Maplewood, MN—On Saturday, November 1, residents from around the state converged on the Maplewood Public Library for APAC’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Legislative Summit. The statewide park resident conference was packed with enthusiastic discussions of residents' rights, neighborhood organizing, the Rush Line Corridor transit planning process, and the 2015 legislative session.
The Annual Meeting was an opportunity for residents to learn how to stand up for their legal rights and how to organize their neighbors; a chance to connect with new and experienced resident leaders from other parks; and a chance to have your say on APAC’s 2015 legislative agenda. Residents also shared in a potluck lunch and raffle drawing.
2015 Legislative Agenda
Residents voted for two major legislative campaign which will receive significant attention from APAC staff and residents:
Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund – Increase compensation for moving homes to match actual costs. Increase “buy-out” of homes to at least match the maximum moving costs. Clarify how the “buy-out” is calculated. Remove the cap on the size of the Relocation Trust Fund’s balance.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Program – Establish a state program through the Office of Administrative Hearings that provides options for both mediation and a legal hearing without the time and expense involved in going to court.
Residents also voted to endorse two issues being worked on primarily by another organization, which requires a smaller commitment from APAC staff and residents:
Regulate Park Utilities – Establish overall regulations for utilities that are provided or “passed through” by parks. Create best practices for negotiating a voluntary switch to water sub-metering, including: reduction in lot rent, meter standards, and consumer protections.
Manufactured Homes Defined as Real Property – Create a process for manufactured home owners or buyers to voluntarily classify their homes as “real property” rather than “personal property” to access better financing and stronger consumer protections.