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Submitted by The Rural Housing Coalition
When you live in a mobile home community, you may own your home, but not the land underneath it.
In New York state and across the country, mobile home communities are threatened by real estate speculators who buy the land and raise the rents and fees, often while cutting services. This drives out residents, and clears the land for redevelopment.
The Rural Housing Coalition has produced a mobile home community preservation manual that shows how residents can keep their mobile home communities through cooperative or nonprofit purchase of the mobile home park from private owners.
The manual also lists state programs that can help replace dilapidated mobile homes and improve park infrastructure. In addition, the manual reviews the relevant sections of the Tenant Protection Act for mobile home community residents.
“Mobile home communities, which provide important affordable housing options in rural New York state, are disappearing at an alarming rate,” said Mike Borges, executive director of the Rural Housing Coalition of New York. “There were 1,800 mobile home parks in New York state in 2019, but according to mandatory registrations, there were only 1,200 in 2022.”
The coalition has also produced a brochure that can be mailed or handed to mobile home community residents to let them know about their options. The guide and the brochure can be found on the library page of the coalition’s website at www.ruralhousing.org.
According to data gathered by New York state, Saratoga County has 105 mobile home parks, the most in the state.
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner of Round Lake remarked, “Mobile home communities are a critical part of the housing stock in the counties I represent. I encourage all tenants of mobile home communities to know their rights, and I thank the Rural Housing Coalition for compiling this important resource for mobile home community residents.”
The materials were funded by a grant from Enterprise Community Partners, a national nonprofit that exists to make a good home possible for the millions of families without one. They were produced with assistance from PathStone, a nonprofit that builds family and individual self-sufficiency by strengthening farmworker, rural and urban communities.
“The state needs to do more to preserve these affordable housing options in rural communities, such as creating a program to finance the transfer of development rights of these properties similar to efforts to preserve open space and farmland,” Borges said. “Preserving the affordable housing we currently have should be a top priority for state policymakers.”
The Rural Housing Coalition of New York is a statewide organization dedicated to revitalizing rural New York by strengthening housing and community development providers. The coalition supports rural housing and community development providers through organizational capacity development, training and technical assistance, and raising public awareness and advocacy.