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Know Your Rights

Your Rights Under State Law (MN Statute 327C)


Storm Shelters and Evacuation

Parks with 10 or fewer homes are not required to have a storm shelter. However they are required to have an evacuation plan that must be approved by the local municipality. Parks with more than 10 homes licensed prior to March 1, 1988 must provide either a storm shelter or an evacuation plan. Parks licensed after March 1, 1988 must provide a shelter within the park

Reasonable Rule

Park rules, leases and regulations must:

Unreasonable and Illegal Rules
Unreasonable rules are not allowed and include but are not limited to:

Parks cannot make rules that conflict with a resident’s privacy within their home and freedom of expression within the park.

Park Rule Changes

Law requires an owner to give residents 60 days' written notice before changes take effect. All change must be reasonable. Any new rule that “substantially modifies” previous policies can only be enforced against new residents.

Substantial modification is defined as:

Rent Increase

A park owner must give residents 60 days’ written notice of any rent increase, and the owner may only increase the rent twice in 12 months.

Eviction

There are only eight reasons for which a resident may be evicted:

Park Closing

Park owner must provide a “closure statement” to local planning agency and each resident nine months before the planned closing. The “closure statement” must say the park is closing and it must list replacement housing within 25 miles of the park as well as give estimates for moving homes from the park. A public hearing is required through the local municipality to determine the impact of the park closing on residents.

45 Day Right of First Refusal

If a park is closing for redevelopment within a year of a purchase agreement the residents have 45 days to match the price terms and conditions of the buyer’s offer.

Resident Associations

Residents within a park have a right to form a Resident Association. They are formed to solve problems concerning living conditions within the park. To form a resident association, park residents need 51% of the park to sign a petition to form a resident association. Park owners cannot retaliate against residents for participating in the activities of a resident association, for making a complaint or attempting to exercise their rights in good faith.

Office of Minnesota Attorney General

This Manufactured Home Park Handbook explains the Minnesota laws concerning manufactured home park residents and park owners. A right or privilege guaranteed by law cannot be waived.

Tenant Hotline (Toll Free)

Metro Area (651) 644-5525
Toll Free (855) 361-2722
Email: hotline@allparksallianceforchange.org


The APAC hotline is a free, convenient, and confidential resource available to park residents across Minnesota who have questions regarding their rights as manufactured home residents. Every year we receive about 500 calls and emails from park residents with questions concerning manufactured home park laws, compliance notices, evictions, etc. The hotline is answered by APAC staff who are available during normal business hours and respond to voicemails as quickly as possible. If you prefer email, you can send questions to the confidential hotline@allparksallianceforchange.org and you will get a prompt response.

Through the hotline, we help residents to determine their rights and responsibilities. We also answer questions about specific issues such as storm shelters, pets, leases, and evictions. Through the hotline, residents are occasionally referred to the Attorney General's office, foreclosure prevention programs, and other legal aid programs. We also use data from our hotline to determine which parks are most in need of workshops and resident association organizing campaigns.

The hotline provides information about the law designed to help residents and is not to be taken as legal advice. Legal information is not the same as legal advice -- the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, the law changes rapidly and sometimes with little notice so from time to time some of the information may not be up to date. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. APAC does not represent any user of the hotline service in any matter.

Your Rights under Minnesota Law

Find links to Minnesota laws regarding manufactured home parks (here) ,
manufactured homes (here) , or manufactured home repossession (here).

Access
Candidates for office, 211B.20
Park owners' rights, 327C.14

Accessory Buildings and Structures
Maintenance and repair, rules, 327C.02
Replacement as condition of sale, 327C.07

Affidavits, park closure or conversion, compliance, 327C.095

Attorney fees, eviction proceedings, 327C.11

Brokers, park owners acting as, in park sales, 327C.07

Buyers, 327C.02, 327C.07

Candidates, access, 211B.20

Closing of parks, 327C.01, 327C.095

Closure statements, 327C.01, 327C.095

Complainants, retaliation against, 327C.12

Condominium conversions to common interest communities, 327C.095

Constitutional rights, freedom of expression, rules, 327C.13

Contracts and Agreements
In park sales, approval contingency, 327C.07
Manufactured homes, installation or removal, 327C.03
Rental agreements (see same under this topic)

Conversions to common interest communities, 327C.095

Cooperative or nonprofit ownership, conversion to
Housing Finance Agency loans and grants, 462A.05

Defenses, eviction, 327C.10

Definitions
Exclusions, 327.23
Lot rentals, 327C.01
Minnesota Condominium Act, 515.02
Recreational manufactured home parks, 327.14
Solid waste management taxes, 297H.01

Deposits, security deposits, 327C.02, 327C.03

Descriptions of property
Lots, homestead determination, 273.124

Disclosure, in park sales, 327B.08, 327C.02, 327C.07

Discrimination, violations, 327C.095, 327C.15

Displaced residents, 327C.01, 327C.095

Electricity (see Utility Service)

Enforcement of Law
Attorney general, duties, 327C.095, 327C.15
Boards of health, duties delegated to, 145A.07
Park closure or conversion violations, 327C.095

Enforcement of rules, new or amended rules, 327C.02

Evacuation or shelter plans
Prospective buyers, notice received, 327C.02
Rental agreements, attachments, 327C.01
Resident copy, park owner to provide, 327.20

Eviction
Defenses, 327C.10
Generally, 327C.11
Grounds, 327C.09, 327C.10
Notice, 327C.09
Rules violations, notice, 327C.09
Secured parties, 327C.07, 327C.08

Exclusions, 327C.01

False advertising, violations, 327C.095, 327C.15

False statements
Tenancy applications, eviction, 327C.09

Fees
Generally, 327C.03
In park sales, 327C.07
Inspections, 327C.07
Security deposits, 327C.02, 327C.03
Utility service (see same under this topic)

Fines, rent increases, using as payment, 327C.06

Forms
Park closure or conversion, notice, 327C.095
Rental agreements, notice of rules and rights, 327C.02
Safety feature disclosure, 327C.07

Fraud
In park sales, violations, 327C.07
Misrepresentation and deceptive practices, 327C.07
Violations, generally, 327C.095, 327C.15

Freedom of expression, rules, 327C.13

Furnace oil (see Utility service under this topic)

