Converting Trailer Park Housing To Home Ownership Opportunities

Manufactured-home communities, long vulnerable to displacement at the whim of park owners, are working with nonprofit partners to increase resident ownership of the land.

Across the nation, 3.5 million families live in an estimated 50,000 manufactured-home communities across the country. Most -- 75 percent -- are considered low-income and rent the land underneath their homes, leaving them vulnerable to the whims of the investor-owners of their communities.

..."What is new is the pace and scale of closures, which have sent thousands of mostly low- and moderate-income people scrambling to relocate. In Florida recently, a Circuit Court judge did not stop sale of an East Naples park, leaving 300 homeowners stranded. In the last 12 months, an estimated 20 manufactured-home communities were projected to close in Washington State, affecting nearly 900 homeowners. In Minnesota, where Shady Lane was located, at least 12 communities have closed since 2000."

..."These and other innovative local efforts brought the Ford Foundation to CFED, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. CFED seeks out promising ideas and policies that can enhance economic opportunities in communities. CFED, which invests in affordable communities where manufactured-home buyers have control of the land and access to conventional mortgages, initiated the "I'M HOME" program (Innovations in Manufactured Homes), which ensures that families who choose manufactured homes receive the same treatment as traditional homeowners."

Full Story: Gaining Ground

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