1C. Strategies for Preserving and Strengthening Manufactured Housing
Manufactured housing (including older mobile homes) is the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the U.S., providing shelter for approximately 18 million people. About one third of all manufactured homes in the U.S. are in manufactured housing communities (aka mobile home parks) where the vast majority of residents live precariously as owner-renters, holding title to their homes but renting the lots below them. These residents face a number of threats to their housing security, including predatory financing schemes, title problems, rising rents and uninhabitable conditions, unfair and predatory practices of park owners, and closures and conversions of existing communities. The causes of these problems are complicated, involving gentrification and the pressures of rising land values in certain areas, a long history of exclusionary zoning targeting these communities, selective code enforcement, discrimination against certain groups of residents, the treatment of manufactured homes as personal rather than real property, inconsistent state oversight, and the growing presence of profit-hungry absentee investors as owners of manufactured housing communities. This session will outline several of the major challenges faced by residents of manufactured housing communities and survey key policy and advocacy strategies for preserving and strengthening these communities.