Why Cities All Across America Are Suddenly Buying Up Trailer Parks

Tyler Durden's picture

Much like the historic run that nearly resulted in the collapse of the global financial system in 2009, home prices in the U.S. are once again looking more like an Amazon or Facebook stock price chart than a stable store of value that should probably grow roughly inline with overall inflation. 

And while these price gains are great news for the private equity firms that scooped up foreclosed homes after the last housing crisis, they're once again making it nearly impossible for the average American family to find affordable housing. 

As such, as the Pew Charitable Trusts points out, municipalities all across the country are suddenly scooping up trailer parks in an effort to prevent them from being converted to the next McMansion track-housing project and maintain some affordable housing options.

Here in the heart of one of Colorado’s most expensive cities, Isabel Sanchez bought a mobile home seven years ago for just $6,000. Her four-bedroom bungalow now sits on a lot she rents for $355 a month.

 

The mobile home park Sanchez and her family live in offers a glimpse of Boulder’s hippie past. Small houses and trailers, many dating to the 1960s and ’70s, sit close together on tree-lined streets. “I love the space, I love the location, I love the community here,” Sanchez, 55, said recently, relaxing in a blue armchair in her spotless living room.

 

Affordable neighborhoods like these have become hard to find in Boulder and cities across the country where home prices are soaring. In some metro areas, rising prices are prompting park owners to sell their land to developers, affordable housing advocates say. “When the mortgage crisis came about it sort of slowed down, and now it’s heating up again,” said Carolyn Carter, deputy director of the National Consumer Law Center.

 

So Boulder and a handful of other localities, desperate to hang on to homes middle- and working-class people can afford, have stepped in to buy parks, fix them up, and transfer ownership to residents or to a nonprofit on condition that rents be kept low.

 

Portland, Oregon’s housing authority financed a deal last year that saved a mobile home park from being sold to a developer. Pitkin County, Colorado, is buying a park it intends to set aside for people who work in the area. And Boulder bought a park this summer, with the twin goals of improving its infrastructure and maintaining affordable housing.

 

Affordable housing advocates say that the best way to preserve mobile home parks is to turn them into co-operatives owned by residents. But in Boulder, land is so valuable — and parks need so many infrastructure upgrades — that it wouldn’t be possible for low-income residents to finance the purchase alone.  

TPB

As Pew notes, roughly 8 million Americans live in trailer parks around the country and when their land is sold off for the next housing development they have no choice but to scramble to find new housing.

About 20 million Americans live in manufactured homes — so called because they’re built in a factory, rather than on site — and about two-fifths of those can be found in mobile home parks, mostly in suburbs and exurbs.

 

Mobile homes are an important source of low-income housing. But homeownership can be precarious for people who live in mobile home parks. Because they don’t own the land beneath their houses or trailers, they have to move if the park closes down.

 

And many mobile homes aren’t all that mobile. Sanchez, who works at a nonprofit in Denver, says she could probably move her house if she had to because it was built recently. Her daughter’s house across the street may be a different story. It has sat there for over 40 years, like most of the homes in the park.

 

The closure of a mobile home park can create a crisis for residents and for the city or town they live in as dozens of displaced people scramble to find new housing, says Esther Sullivan, a sociologist at the University of Colorado Denver who has studied mobile home parks in Texas and Florida. In her research, she found that city council members who agree to rezone a park often argue that park residents can move into low-income housing elsewhere. But that’s not always the case, she said.

Meanwhile, national nonprofits have sprung up to help residents form co-ops and finance purchases.

One way to preserve mobile home parks is to give the people who live in them a chance to buy the park themselves at a fair market rate, says Carter of the National Consumer Law Center. A national nonprofit called ROC USA will, with the permission of the park owner, help residents form a co-operative and finance a purchase. ROC USA has sponsored some 200 resident-owned communities in the United States.

 

At least 19 states have laws on the books that help residents buy a park, Carter says. Some states require park owners to give residents months of advance notice before a park is sold, to notify residents if they request a zoning change for the property, or to allow residents to organize into homeowners associations. Other states will free up money when a park closes to help residents pay their relocation costs or require park owners to chip in.

