previously reported that in New York, rent control finally passed after years of resistance. MHAction was part of that pro-rent control effort, as the report below reminds longtime readers and gives added insight to newcomers to this site. Industry professionals who’ve closed followed these reports recognize that Warren Buffett has donated to a nonprofit that when the ‘dark money’ trail is followed, flowed to MHAction.
With that backdrop, ND Senator Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, has asked his state’s Legislative Management, which handles the interim committee work for legislators, to consider a new study during this interim over concerns about “mobile home parks” (sic) around the state being bought by capital investment firms, per KFYRTV.
Utah-based Havenpark Capital purchased two Bismarck parks- Colonial Estates and Holiday Park, in July.
Dever wants to study allegations that companies in the state and around the country are intimidating residents.
Both of the land-lease communities purchased by Havenpark Capital bought in July are, per KFYRTV, in Dever’s districts. Havenpark bought other communities in Fargo in August, 2019. He says he doesn’t want to impede the free market, but people need to have some protections.
“I think that landlords that own the parks need to recognize that mobile homes aren’t as mobile as they used to be. People have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes and I think some of the things happening are a little bit onerous and a little bit over the top,” said Dever.
Here is what Dever sent as his request for such a study.
Resolution sent from Dever to Legislative Management:
WHEREAS, Mobile Home Parks represent an important asset to non-subsidized affordable housing; and,
WHEREAS, mobile homes are not as mobile as they once were leaving residents with limited options; and,
WHEREAS, recently national companies have come together made up of wealthy investors interested in shifting assets from the stock market to real estate; and,
WHEREAS, those national companies are buying up mobile home parks across the country, raising rents, and imposing onerous regulations on residents; and,
WHEREAS, one of those companies has purchased two parks in Bismarck and three in Fargo/West Fargo; and,
WHEREAS, in addition to a large increase in rent, water meters are being installed and water and utility charges are now becoming the responsibility of the residents; and,
WHEREAS, the increased costs are creating hardships for many residents, and are impossible for some; and,
WHEREAS, the regulations may prevent licensed childcare providers from continuing their operations; and,
WHEREAS, the new landlords are making early threats of eviction in an effort to intimidate residents; and,
WHEREAS, several states have considered, and some states have enacted legislation in response, and in the interest of fairness; and,
WHEREAS, this situation has come up since the last Legislative session and potentially could be elsewhere in the state in a short period of time;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Legislative Management be asked to consider initiating a study in the current interim of this situation and of legislative considerations in other states; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the interim committee consider any appropriate legislation and prepare it for introduction in the next Legislative session.
National Picture, Seen Through Such Local Events
MHProNews has spotlighted and for several years has been peeling the proverbial onion on these troubling issues, as has our sister site, MHLivingNews. Normally, these would be the kind of topics that an association would deal with. But there is no evidence of more than talk from MHI. Who says? See those who’ve spoken out, as is cited in the report linked below.
More insights on these trends are found from the articles linked above and further below. That’s this morning’s first look at manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
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