Hearings, variances or zoning changes, 327C.095

Homeowners, certificates and certification, home safety features, installation and inspection, 327C.07

Homesteads, determination, 273.124

Improvements to park, eviction, notice, 327C.09

In-park sales
Disclosure, 327B.08, 327C.02, 327C.07
Eviction, secured parties, duties, rights, 327C.07, 327C.08
Generally, 327C.07
Inspections of homes, 327C.07, 363A.38
Prospective buyers, 327C.02, 327C.07
Safety feature disclosure form, 327C.02, 327C.07
Used manufactured homes, limited dealer's license, 327B.04

Inspections, 327C.07

Investigations
Attorney general, duties, 327C.095, 327C.15
Park closure or conversion violations, 327C.095

Lake City, 458.73

Land registration, closure or conversion, 327C.095

Landlords (see Park owners under this topic)

Lawsuits, 327C.02

Lease terms, financially distressed residential rental property, exception, 504B.151

Liability, 327C.07, 327C.08

Licenses, boards of health, 145A.07

Lot rentals
Defined as shelter costs, 256D.35
Definitions, 256J.08, 327C.01
Payment as condition of sale, 327C.07
Rental agreements (see same under this topic)
Secured parties, duties, 327C.07, 327C.08

Lots
Access, park owners' rights, 327C.14
Descriptions of property, homesteads, determination, 273.124
Eviction, 327C.09, 327C.095
Inspections, 327C.07
Maintenance rules, compliance as condition of sale, 327C.07
Rental (see Lot rentals under this topic)
Rental agreements (see same under this topic)
Repossession lawsuits, 327C.02
Size requirements, ordinances, 366.151, 394.25
Unimproved lots, sale, storage, or display of manufactured homes, 327B.04

Maintenance and repair
Accessory buildings, 327C.02, 327C.07
Generally, 327C.03
Liability, 327C.07
Replacement of structures, rules, 327C.02
Rules, 327C.02, 327C.07

Manufactured home park cooperatives
Homesteads, determination rules, 273.124

Manufactured homes in park
Access, park owners' rights, 327C.14
Density, ordinances, 366.151, 394.25
Generally, 327C.07
In-park sales (see same under this topic)
Installation or removal, contracts, fees, 327C.03
Maintenance and repair rules, 327C.02, 327C.07
Ordinances, laws, or rules, noncompliance, eviction, 327C.09
Prospective buyers, 327C.02, 327C.07
Removal after repossession, 327C.08
Repossession, secured parties, duties, rights, 327C.08
Residents, maximum number, rules, 327C.05
Safety features, 327C.02, 327C.07
Setback requirements, ordinances, 366.151, 394.25

Meters (see Utility service under this topic)

Misrepresentation, in-park sales, violations, 327C.07

Natural gas (see Utility service under this topic)

Noise, loud noises, eviction, 327C.09

Nuisances, recreational manufactured home parks, 327.20

Orders, 327C.02

Ordinances
Lots, 366.151, 394.25
Manufactured homes in park, density, 366.151, 394.25
Setbacks, 366.151, 394.25
Zoning, 366.151, 394.25, 462.357

Park owners
Access to manufactured homes or lots, rights, 327C.14
Certificates and certification, rent paid, 290A.19
Generally, 327C.07
Limited dealer's license, used manufactured homes, 327B.04
Mail and mailing, 327C.09, 327C.095
Manufactured home sales, license prerequisites, 327B.04
Notice given
   Endangerment or substantial annoyances, notice to vacate, 327C.09
   Maintenance requirements, charges, 327C.03
   Park closing or conversion, 327C.095
   Prospective buyers, tenancy denied, 327C.07
   Relocation or eviction due to improvements, 327C.09
   Rent increases, 327C.06
   Repossession lawsuits, 327C.02
   Rules, changes, 327C.02
   Sale of park, 327C.096
Payments by, relocation costs, displaced residents, 327C.095
Reports given, residents, information lists, 327C.095
Retaliation by, 327C.12
Rights and privileges, waivers void, 327C.02
Service of process by, 327C.02, 327C.03, 327C.095
Signatures, rental agreements, 327C.02
Tenant's right of privacy, exemption, 504B.211

Pets, fees, 327C.03

Planning agencies, generally, 327C.095

Presumptions, unreasonable rules, 327C.05

Propane gas (see Utility service under this topic)

Prospective buyers, 327C.02, 327C.07

Purchase agreements
Common interest community conversions, 327C.095

Recreational manufactured home parks

Redevelopment program loans or grants, 462A.2035, 462A.21

Rental agreements
Contents, 327C.01, 327C.02, 327C.03
Evacuation or shelter plan attached, 327C.01
Generally, 327C.02
Repeated serious violations, eviction, 327C.09
Resident copy, 327C.01
Rules and regulations of park, 363A.38

Rents
Eviction notice, acceptance of rent not waiver, 327C.11
Failure to pay, eviction, defenses, 327C.09, 327C.10
Generally, 327C.03
Increases, 327C.02, 327C.06
Lot rentals (see same under this topic)
Rental agreements (see same under this topic)

Repairs, 327C.02, 327C.03, 327C.07

Repossession
Lawsuits, 327C.02
Lots, eviction, 327C.07 to 327C.11
Manufactured homes, removal after repossession, 327C.08

Resident associations
Retaliation against members, 327C.12
Sale of park, right to purchase, 327C.095

Residential generators
Manufactured home parks defined as, 297H.01

Residents
Definitions, 327C.01
Displaced residents, payments to, 327C.095
Eviction, 327C.07 to 327C.11
Excluded from definition of tenant, 504B.275
Freedom of expression, rules, 327C.13
Homeowners, home safety features, certification, 327C.07
In-park sales, 327C.07
Maximum number, rules, 327C.05
Notice received
   Endangerment or substantial annoyances, notice to vacate, 327C.09
   Maintenance requirements, charges, 327C.03
   Park closing or conversion, 327C.095
   Relocation or eviction due to improvements, 327C.09
   Rent increases, 327C.06
   Repossession lawsuits, 327C.02
   Rules, changes, 327C.02
   Sale of park, 327C.096
Privacy rights, exemption, 504B.211
Relocation within park, 327C.09, 327C.095
Rental agreements (see same under this topic)
Reports about, 327C.095
Residents with special needs, rent abatement, 327C.03
Retaliation against, 327C.12
Rights and privileges, waivers void, 327C.02
Service of process on, 327C.02, 327C.03, 327C.095
Signatures, rental agreements, 327C.02
Tenancy applications, false statements, eviction, 327C.09

