Report: How to Help Residents Become Owners

Manufactured Home Communities (MHCs) have come a long way since they emerged as a housing option for those who had lost so much in the Great Depression. Rising above their early negative reputation, MHCs now provide opportunities for desirable and affordable homeownership.

But there’s a catch.

In a commercially owned community, residents own their homes, but the park owner controls the land. If the community is sold to a new owner, the lot rent can skyrocket. And while they were once called “mobile” homes, most would not survive a move.

The Rural Housing Coalition of NYS recently released a report outlining the role that manufactured home communities could play in addressing New York’s chronic housing shortage, especially upstate. The report calls on the NYS Legislature to enact legislation to:

  • support expanded opportunities for residents to purchase their manufactured housing communities in the case of sale of the property regardless of any change of use; and
  • foster and fund the purchase of development rights of manufactured housing communities using open space and farmland conservation programs as a model.

The Leviticus Fund has been working for several years with ROC (Resident Owned Communities) USA, a nonprofit founded in 2008 to help people in manufactured home communities establish affordable and environmentally sustainable self-governing cooperatives. Through 14 loans totaling more than $18.5 million since 2008, we’ve helped preserve the dream of homeownership for 2,293 families.

We applaud the Rural Housing Coalition for publishing this report, and for making the case for preserving manufactured housing communities as an affordable housing option. View a PDF of the report here.