Taking Control: MN Mobile Home Residents Seek Park Ownership
Monday, October 26, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A growing number of Minnesotans who live in mobile homes are now building a solid foundation for the future by taking ownership of the parks in which they live.
Warren Kramer, executive director with the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation, says those who live in manufactured home communities are at the mercy of the parks' owners, whose main goal is making money.
He notes that can mean regular rent increases, lack of investments for improvements and displacement. So Northcountry is working to help residents band together to gain ownership when parks go up for sale.
"So their lot rents become stabilized and become lower than rents in investor-owned parks in the market over time," says Kramer. "And then houses in resident-owned communities have been proven to sell faster and for more money precisely because of that kind of security that resident co-ops provide."
Kramer says Northcountry has already helped residents of eight manufactured home communities in the state cooperatively purchase their parks, with another located in Clarks Grove set to close next month.
In addition to the economic advantages, there are also social benefits of park ownership for the manufactured home residents, who are disproportionately senior citizens, those with disabilities and low-income families.
That's why the efforts are being partially financed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. Carolyn Link is the executive director.
"We are funding this grant because we know that healthy, stable housing and the financial security that comes with it are really essential to good health," says Link.
The ownership conversions as a way to address the shortfall of affordable housing in Minnesota will be among the topics at the 11th annual Innovations in Manufactured Homes conference, which starts today. There are about 1,000 manufactured home parks in the state with a population approaching 200,000 people.
get more stories like this via email
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan extending a natural-gas pipeline in Virginia. The Virginia Reliability Plan and Transcot's …
Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when millions of Americans are expected to make charitable donations. But it can also be a field day for scammers…
A new project in Southern Arizona aims to support local reporting and enable greater access to local news and information. Earlier this month…
As the weather turns colder, two groups of people in one North Dakota city that are generations apart appear to be in good shape to navigate housing …
Researchers are out with new findings they say show that death rates linked to air pollution from coal plants are underestimated. A Wisconsin …
Illinois high school seniors have new hurdles to overcome to get to college. High school students are waiting several extra weeks to get their hands …
Clean-energy companies and supporters are calling on federal officials to prioritize the development of charging infrastructure for EV powered medium …
Missouri's duck-hunting season runs through January, and many enthusiasts are concerned about how plentiful their future quarry will be because of a …