Restitution, 327C.02, 327C.08, 327C.11

Retaliation
Eviction, defense, 327C.10
Generally, 327C.12

Rules and regulations of park
Definitions, 327C.01
Freedom of expression, 327C.13
Generally, 327C.02
Health and safety, 327.20
Manufactured homes, maximum number of residents, 327C.05
Operation and maintenance, 327.20
Presumptively unreasonable rules, 327C.05, 363A.38
Rental agreements, familial status, compliance with law, 363A.38
Substantial modifications, 327C.01, 327C.02
Unreasonable rules, 327C.05
Violations, 327C.09, 327C.10

Safety features
Disclosure form, 327C.02, 327C.07
Liability, 327C.07

Sale of park, 327C.095, 327C.096

Sales
Manufactured homes, in-park sales (see In-park sales under this topic)
Sale of park, 327C.095, 327C.096

Sanitary facilities
Recreational manufactured home parks, 327.16, 327.27

Secured parties
Eviction, 327C.07 to 327C.11
Liability, 327C.07, 327C.08
Notice given, manufactured homes, eviction or repossession, 327C.07, 327C.08
Repossession, rights, duties, 327C.08

Security deposits, 327C.02, 327C.03

Security interests
Rental agreements, 327C.02
Secured parties, 327C.07 to 327C.11

Severe weather plans, 327.20, 327C.01, 327C.02

Sewers (see Utility service under this topic)

Shelter plans, 327.20, 327C.01, 327C.02

Storm protection plans, 327.20, 327C.01, 327C.02

Substantial modifications, 327C.01, 327C.02

Tax assessments, homesteads, 273.124

Tenants (see Residents under this topic)

Unfair and deceptive practices
In park sales, violations, 327C.07
Violations, generally, 327C.095, 327C.15

Utility service
Fees, failure to pay, eviction, 327C.09, 327C.095
Generally, 327C.04
Payment responsibility, 325E.025

Vacating, rules violations, notice, 327C.09

Valuation of property, homesteads, 273.124

Variances, land use, hearings, 327C.095

Violations and penalties
Eviction, 327C.09, 327C.10
False advertising, 327C.095, 327C.15
Fees, 327C.03, 327C.07
Rent increases, 327C.06
Retaliation by park owners, 327C.12
Rights and privileges, waivers void, 327C.02
Unreasonable rules, 327C.05

Waivers, owners or residents
Rights and privileges, void, 327C.02

Waste disposal (see Utility service under this topic)

Water supply (see Utility service under this topic)

Writs of restitution
Conditional writs, 327C.11
Eviction proceedings, stay of writ, 327C.11
Repossession lawsuits, 327C.02

Zoning, ordinances
Counties, changes, 394.25
Parks constructed prior to January 1, 1995, 462.357
Permitted multifamily uses, 462.357
Towns, 366.151, 366.152

Zoning, permits, changes, hearings, 327C.095

In Park Home Sales

In park home sales are the subject that is the source of a whole host of hotline calls every year. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about in park home sales.

The park owner is insisting that I have to replace the siding on my home before I can sell it. Can they do that?

According the Minn. Stat. 327C.07 the park owner may not require you to do anything to your home beyond what is included in your park rules. In other words, if the rules require that the home be in good condition they can require that you comply before the sale. However, they cannot require you to go beyond the bounds of what is in the rules.

The park owner is telling prospective buyers that they will have to replace the siding. Can they do that?

Once again, you should make certain that the home is in compliance with the current rules. The park owner can then require the new residents to comply with different rules, but the rules cannot be such that it would increase the difficulty of selling the home or decrease the price that you can get for the home.

I know someone who wants to buy my home, but he is afraid that the park will not accept him. What can he do to make certain that he is not throwing away his application fee?

The park is required to have a written set of criteria that is available to both sellers of homes and prospective purchasers. The criteria must be reasonable and must be applied equally to everyone.

My friend applied to live in the park three weeks ago and she still has not received an answer. What does this mean?

According to the law, the park must respond to the completed application with 14 days. The park owner must either provide a decision or give written explanation of why there is a delay and make the decision as soon as possible after words. If the park does not provide a decision of explanation, the park may not deny the prospective buyer as a resident.

MN Supreme Court "Freedom of Expression" Decision

How much can free speech rights be restricted by a manufactured home park owner in Minnesota? That’s the issue the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to review in APAC’s appeal of a lower court ruling.

The lawsuit grew out of an incident in a Lakeville park, Ardmor Village, when APAC was prohibited from leafleting in April and June 2003. According to APAC’s attorney, Kay Nord Hunt, with Lommen, Abdo, Cole, King & Stageberg, P.A, the Supreme Court review is significant since it presents the first opportunity for the Supreme Court to interpret Minnesota’s "Freedom of Expression" statute and to provide appropriate guidelines.

The statute explicitly states that, “No park owner shall prohibit or adopt any rule prohibiting residents or other persons from peacefully organizing, assembling, canvassing, leafleting or otherwise exercising with the park their right of free expression for noncommercial purposes. A park owner may adopt and enforce rules that set reasonable limits as to the time, place and manner.” What constitutes reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of speech in park communities?

“We believe basic First Amendment rights issues are at play in this case and that the high court has recognized that,” Hunt says. A growing list of housing advocates, faith groups and free speech supporters have joined the cause as individual amicus curiae (friends of the court) because of the many implications of case. These organizations include: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Community Stabilization Project (CSP); Housing Preservation Project (HPP); Jewish Community Action (JCA); Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (MICAH); and Minnesota Senior Federation.

The public had a rare chance to see Minnesota’s highest court in action when the case was presented live on October 11 at Hutchinson High School, west of the Twin Cities. This is only the 24th time the Supreme Court has heard a case outside its St. Paul chambers as part of the Traveling Oral Arguments.

On a lighter note, UniProps’s lawyers were questioned about their time limit on canvassing in the park. Two questions were brought up, 1) could a person seeking election not doorknock their constituents without having to obtain a no contact list and 2) were Halloween “trick or treaters” not allowed to door knock for candy since they were soliciting.

