March 19, 2007

Contact: Rebekah Orr, 503-986-1904

Edwards, Nathanson Lead House to Fairness for Oregon's Manufactured Home Residents

Lawmakers applaud legislation to protect manufactured home owners from displacement, competition with big builders

SALEM-State Representatives Chris Edwards (D-Eugene) and Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene) led the Oregon House of Representatives today to protect residents of Oregon's manufactured home communities against the loss of their homes due to land sales beyond their control.

"Tempted by increasing land values, many manufactured home park owners sell off these low income manufactured housing parks to big developers, leaving residents without a place for their home or the means to move the structure," said Edwards.  "Current law pits often low income and elderly Oregonians against developers with deep pockets. It is time to address the problem and create a more even playing field."

There are over 1,300 manufactured dwelling parks in Oregon, more than 2500 of which are in the Eugene area.  Manufactured dwellings make up an important segment of Oregon’s affordable housing for lower income Oregonians, senior citizens and the disabled. 

House Bill 2096, approved today by the Oregon House, gives residents a chance to enjoy the benefits currently reserved for park owners and developers. This bill allows residents to invest in and benefit from owning the land their home sits on. By creating new non-profit cooperatives for manufactured home park residents, HB 2096 allows residents to collectively purchase the park from the park owner and run the park themselves.  This will give residents a more vested interest in maintaining the park and a lasting investment in their home.  When residents own part of the land it contributes to their equity and their ability to builds assets, allowing their dwelling to appreciate rather than depreciate to zero as is the case when the dwelling sits on traditionally rented land. 

“We say we value home ownership; we should be prepared not only to encourage home ownership, but to step in and help people keep the homes they already own, and keep in the neighborhoods in which they live,” said Nathanson.  “Moving is often not a viable option – either financially or logistically for residents of manufactured homes.  Preserving affordable housing is far less expensive than developing new affordable housing.  I can’t think of a better way to ensure that people can work together to keep their home, and to help each other.”



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