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Shaheen, Ellison Plan Protects Owners of Mobile Homes

**Resident-owned cooperatives offer economic security, protection from eviction, land ownership opportunity and enriched community investment* 

**In New Hampshire, resident-owned cooperatives provide affordable housing for nearly 7,000 families.**

(Washington, DC)—To provide affordable housing and economic security for owners of manufactured (mobile) homes, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), today introduced legislation to promote the creation of cooperative, resident-owned mobile home communities that protect families from unexpectedly losing their homes. With a growing affordable housing shortage facing nearly every state, manufactured housing represents a more viable path to homeownership for many Americans and remains an important segment of our housing market.

More than 17 million Americans live in manufactured homes, many in mobile home parks. While residents of these communities might own their home, they often do not own the land under the home. Despite the terminology, modern-day mobile homes are not very mobile.  Many of these structures cannot be physically relocated, and even if they can, the process can be very expensive and the task of finding a new location, nearly impossible. This bifurcated ownership structure makes homeowners vulnerable to eviction, displacement or costly moves when a mobile home park closes or is sold.

“Mobile homes provide affordable housing for millions of Americans, including many Granite State seniors, rural residents and working families,” said Senator Shaheen.  “Resident-owned communities are already working in New Hampshire. This legislation provides targeted tax incentives to encourage the growth of resident-owned cooperatives so that mobile homeowners can enjoy more economic security and equity, protection from sudden eviction, and a stable neighborhood.”

“I’m so inspired by the resident-owned manufactured housing communities in my state,” said Rep. Keith Ellison.  “And, I’m also heartbroken for the thousands of families who were evicted from their communities when the land under their homes was sold. My bill gives residents a fighting chance to compete with developers and save their homes and communities.”

“Resident ownership of manufactured-home communities creates permanently affordable housing, often in communities where there is no other affordable option. The Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act would create an important incentive for park owners to sell to their residents, who have the highest stake in their community’s preservation,” said Tara Reardon, director of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s ROC-NH program who noted that New Hampshire has 123 thriving resident-owned communities.

Through a resident-owned cooperative, members continue to individually own their homes, own an equal share of the land and participate in community decisions through an elected board of directors.  In addition to providing long-term security, the cooperative model gives residents control over their living condition, and offers them a fair say in how their community is managed.

There are currently more than 1,000 permanent ownership cooperatives across the country in more than a dozen states.  In New Hampshire, more than 25 percent of manufactured home communities are resident-owned.  However, only two percent of mobile home parks are resident-owned nationwide.  An economic incentive is necessary in order to ensure that residents have more opportunities to build on the thriving cooperative model.

Senator Shaheen’s Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act helps encourage mobile home park owners who are interested in selling their property to sell the land to their residents, rather than another landlord or a developer.  Specifically, the bill creates a 75 percent federal tax credit when the property is sold to a resident-owned cooperative.  This economic incentive will help create more of these empowered communities and keep more families in their homes, while protecting the long-term viability of this important sector of our nation’s affordable housing market.

The Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act is endorsed by:

  • New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
  • New Hampshire Manufactured Home Owners & Tenants Association
  • National Manufactures Home Owners Association
  • All Parks Alliance for Change
  • Prosperity Now