To the first question their lawyer replied that yes, anyone seeking election would have to obtain a no contact list. To the second questions, regrettably, stumped by his own argument, the attorney had to agree that yes in fact trick or treating under their current rules made it seem like little kids could not ask for candy.

Tenant Hotline: Common Questions & Answers

Metro Area (651) 644-5525
Toll Free: (855) 361-2722
Email: hotline@allparksallianceforchange.org


The APAC hotline is a free, convenient, and confidential resource available to park residents across Minnesota who have questions regarding their rights as manufactured home residents. Every year we receive about 500 calls and emails from park residents with questions concerning manufactured home park laws, compliance notices, evictions, etc. The hotline is answered by APAC staff who are available during normal business hours and respond to voicemails as quickly as possible. If you prefer email, you can send questions to the confidential hotline@allparksallianceforchange.org and you will get a prompt response.

Through the hotline, we help residents to determine their rights and responsibilities. We also answer questions about specific issues such as storm shelters, pets, leases, and evictions. Through the hotline, residents are occasionally referred to the Attorney General's office, foreclosure prevention programs, and other legal aid programs. We also use data from our hotline to determine which parks are most in need of resident association organizing campaigns.

Below are some common questions we get from the hotline along with brief answers. If you have the same question as one below, please call our hotline for a more thorough explanation. Even if your question isn’t the same as one below, call our hotline and let us help you understand your rights.


Q: My park rules say that I can have an indoor pet, but now the park is charging me $4 per pet per month. Can they do this?
A: Yes. Minnesota law allows the park to charge up to $4 per pet per month even if it’s an indoor pet.

Q: My lease says that I can’t have a shed, but my park manager told me that I could build one anyway. Can I just take the manager’s word for it?
A: It is always a good idea to get any agreement with the park in writing in case there is any disagreement later.

Q: My park is charging me $12 for the relocation trust fund. Since my park isn’t closing, do I still have to pay the park for this?
A: Yes. State law requires the park to pay $12 for each of its resident homeowners and then allows the park to collect that money back from the homeowners themselves. Whether the park is currently closing or not, the $12 must be paid.

Q: I’m trying to sell my home in the park, but the park is rejecting every potential buyer that I find. Does the park have to provide some reasons for why it is rejecting my potential buyers?
A: Yes. Parks must have a written list of criteria they use to determine whether or not they will approve a potential buyer’s application to move into the park. Furthermore, if the application is denied, the park must provide a written explanation for the denial.

Q: Every year the park increases lot rent but there are never any new services or better upkeep to go along with these rent increases. Can the park do this?
A: Unfortunately yes. State law allows the park to increase rent no more than twice in any 12 month period as long as residents are given 60 days’ written notice of the increase.

Q: My park manager is not following his duties as required by my lease and the park rules, and I’ve contacted him several times regarding this. Now the manager says he’ll evict me if I make any more requests that he do his job. Can I be evicted for this?
A: No. State law prohibits retaliatory conduct so that the park may not evict a resident simply because the resident is making honest requests or complaints regarding the park. Furthermore, the park may not increase rent or decrease services in retaliation for a resident’s honest complaints or requests.

Q: I got into a disagreement with my park manger and now the manager says that I have to leave the park by the end of the week or he’ll evict me on Monday. I don’t want an eviction on my record. Do I have to leave?
A: There are only eight reasons that allow for resident eviction. If one of these reasons isn’t met, then the resident can’t be evicted. Simply disagreeing with a manager is not one of the eight reasons and therefore not grounds for eviction. Also, the park manager himself cannot evict a resident; only a judge can evict a resident.

These are just some of the questions we get from the hotline. Please call with questions of your own or if you have further questions regarding the above situations.

Tenant Remedies Actions

When a homeowner and a park owner sign a lease agreement, the homeowner is agreeing to abide by certain rules and to follow though on certain responsibilities; paying the rent, maintaining the home, and being respectful of the rights of other residents. If a homeowner violates the responsibilities, they face noncompliance notices and even, in certain cases, legal action. What about if a park owner violates their end of the bargain? Do homeowners have the right to demand action? Are there options open to them in the court system?

The answer is yes, yes and yes. A community owner, much like a homeowner, has responsibilities under the lease agreement and the state law. Issues like the maintenance of common areas, the provision of services, and the health and safety of the community are all the responsibility of the community owner. If the community owner responsibilities are not being met, the residents do have the right to demand action. The best method of doing so is to request in writing that the issues be resolved, and to make certain that there is a time frame that is given to the community owner to make the repairs, fix the issues, or respond with a plan to do so.

But what happens when a park owner fails to address the issues? There are two mechanisms in the legal system to make certain that issues get addressed: a rent escrow action and a tenant remedies action. A resident, either individually or though an organization, can ask the court to require that the repairs get made. The court can grant various forms of relief depending on the case and can include allowing the homeowner to pay the rent into the court rather than to the park owner, an order requiring that the repairs be done, rent abatement both going forward and in some cases retroactively, and even, in some extreme cases, appointing an administrator to take over the park in order to get the repairs done.

Most importantly, a person can not be evicted or have a decrease in services, simply for demanding that the community owner make repairs. State law is very clear that any increase in rent, decrease in services or eviction against a person in these circumstances in retaliation.

The Minnesota Courts have put together a variety of useful sample forms for residents wishing to assert their rights in court. These are available online here.

Organize Your Community

APAC has organized since 1980 to create a movement of powerful resident leaders who advance their vision for justice in manufactured home parks. APAC works with homeowners to identify community issues, unite neighbors around a common vision, and develop powerful leaders who can influence decision makers, set the agenda, and win real changes for their community.

Recently, homeowners have organized with APAC to:

To find out more about community organizing refer to APAC's Organizing Manual, click on the links below, or call and talk with one of our staff organizers.

Resident Associations

What is a Resident Association?