Of course, we could also just reduce artificial demand for McMansions by reversing a decade of misinformed Fed policies...but that might result in the bursting of yet another nasty little bubble...

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Bam_Man's picture

Everyone knows that the big problem with mobile homes is that they attract tornadoes.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

Trailer parks are so out of style. Shipping containers is where it's at!

Escrava Isaura's picture

Why Cities All Across America Are Suddenly Buying Up Trailer Parks?

Go ask the third world.

 

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Bullish the International Association of Trailer Parks, Trailer Park Supervisors and Assistant Trailer Park Supervisors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdN7JyvyaU4

Billy the Poet's picture

Bubbles coming to a trailer park near you?

 

The Best of Bubbles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf45Sxlg7Lk

Stuck on Zero's picture

If you're going to let in hundreds of millions of third world immigrants you're going to have to build 40 story ghetto blocks by the thousands. Not more spacious trailer parks.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

We already DID THAT with Johnson's "Great Society" with enough left over to finance a war that murdered nearly 4 million Vietnamese at a cost to the U.S. taxpayer of nearly $300 billion!

Life of Illusion's picture

Pitkin County, Colorado, is buying a park it intends to set aside for people who work in the area.

 

Government is buying up parks to control land and develop with their buddies.

There, I fixed it for you.

 

BTW, no mention of government purchasing MBS as main reason housing inflated.


 

 

Mtnrunnr's picture

Dude. You need to take a drive to exurbs around any metro areas. There is plenty of housing in and around cities already but the capacity has been bought up by one or two actors and they're fleecing all the middle class and poor out of their money so about 3/4ths sit vacant. Then the big developers go into pristine forest land and buy up massive acerage outside cities and destroy it for massive units that also sit vacant or are for 'the mid 400's!!'. No one can really afford those either. Either A) you force the housing companies to sell their units, which I know you're against. B) you force rent prices down, which I know you're against. Or C) you let the city buy up trailer parks and affordable housing, which you also appear to be against. What is your solution Mr. Asshat?

Creepy_Azz_Crackaah's picture

D) Get the gubmint the fuck out of it because the gubmint is what COMPLETELY FUCKS UP markets.  Introduce free markets and let them work.  If someone can't afford to buy where they want - tough shit.  They can improve themselves so that they can.  Or, they can be a fuckup and live in a trailer park 40 miles from their job, or, more likely, welfare check office while demanding that other people pay for them to live where they prefer to live.

It is bullshit that developers are building massive communities all over the place that aren't selling.  If that were so, prices would either plummet, the builder would go bankrupt, or both.

I just had a mix of a few hundred condos, townhouses and houses built fairly near me on what used to be land with about ten houses on it.  The condos, in the $300Ks weren't selling.  The townhouses and houses sold quickly.  The price of the condos dropped to the $200Ks and they're now selling.  Markets work.  It wasn't the gubmint that stepped in to force the builder to lower prices.  The builder had to based on market forces - even though it is a skewed market due to GUBMINT INTERFERENCE.

UnhingedBecauseLucid's picture

"If someone can't afford to buy where they want - tough shit.  They can improve themselves so that they can.  Or, they can be a fuckup and live in a trailer park 40 miles from their job"

 

Improve themselves ? What are you suggesting specifically ?

rf80412's picture

Should people be allowed to buy bootstraps on credit, or should they have to pay cash for them?

toady's picture

Plastic surgery and/or transgender surgery. Nobody said self improvement was easy!

RafterManFMJ's picture

Have neo-vagina; will travel.

RafterManFMJ's picture

BOOTSTRAPS, MOTHERFUCKER! All you need to suckseed in a fake fiat crooked world where your own government fucks you in your ever-luvin’ ass is BOOTSTRAPS!

