Dispelling the Myth

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Who chooses to live in a Manufactured Housing Community?



                        "The story of one street in a PA Community"


Because of the promised affordability (and desirability of community living) MH is mostly purchased by low income or moderate income persons including retirees and persons with disabilities.


MH design is suited to the needs of the elderly and persons with ill health, as the homes are convenient and provide single floor living (ranchers) and typically offer low maintenance and upkeep. Few if any housing alternatives meet these requirements so well.


In the Community used in this example, our story begins with a residents who is a retired fireman with a life time of service, dealing with diabetes and at risk of amputation, his wife also has serious health issues [unable to afford their combined prescriptions falling in the donut hole – the unexpected and surprising rent increases on their retirement home costing as much as $2,000.00 more per year than planned at purchase (the rent increase very significant for folks on a fixed income); also paying significant taxes, and facing other increasing costs with age. The disproportionate high rents have seriously damaged the equity in their home affecting their long term plans, also making it difficult to sell their home at a fair price.


Their neighbor is a widow employed for many years as a manager at a major retail store, struggling with cancer, and due to unexpected lot rent costs, despite working a 50 hour week, is having difficulty meeting the cost of keeping her home.


Her neighbor is a young man who cannot find employment and is without the use of his legs, and now finds living on disability he cannot make ends meet due to increased lot rent costs, and is unable to maintain both his home and his transportation essential for his mobility. The excessive lot rent charges make his home unmarketable and prohibit him from selling his home at its fair market value to recover his investment.


Another neighbor, a retired professional spends much of his time undertaking community work and assisting his Church, while caring for a sickly wife.  


His neighbor is a retired dentist whose wife is bed ridden, and he is recovering from a stroke.


The writer's own wife is disabled, our purchase made needing an affordable property that offered one floor living anticipating wheel chair use. [Our lease agreement - a business contract - did not establish the Park Owner's right to make unjustified or unwarranted annual rent increases damaging to us, but was understood to allow for reasonable increases such as increased operating expenses or inflation, or to provide for community improvements that would equally enhance our investment.]


Other neighbors are working families, many finding it difficult to put food on the table, meanwhile for no purpose other than to increase profits, rents have eaten an additional $2,000.00 of family income in recent years. Nor can residents struggling with these difficulties represent or defend themselves against the manufactured hardships placed on them; any available recourse costing thousands of dollars.



The further reality is that most homes in LLC are owned by low income hard working Americans, and that there are too few protections against community ownership based on speculative investment intended only to extract profit against residents that have no effective or practical defense and this is inexcusable.



A comment on rent hikes: A National concern is the control of inflation, as price increases adversely affect everyone, especially those on fixed incomes, and inflation or higher costs directly affect the economy. THIS IS A RECOGNIZED CONCERN for government. What is more Social Security increases have been frozen; meanwhile, in many cases Park Owners have chosen to indiscriminately increase rents without regard for its affect on families, market conditions, or affordability. This also has the potential to damage the local economy (one calculation depicting the PA economy potentially looses $100’s of millions annually due to LLC rent hikes making homes and there upkeep unaffordable).



In most cases, there is no justifiable basis to increase lot rent fees as all too often occurs; the home owners own investment destroyed as a result, placing the individuals or family's financial future at risk... rent increases established on intimidation and threat of eviction that cannot be overcome by the homeowner.


NOTE: For retirees with less disposable income:  Based on an income of $15,000 dollars – an unexpected increased cost of $150.00 or more per month in rent, represents taking an additional 12% or more of their available income (with no additional services provided in return). 


For more information please contact:

The PA Coalition of MH Residents