A Resident Association is a legally recognized voice for residents of manufactured home parks. According to Minnesota Statue 327C.01 subd. 9a. "Resident Association" means an organization that has the written permission of the owners of at least 51% of the manufactured homes in the park to represent them, and which is organized for the purpose of resolving matters relating to living conditions in the manufactured home park. Resident Associations can address many park wide issues by requesting necessary repairs and maintenance and improvements in health and safety conditions in the park. A Resident Association can bring park residents together and serve as an effective outlet to voice concerns and take action against unfair park rules. It can also work to pass a Park Closing Ordinance, or address other issues that affect residents of your park.

How to Form One

Step 1: Identify park concerns a Resident Association could address
Step 2: Collect signatures for Resident Association petition
Step 3: Define mission statement of the Association
Step 4: Hold Board Elections
Step 5: Approve By-laws
Step 6: Incorporate the Association
Step 7: Celebration
Step 8: Win real victories for your community!

APAC is here to help you. We can provide information, advice, and support in forming a resident association. In some cases, we can flyer the park with information and, if there is a strong interest, we can even organize an educational workshop in the park. Workshops generally cover resident rights and responsibilities as well as other questions as they come up.

Signing the agreement to join the Resident Association does not mean you must attend Resident Association meetings. it simply says that it gives the Resident Association permission to speak on park residents' behalf regarding park-wide issues. The people who sign on to the Resident Association will remain confidential. Management will not have access to the list of Resident Association members.

If you are interested in creating a Resident Association in your park or if you think there is interest in a residents' rights workshop in your area, contact APAC in the metro area at 651-644-5525 or outside the metro area at 1-855-361-2722 to find out what can be scheduled. To find out more about organizing your community refer to APAC's Organizing Manual.

Risk of Park Closings


Manufactured home parks provide one of the most important sources of affordable housing in Minnesota, providing homes to 150,000 individuals. But, as land values soar and redevelopment pressures build, parks are closing at an increasing rate. Under state law, these low-income homeowners are given only three options during a park closure: try to move the home to another park (or parcel of land) at a significant expense; leave the home where it is and pay for its demolition; or approach their municipality about adopting a park closing ordinance in order to obtain compensation. All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) is releasing this report which looks at the vital role of parks, the impacts of closure, and the response of Minnesota cities over the last two decades.

“Manufactured home parks are a vital source of affordable housing. Many people can literally not afford to live anywhere else if their park closes,” said Dave Anderson, APAC executive director. “The closure of a park can be financially devastating for residents and most often means the loss of their homes and no where else to move within their means.” Homes are most often unmovable because of age, moving costs (averaging $5,000 to $15,000), shortage of available lots, or parks barring homes over 10 years old (71% of homes). “Owners of traditional stick-built homes are fully compensated when new development forces them to abandon their homes, but residents of parks are not,” added Anderson.

Rising land values, deferred maintenance and the desire to enlarge the local tax base increase the risk of park closures. During the last five years, the value of land has increased at a record-breaking pace in Minnesota. Prime developable real estate can sell anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 an acre. In 2003, land prices in Minnesota increased more than 12%, the fastest growth rate in the nation. In the last five years, there have been 12 park closures totaling 219 households. There are currently 5 parks in the process of closing totaling 253 more households. There are another 16 parks at risk of closure adding another 1,626 threatened households.

“On the surface, park closures due to redevelopment seem like a natural mechanism of the real estate market – a parcel of land is sold by its owner to a developer that will put it to another use. Ostensibly, the park is brought to a use that is ‘higher’ and ‘better.’ However, there is much more to the story,” said Margaret Kaplan, APAC staff attorney. “Park closures not only impact the families living in the park, but this mass displacement can also have effects on their communities and local economies, including higher demand on social services, increased homelessness, and losses to the local work force and consumer base.”

State and local governments have a vital role in addressing this problem because they license and regulate parks, and restrictively zone manufactured homes to parks. In 1987, Minnesota passed legislation allowing cities to adopt park closing ordinances. These ordinances guarantee that when a park is closed, the park owner and/or buyer will pay reasonable relocation costs to move each home within a 25-mile radius. If a home cannot be moved, the owner/buyer buys out the home at its tax assessed or appraised market value. Twenty-one cities have adopted ordinances, which leave the residents in park neighborhoods of 380 other cities unprotected.

“The goal is to allow park residents to have a sense of security. They are 80 percent low to very low income; yet they have become home owners without any kind of public subsidy. They deserve a peace of mind,” said Daren Nyquist, the reports author. “Park closing ordinances do not seek to put limitations on the transactions of private property. They are simply a tool to ensure that the property interests of the owner of the underlying land are fairly balanced against the property rights of the homeowners.”

Park closing ordinances can bring some protection to manufactured home park residents. They provide a structural guide to park closings at the local level and allow the means for residents to transition to alternative housing. Additionally, in an effort to rectify some of the consistently occurring problems related to these ordinances, a new model ordinance was drafted in 2006 and is attached to the report.

During the 2007 Minnesota Legislative Session, APAC is seeking to establish uniform statewide standards that guarantee reasonable compensation for moving costs or a home buy-out. The proposed Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund was introduced as House File 1205, authored by Rep. Scott Kranz (DFL-Blaine), and Senate File 1196, authored by Sen. Michael Jungbauer (R-East Bethel).

In 2006, Rep. Kranz spoke with many park homeowners in Blaine; a fast-growing north metro suburb in which 14 percent of the city’s residents live in manufactured home parks. Blaine, however, does not have a park closing ordinance. “These communities are diverse, hard working, and make valuable contributions to society,” said Rep. Kranz. “Park residents are real people that deserve peace of mind.

Policy Report - Park Closing Ordinance

Manufactured home parks provide the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in the state. They serve those individuals who are very low-income and provide opportunities for home ownership. These parks, however, are increasingly at risk due to rising land values, deferred maintenance, and the desire to increase the local tax base. This risk is substantial because Minnesota has approximately 950 manufactured home parks, containing nearly 50,000 homes and housing approximately 150,000 residents. Moreover, many of these parks are experiencing increased development pressures and risks of closure. To the residents of manufactured home parks, park closures mean displacement from their homes and communities, loss of affordable housing, and oppressive out-of-pocket expenses.

Owners of traditional stick-built homes are fully compensated when new development forces them to abandon their homes, but residents of parks are not. Park residents face an unusual housing situation because they own their homes but rent the land. The closing of a park can be financially devastating as it often means the loss of homes since most manufactured homes cannot be moved due to their poor condition, moving costs, shortage of available lots, and/or parks barring homes over ten years old. The closure of a park also affects the greater community, since local shelters and transitional housing facilities are already unable to cope with the increasing numbers of people needing services.

