The Threat to Affordable Housing in Manufactured Housing Parks

In the landscape of escalating housing prices, manufactured housing and manufactured housing parks (MHPs) stand as one of the few remaining bastions of affordable, unsubsidized housing in our state. These communities are vital for diverse groups including older residents, people with disabilities, young families, and veterans, offering them a feasible option for homeownership. Many inhabitants either own their homes outright or are engaged in rent-to-own agreements, further underscoring the importance of manufactured housing as a stepping stone to owning property.

Maine mobile home residents need to raise $40 million to buy their park


However, this crucial housing option is under threat. Recent trends indicate a disturbing shift in the ownership of these parks, with out-of-state companies and real estate investors purchasing these properties. The new owners frequently implement immediate increases in lot rents and continue to raise rents as often as regulations permit. Their approach to tenant concerns about affordability is dismissive at best. Statements from company representatives such as, “If tenants were genuinely concerned with the price of the lot, they would move,” highlight a profound misunderstanding of the realities faced by residents. The cost of moving a manufactured home is prohibitive, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000, not to mention the challenge of finding available lots.

This changing dynamic threatens to erode what has been a reliable and accessible path to homeownership for many. As more investors view MHPs as mere assets to yield higher returns, the residents, who are often from some of the most vulnerable sections of society, are squeezed further, risking the loss of their affordable homes. The situation calls for a deeper discussion on protecting these communities from predatory practices and ensuring that manufactured housing remains a viable option for those in need.

Read more about this situation in the Boothbay Register


Gary Fleisher is a renowned blogger, consultant, and commentator on construction and housing trends, known for his insightful analysis of the industry.

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Gary Fleisher

Gary Fleisher, “The Mod Coach”, has been entrenched in the offsite construction industry for most of his life. Having started his career in the lumber industry, Gary spent decades working with manufactured and modular home producers and homebuilders. For the past 15 years his blog and LinkedIn postings have introduced thousands to the benefits of factory-built construction and have served as a forum for industry professionals to share insights and perspectives. Gary lives in Hagerstown, MD with his wife, Peg.

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