Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mobile Homes Aren't Really Mobile


Fred Clark sees problems on the horizon in mobile home communities:

The problem with mobile homes is that they’re not really mobile. They’re anchored to a particular site, and detaching them to transport them elsewhere is extremely expensive and, in many cases, impossible. That means the regular rules of the market do not apply — there can be no competition to restrain arbitrary or extreme rent hikes because these home-owners are, literally, stuck right where they are.

The article then notes that mobile rents have become a hot-button issue in a handful of local elections around the country:

Rising lot rents in manufactured home communities is shaping up to be one of the central issues in the race for the state representative seat from District 37, which includes Georgetown and Long Neck.

Democratic challenger Beth McGinn, a resident of a manufactured home community in Long Neck, has taken incumbent Republican Ruth Briggs King to task for opting out of a House vote on legislation that would have limited lot rental increases.

…  The proposed legislation in question, Senate Bill 205, would have required the owners of manufactured home communities to seek state approval for average rent hikes greater than the previous year’s increase in the Consumer Price Index.

Steve Clowney

(HT: Andrew Sullivan)

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