State and local governments have a vital role in addressing this problem because they license and regulate parks, restrictively zone manufactured homes to parks, adopt goals to increase minority home ownership, have plans to end homelessness, and provide services to those in need. State and local governments have the ability to pass a park closing ordinance (also known as relocation compensation ordinance) which will protect residents from the financial losses of a park closing. These ordinances provide a guarantee that when a park is closed, the park owner and/or buyer pay the reasonable relocation costs to move each home within a 25-mile radius, or if the home cannot be moved, the owner/buyer buys out the home at its taxed market value or appraised market value. Twenty-one cities have adopted ordinances leaving 90% of manufactured home parks unprotected by a park closing ordinance. This means that approximately 135,000 residents, most of whom are low-income, would lose their homes and thousands of dollars if their park were closed.

This report looks at the importance of manufactured home parks, their demographics and other substantial statistics. It explains what has created the critical need for park closing ordinances, and how park closures and ordinances affect both the manufactured home park residents and the greater community.

Housing Discrimination

This report explores various disparities based on race that exist in the lives of residents in manufactured (mobile) home parks within the State of Minnesota. Through several case studies, numerous inequalities were found between parks with predominately Latino residents and parks with non-Latino residents. Specifically, it was found that although Latino residents pay approximately the same in lot rent as non-Latino residents, the quality of parks with predominately Latino residents is drastically lower. In addition, Latino residents are more likely to experience unsatisfactory management practices and received less support from city officials.

"It is important to note that, based on the 2000 U.S. Census, 10% of park residents statewide are people of color. Taking this fact into consideration, it is disturbing to learn that 54% of the residents displaced due to park closings are people of color. It must be questioned as to why people of color are being displaced at a disproportionate rate,” said Julia Wells the report's author. “This report is a call for action to allow manufactured home parks to be communities free of disparities based on race.”

The Latino population living in manufactured home parks is both substantial and increasing. It is thought that this trend will continue, and according to census data, “Minnesota’s nonwhite and Latino populations are projected to grow significantly faster than the white population.” Based on a report by Centro Campesino and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), 31% of migrant workers live in manufactured homes. Currently, within the 7-county metro, five percent of those who own their manufactured home are Hispanic or Latino. Clearly, Latinos have a significant presence in Minnesota as a whole, as well as within manufactured home parks explicitly.

This report looks at three case studies:

  • Bloomington, Minnesota – The city of Bloomington once included five parks: Lyndale Lodge, Collins Park, Shady Lane Court, Krestwood Mobile Home Park, and Southgate Mobile Village. Of these parks, only Krestwood and Southgate remain. It is imperative to consider the attitudes of city officials towards parks during these closings. When Lyndale Lodge closed in 1986, it prompted Bloomington to become the first city in the state to pass a park closing ordinance to guarantee relocation compensation. When Collins Park closed in 1994, the city became involved in a legal case to ensure residents received full compensation. When Shady Lane Court – a community that was overwhelmingly people of color (74%) and predominantly Latino (56%) – received closure notices in 2005, city officials did not offer support and made such statements as: “It’s time for a reality check; maybe some people can’t afford to live in Bloomington.” In addition, Krestwood Mobile Home Park and Southgate Mobile Village are owned and operated by the same management company, but have very different racial composition with 3% and 30% Latino households, respectively. These two parks reside on the same road and in the same city, but it is clear that the management disperses extremely unequal amounts of time and energy between the two parks, which are virtually identical in rent, age of homes, and homeownership rates, but dramatically different in park conditions and amenities.

  • Shakopee, Minnesota – There are four parks in the communities surrounding the city and township of Shakopee in Scott County: Bonnevista Terrace, Jackson Heights Trailer Park, Mobile Manor Park, and Valley Haven LLP. These parks reside in similar communities and are all located within five miles of one another. What make each park distinctive are the different Latino population percentages and the consequences that follow. They are 9%, 82%, 65% and 18%, respectively. Only one park (Valley Haven LLP) falls within the city boundaries of Shakopee and therefore is the only park in this community to be covered by a park closing ordinance. The remaining three parks are specifically excluded from this ordinance, even if the city were to expand its boundaries. In addition, despite lot rent differences of only twenty dollars, the Latino parks have poor park conditions and limited amenities, conditions that don’t exist in the non-Latino parks.

  • Melrose, Minnesota – There are two parks within the city limits: Melrose Mobile Home Park and Rose Park. This case study is unique due to the rural location of the city. The strongly divided racial composition that exists between these two parks allows for a well-matched comparison of various disparities present in this community. Melrose Mobile Home Park is a beautiful neighborhood; everything is well kept and nicely run. Although Rose Park’s rent is around 100% higher than Melrose Mobile Home Park, the standard of living has deteriorated due to management’s complete disregard for the residents’ well being. Some examples are inadequately maintained roads and poor drainage. The families who rent their homes and lots from management suffer most, with cockroaches and mold.

"Manufactured home park residents clearly face many disparities as a consequence of their race. In order to reduce the inexcusable disparities found in parks, some simple steps must be taken by both the municipality and the parks themselves," said Dave Anderson, APAC's executive director. "Correcting the issues covered in this report will help bring justice and equality to Latino residents. This is the first step in a long process that must be undertaken in order to reverse these widespread disparities."

Throughout Minnesota, many problems experienced by park residents fall more heavily on park communities with substantial Latino populations. APAC is working in a number of park communities around the state where Latino residents are dealing with racial harassment, unlawful evictions, illegal residency denials, steering towards parks or sections of parks with fewer amenities, and significant health and safety issues.

"Racism is not simply a matter of intentional actions by individual actors. In examining the above case studies, a more subtle form of racial injustice is revealed. Although there may not be deliberate discrimination on the part of government or private parties, the end result is stark segregation along racial lines," said Margaret Kaplan, APAC staff attorney. "Not only are parks segregated, but the quality of life in many parks are divided along racial lines and is evidence of a discriminatory impact. While it is difficult to pinpoint solutions when it is not possible to identify individual bad acts, this is no excuse for what, at a quick glance is obvious: living conditions are worse for Latino manufactured home park residents than for non-Latino residents."