If you’re not able to buy a $400,000 house and afford 1K per month in property taxes on it - it’s because you ain’t pullin’ hard enough on your MOTHERFUCKING BOOTSTRAPS!!

unsafe-space-time's picture

Fuck government and your luxury culture. I should have a right to buy a lot and build a shack anywhere i want. 

duo's picture

The landlord of my girlfriend's condo in Dallas in 1991 (nice area of N. Dallas back then) said I could buy the place if I gave him $9,000. Nobody wants condos when the market is soft.

It rented for $330 back then, so it would have been decent cash flow.

PT's picture

Perhaps if the banksters were forced to hold onto the loans they made, instead of offloading them onto the sucker- I mean "investors"  (probably your super fund), perhaps if the banksters weren't bailed out, maybe they would pay more attention to the idiot "borrower" 's ability, or lack thereof, to repay a loan.  You know, if you're a "professional" lender, wouldn't you have some kind of, ummm, reason, to check these things?

For those who came in late:
"Liars Poker"
"The Big Short (Inside The Doomsday Machine"
both by Michael Lewis.

For those who doubt:
We all did maths for at least ten years.  You have easy access to pens, paper, pocket calculators, you learnt algebra but if it is still too hard then you still have access to computers and spreadsheets and compound interest formulas.

"What do you call a < stereo-typed impoverished minority in your area > driving a Porsche?"
"A thief."

We all know the joke is funny and mostly true because the numbers usually do not add up.  Why does money-laundering exist?
Because Large Assets plus Small Visible Income = Attention from the IRS and the Police.

So look at the numbers - houses vs income, cheapest houses vs lowest incomes, average houses vs average incomes ...this shit ain't hard to figure out.

http://fredgassit.tripod.com/fred018.gif

ElTerco's picture

If they got rid of the capital gains tax exemption on the primary home along with the ability to write off property taxes and mortgage interest, housing prices would plummet.

El Oregonian's picture

"From Trailer Trash to Trailer Cash" A moving fairytale story of a true peasant's meteoric climb of the social ladder to true Royal Blue-blooded Mobility... er, Nobility.

BarkingCat's picture

If they removed easy money and cut off cheap financing to these companies it would solve the problem in a heartbeat.

 

Also no bailouts whatsoever to any Financial institution when the next Crisis happens.

rf80412's picture

What is your solution Mr. Asshat?

Blame people for being too poor to pay cash to buy housing at the most profitable price for the seller.

RichardParker's picture

D) Normalize interest rates instead of holding them at 500 year lows.  That will do wonders for affordable housing.  However, the government would no longer be able to afford the interest on their debt.

Axenolith's picture

How about D) just let the economy fucking collapse and the houses drop down to their base year or 2 of average income value along with getting rid of the insurance scamming pre paid maintenance medical system?

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Not at all surprised. And as the saying goes "it takes money to make money" and those that don't have it wind up living in trailer parks on land purchased by those "monied hands" that will raise both the price and the property tax!

bruno_the's picture

is this the same company?

ROC USA LLC   Florida Department Of State Business Registration · Updated 1/24/2017 Write Review Upgrade Claim    

Roc Usa LLC is a Florida Domestic Limited-Liability Company filed on August 19, 2014 . The company's filing status is listed as Active and its File Number is L14000129862

The Registered Agent on file for this company is Coradin Law P.A. and is located at 200 South Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33131. The company's principal address is C/O Coradin Law Pa 200 South Biscayne Blvd #2790, Miami, FL 33131 and its mailing address is C/O Coradin Law Pa 200 South Biscayne Blvd #2790, Miami, FL 33131.

The company has 1 principal on record. The principal is Coradin Law P.A. from Miami FL.

 

https://www.bizapedia.com/fl/roc-usa-llc.html

Blano's picture

I wonder if that's the park in Woody Creek, near where I once lived.

Would cross paths with Hunter S Thompson on occasion at Woody Creek Tavern.

duo's picture

There are more people on food stamps now than there were full-time employed in 1964. Yes, LBJ did breed a whole new country of dependents.

waspwench's picture

And this, folks, is what the American Dream has deteriorated into:   living in a trailer park on food stamps (if you are lucky.)

