With demand surging and rent costs rising sharply, mobile home parks are becoming unaffordable for their most vulnerable residents.
In an article for The Washington Post, Abha Bhattarai highlights growing fears among mobile home residents as rent increases hit mobile home parks around the country. “Surging home prices and rents are cascading down to the country’s mobile home parks, where heightened demand, low supply and an increase in corporate owners is driving up monthly costs for low-income residents with few alternatives.” As we noted in a story last year, “private-equity firms and developers are often circling nearby, looking to buy up such properties and turn them into more lucrative ventures, including timeshare resorts, wedding venues and condominiums.”
With roughly 20 million Americans living in manufactured homes, rising costs for this historically affordable housing option are putting some of the country’s lowest-income households in peril of losing their homes. Although many mobile home residents own their trailer, rising land rents, the cost of moving a mobile home, and a lack of regulations on mobile home rent in most cities put mobile home owners in a precarious position.
“The circumstances surrounding mobile homeownership are yet another way the housing market has worsened long-standing inequities,” Bhattarai writes. “While homeowners enjoyed cheaper mortgages during the pandemic, loans for buying manufactured homes often come with higher interest rates, limited opportunities to refinance and fewer protections than those for typical mortgages, according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report.”
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