Policy Report - Racial Disparities

This report explores various disparities based on race that exist in the lives of residents in manufactured (mobile) home parks within the State of Minnesota. Through several case studies, numerous inequalities were found between parks with predominately Latino residents and parks with non-Latino residents. Specifically, it was found that although Latino residents pay approximately the same in lot rent as non-Latino residents, the quality of parks with predominately Latino residents is drastically lower. In addition, Latino residents are more likely to experience unsatisfactory management practices and received less support from city officials.

"It is important to note that, based on the 2000 U.S. Census, 10% of park residents statewide are people of color. Taking this fact into consideration, it is disturbing to learn that 54% of the residents displaced due to park closings are people of color. It must be questioned as to why people of color are being displaced at a disproportionate rate,” said Julia Wells the report's author. “This report is a call for action to allow manufactured home parks to be communities free of disparities based on race.”

The Latino population living in manufactured home parks is both substantial and increasing. It is thought that this trend will continue, and according to census data, “Minnesota’s nonwhite and Latino populations are projected to grow significantly faster than the white population.” Based on a report by Centro Campesino and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), 31% of migrant workers live in a manufactured home. Currently, within the 7-county metro, five percent of those who own their manufactured home are Hispanic or Latino. Clearly, Latinos have a significant presence in Minnesota as a whole, as well as within manufactured home parks explicitly.

This report looks at three case studies:

  • Bloomington, Minnesota – The city of Bloomington once included five parks: Lyndale Lodge, Collins Park, Shady Lane Court, Krestwood Mobile Home Park, and Southgate Mobile Village. Of these parks, only Krestwood and Southgate remain. It is imperative to consider the attitudes of city officials towards parks during these closings. When Lyndale Lodge closed in 1986, it prompted Bloomington to become the first city in the state to pass a park closing ordinance to guarantee relocation compensation. When Collins Park closed in 1994, the city became involved in a legal case to ensure residents received full compensation. When Shady Lane Court – a community that was overwhelmingly people of color (74%) and predominantly Latino (56%) – received closure notices in 2005, city officials did not offer support and made such statements as: “It’s time for a reality check; maybe some people can’t afford to live in Bloomington.” In addition, Krestwood Mobile Home Park and Southgate Mobile Village are owned and operated by the same management company, but have very different racial composition with 3% and 30% Latino households, respectively. These two parks reside on the same road and in the same city, but it is clear that the management disperses extremely unequal amounts of time and energy between the two parks, which are virtually identical in rent, age of homes, and homeownership rates, but dramatically different in park conditions and amenities.

  • Shakopee, Minnesota – There are four parks in the communities surrounding the city and township of Shakopee in Scott County: Bonnevista Terrace, Jackson Heights Trailer Park, Mobile Manor Park, and Valley Haven LLP. These parks reside in similar communities and are all located within five miles of one another. What make each park distinctive are the different Latino population percentages and the consequences that follow. They are 9%, 82%, 65% and 18%, respectively. Only one park (Valley Haven LLP) falls within the city boundaries of Shakopee and therefore is the only park in this community to be covered by a park closing ordinance. The remaining three parks are specifically excluded from this ordinance, even if the city were to expand its boundaries. In addition, despite lot rent differences of only twenty dollars, the Latino parks have poor park conditions and limited amenities, conditions that don’t exist in the non-Latino parks.

  • Melrose, Minnesota – There are two parks within the city limits: Melrose Mobile Home Park and Rose Park. This case study is unique due to the rural location of the city. The strongly divided racial composition that exists between these two parks allows for a well-matched comparison of various disparities present in this community. Melrose Mobile Home Park is a beautiful neighborhood; everything is well kept and nicely run. Although Rose Park’s rent is around 100% higher than Melrose Mobile Home Park, the standard of living has deteriorated due to management’s complete disregard for the residents’ well being. Some examples are inadequately maintained roads and poor drainage. The families who rent their homes and lots from management suffer most, with cockroaches and mold.

"Manufactured home park residents clearly face many disparities as a consequence of their race. In order to reduce the inexcusable disparities found in parks, some simple steps must be taken by both the municipality and the parks themselves," said Dave Anderson, APAC executive director. "Correcting the issues covered in this report will help bring justice and equality to Latino residents. This is the first step in a long process that must be undertaken in order to reverse these widespread disparities."

Throughout Minnesota, many problems experienced by park residents fall more heavily on park communities with substantial Latino populations. APAC is working in a number of park communities around the state where Latino residents are dealing with racial harassment, unlawful evictions, illegal residency denials, steering towards parks or sections of parks with fewer amenities and significant health and safety issues.

"Racism is not simply a matter of intentional actions by individual actors. In examining the above case studies, a more subtle form of racial injustice is revealed. Although there may not be deliberate discrimination on the part of government or private parties, the end result is stark segregation along racial lines," said Margaret Kaplan, APAC staff attorney. "Not only are park segregated, but the quality of life in many parks are divided along racial lines and is evidence of a discriminatory impact. While it is difficult to pinpoint solutions when it is not possible to identify individual bad acts, this is no excuse for what, at a quick glance is obvious: living conditions are worse for Latino manufactured home park residents than for non-Latino residents."

Mobile Justice Week

Celebrate Manufactured Home Park Week

September 24, 2006

The State of Minnesota has officially recognized the importance of manufactured (mobile) home parks through a proclamation by Governor Tim Pawlenty declaring the final week in September (24th - 30th) as "Manufactured Home Park Week." Park residents, housing advocates, and public officials geared up for a week filled with events and celebrations across the state.

"This week will help to focus statewide attention on the vital role of manufactured home parks in the state. Manufactured homes provide affordable housing and an opportunity for low-income Minnesotans to become homeowners," said Edward Landrum, former president of APAC's board of directors. "Parks are also thriving neighborhoods. They are places where people form communities, raise families, and often retire. We hope this week will help the broader public begin to see this face of parks."

Currently more than 180,000 Minnesotans live in over 900 manufactured home parks. They provide decent, safe, and affordable homeownership to families in almost every county in Minnesota. Parks present one of the largest sources of unsubsidized affordable housing in the state. With over 50,000 units of housing, manufactured home parks make up 5% of the state's overall housing
stock.

