WASHINGTON — Across the country, about 22 million families live in mobile homes.
These manufactured homes are usually an affordable route to home ownership, but rising land costs threaten that.
Experts say that families who live in mobile homes typically only own the home itself, not the land it sits on. This means they do not always receive the same benefits as traditional owners and risk eviction if they cannot afford rising land costs.
The Manufactured Housing Institute estimates that more than 105,000 mobile homes were produced last year alone. But in some areas, housing experts say mobile home park owners are redeveloping land for commercial purposes.
“We need to find ways to incentivize owners of mobile home parks to redevelop rather than sell, in a way that is sensitive to their residents there, giving them options on redeveloped properties,” said Michael Liu, director of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Public Housing and Community Development.
Liu told lawmakers that these negotiations could displace families and he said many residents fear becoming homeless.
“If the government can provide enough help to work with owners of mobile home parks, to work with compassion and fairness with residents to provide them with resettlement assistance,” Liu said. “For example, potential homeownership options, heavy down payment assistance, special mortgage assistance.”
Another possible solution is to place mobile homes on a community land trust to help preserve long-term affordability.
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