Investors are fueling the rise in mobile home rent

One of the last affordable housing options has become very expensive. Mobile home park residents across the country are battling big investors and rising rental prices.

“It shelters a diverse group of people from immigrants, to veterans, to people with disabilities, who want to own something of their own,” said Megan Carrier, an organizer at Together Colorado. do it. However, more recently, companies have gone in and bought multi-million dollar mobile home parks and raised the rent.”

Mobile home investors are getting some of the strongest returns in real estate. They are also transforming a community of more than 22 million Americans, most of whom are low-income.

The growing industry is teaching people how to invest in mobile home parks. There are how-to books, webinars, and even Mobile Home University that offer tips on increasing rent and maximizing profits.

According to the All Parks Alliance for Change, in Minnesota, park purchases by out-of-state buyers grew from 46% in 2015 to 81% in 2021. Rent has gone up as much as 30% at the same time.

“Before new ownership in my park, I would have been paying $485 a month for rent on this lot,” said Susan Gibson, who has lived in a mobile home garden in Boulder, Colorado, for more than 26 years. Now, I pay $850 a month. So, it has gone up a lot. The owner thinks this piece is worth $1,400 a month. When you get this far, I won’t be able to live here.”

Many people have been forced to leave their homes or sell them.

“Since everywhere is so expensive now,” said Gibson, “it’s as if they found out that ‘these poor people, if they are thrown out, will not only be driven out, but lose the most valuable thing they have.'”

Countries across the country are trying to mitigate the problem. Nonprofits and legislators pay to get some kind of help for residents.

“What we’ve tried to do here in Colorado, and what you’re seeing nationwide, is a number of efforts to help residents get a grip inside these transactions. If a park is put up for sale, they have a chance to buy that park,” Colorado Representative Andrew Bosinger said.

Resident advocates want lawmakers to set a rent cap or demand a reason to increase or evict. A law was passed in Delaware this year. However, similar legislation failed in the states of Iowa, Colorado, and Montana.

Advocates say the parks would not remain affordable without a rental cap.

“We need to stabilize the rent, and that will either come through a law or people will own their parks,” Carrier said.

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