Every member of our government should be summarily shot.   The US has been destroyed and they are the people who have destroyed it.

PT's picture

I wonder how small and unaffordable housing has to become before people start building their own out of any free scraps they find laying around - squatting on whatever "free" land they can find, not too far from civilization.

Unrelated note:  Gym / swimming pool membership + live under a bridge (gym / pool gives you access to toilets and showers)

Bridge?  I've heard that some sleep in the tanning booths.  Just make sure the damn thing is unplugged first.

waspwench's picture

They are called favelas and are common in third world countries.

PT's picture

Re "Every member of our government should be summarily shot.   The US has been destroyed and they are the people who have destroyed it.":  The banksters will happily direct the replacement govt to continue the same policies.  Take out the banksters.

Banksters lent money to those who could not repay, forcing prices up for everyone.  The highest bidder at the auction was not the one who worked hardest or provided the most / best goods and services for the rest of society.  The highest bidder was the one who borrowed more than he could repay.  The sensible people missed out.

By the time the govt enabled the bailouts, the banksters had been pocketing illicit gains for ten years.  During this time, good bankers were sacked / passed over for promotion due to "lack of performance" while the corrupt banksters were promoted / got their bonuses.
Govt dismantled Glass Steagall ... due to lobbying by the banksters.  (Side note:  Lobbying?  They would call it "Democracy in action" - funny how that works.)  i.e.  The protections put in place to try and stop a repeat of the worse parts of The Great Depression were removed so you ended up with ... a repeat of some (not all) of the worse parts of The Great Depression.

Net result:  Good people work their guts out and get nothing in return.  Banksters end up owning all the land.  When you look at the final result you see that the "free market" system was hacked in order to steal all the land.  Govt did not steal the land.  The banksters stole the land.  Govt was the intermediary, the tool the banksters used.  Govt was supposed to protect the people from the banksters.  Instead Govt was the tool of the banksters.  So yeah, go ahead, shoot the govt for their role in the theft, but if you want to stop the looting then shoot the banksters too or shoot the banksters first.

waspwench's picture

You are right.   Everything you say is true. 

As long as the bankers can afford to buy the government they will.   They are acting rationally, although criminally.

Our government representatives no longer represent us.   They line their own pockets and have no interest in those who elect them.   They are also acting rationally, although criminally.

The criminality of the banksters and the politicians should be dealt with in the courts, but they too are corrupt.

They should all be shot, but that is unlikely.     This is getting really depressing.

Any solutions?

Ricky Lahey's picture

You should forget about Johnson’s “Great Society”. That’s water under the fridge...

toady's picture

Yeah, trailer parks are too good for THOSE people.

Parrotile's picture

If you're going to let in hundreds of millions of third world immigrants you're going to have to build 40 story ghetto blocks by the thousands. <

Would these "Third World Immigrants" be those whose formerly very nice, very liveable cities have been on the receiving end of US-directed "kinetic regime management"??

Maybe if you DON'T want these "immigrants" (a.k.a. refugees), a first step would be to fully rebuild their cities to the original (or better) standard?

YOU have caused the "problem" - up to YOU to fix it - to the standards expected by those YOU displaced.

Kidbuck's picture

Don't think we destroyed too many Mexican cities. Why are the fucking wet backs coming in droves?

max2205's picture

Govt buying stocks and bonds is ok though 

Bunga Bunga's picture

Because city managers want to get their front&back yard done, car washed or house repairs for minimum wage.

Justin Case's picture

Some folks are moving up? The cardboard box under the freeway is too small for the expanding family?

Parrotile's picture

Why Cities All Across America Are Suddenly Buying Up Trailer Parks? < 

Certainly beats living in a cardboard box under the overpass, and is a definite step up from "the van down by the river" lifestyle!

 

 


house biscuit's picture

Bad form to try & one-up a clever post

-1

Westcott Canon's picture

Vans are the fashion now , especially the ones down by the river.