APAC expects "Park Week" to raise the public awareness of manufactured home parks and their importance as a source for homeownership and affordable housing. "Park Week" also sheds light on the increasing trend in the number of manufactured home park neighborhoods that have been demolished for redevelopment. At the local level, APAC and residents from parks across the state have been working to engage local public officials to commit resources to safeguard residents from the threat of redevelopment. On April 1st, 2006, Shady Lane Mobile Home Park, located in the city of Bloomington, closed due to redevelopment and consequently 50 families were displaced.

"Park Week is about Mobile Justice," said Ned Moore, Park Week Coordinator at All Parks Alliance for Change. "In the past 6 years, 15 mobile home parks have closed in the State of Minnesota. We are losing more parks every year, and hundreds of families are losing their homes."

Organizing Manual (and Fundraising Manual)


Free Organizing Manual Now Available!

The much anticipated APAC Community Organizing Manual is now available online for printing and distribution. This manual is a collection of original and modified organizing materials specifically designed for use in manufactured home park organizing efforts. These materials are not only for homeowners and homeowner associations, but for nonprofit professionals to better understand resident concerns and how to effectively work with them, including housing and consumer advocates, public interest law firms, community housing development organizations, and others. Download sections as needed and call with any questions you may have!

This organizing manual can be used and distributed individually or collectively; however, some material is based on concepts presented in previous sections. The downloadable sections are as follows:

1) Introduction & Table of Contents
2) Organizing
3) Leadership
4) Resident Associations
5) Park Prejudice
6) Racial Justice
7) Media and Messaging
8) Policy

Additionally, see our Fundraising Supplement to the Organizing Manual.

Transportation and Your Community


Who makes decisions about transportation?

Transportation in Minnesota is overseen by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, a cabinet-level agency of the state government. MnDOT is responsible for planning, developing, and maintaining systems of ground, water, and air transportation. The Metropolitan Council also has a significant role in transportation (particularly in the seven-county metro area) since the state's principle airport and almost all north-south through railroads and long-distance four-lane freeways in Minnesota go to or through the Twin Cities.

Launched in January 2011, Corridors of Opportunity is a broad-based initiative involving state, regional and local government, philanthropy, non-profit organizations, and business. It is focused on accelerating the development of the region’s transit system and providing new opportunities for nearby development to connect people of all incomes and backgrounds to jobs, housing choices, recreation and services. One goal of this initiative is to ensure that all residents — particularly underrepresented and marginalized communities (low-income, communities of color, immigrant communities, persons with disabilities) — participate in transitway planning.



[Click on map to enlarge image]


How can transit planning effect manufactured homeowners?

There are a number of impacts transit planning may have on manufactured homeowners, if the planning process reflects your needs and concerns.

Transit takes pressure off of transportation development

  • For an example, in the 1950’s the development of the Rondo neighborhood that went through gentrification and an intrusion of a highway (I – 94) displaced over 10,000 people.
  • At present, many areas with manufactured home parks have also gone through urban renewal and redevelopment project Ex. (input manufactured home park here)

The use of transit may enrich your life and meet basic needs of transportation

  • Work places, school, shopping districts, expanding your communication with your community
  • Connecting with opportunities in a larger community

Getting Your Voice Heard

  • Overcome the park prejudice & stereotypes that has been developed over the years by becoming civically engaged
  • Get involved with transit meetings to have a hand in where future stops should be planted


How to get involved

  • Stay up to date with Rush Line Corridor, Gateway Corridor, and Red Rock Corridor meetings, which can be found on their web pages or possibly in APAC's calendar located on the right hand side of this page.
  • Come to APAC community meetings where we will also find time to discuss how transit and you, as a manufactured park homeowner, can give your opinions and ideas.

MnDOT Seeks Input from Highway 169 Users

Highway 169 Mobility Study



If you are a park resident who lives or works in the west Twin Cities metro area, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking input on how mobility and transit options can be improved on Highway 169. This information will help MnDOT make decisions about the future design and operation of Highway 169. All participants who complete this survey will have a chance to win one of two $25 VISA gift cards.

Your feedback is needed!

Participate in the survey online.

For additional information, here is the link to the study website.

REPORT: Resident Opinions on the Rush Line Corridor


Rush Line Corridor:
Connecting Manufactured Home Parks to Opportunities

Download a Copy (CLICK HERE)

Download a PowerPoint Version Copy (CLICK HERE)

The Rush Line Corridor is an 80-mile travel corridor between St. Paul and Hinckley, consisting of 23 urban, suburban and rural communities linked by a common need to be mobile and connected. The Rush Line Corridor Task Force is a 23-member board of city, county and township elected officials. The task force is now conducting a Pre-Project Development (PPD) Study to analyze bus and rail alternatives within the 30-mile segment between Forest Lake and Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.

As the planning process develops, the transit habits and potential needs of people living in manufactured homes along the corridor should be considered. The full corridor runs through 10 cities with 27 park communities and 2,779 households. The 30-mile segment under review run through five cities (Forest Lake, Hugo, Little Canada, Maplewood, and Vadnais Heights) with 8 parks and 1,133 households. This is generally a marginalized group of people with low incomes and limited access to resources.

The Rush Line project could be a boon for residents, depending on stop placement, route, and type of transit. The research report has two parts: an analysis of 2013 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) data on resident transportation uses along the proposed transit corridor, and a survey of residents regarding their needs, opinions, and what would encourage residents to use public transportation in the future.

Rush Line Corridor

What is the Rush Line Corridor?

The Rush Line corridor is an 80 mile distance between Hinckley and St. Paul slated for increased public transit service. The 24-member Rush Line Corridor Task Force has been assembled to examine the options available to expand transit based economic development, community preservation, and environmental protection. The Rush Line Corridor ultimately connects suburban communities and rural cities with metropolitan areas.

Proposed Rush Line Route

How does the Rush Line Corridor affect manufactured home park residents?

Transit based development in the area can provide much needed access to employment and local businesses at a much lower cost for consumers. The Rush Line Corridor has the potential to benefit manufactured home park residents in several ways, however, the short answer is that it’s up to you. Public involvement within the manufactured home park community along the proposed Rush Line Corridor is an essential component in maximizing the positive affect for residents. The population along the corridor is expected to increase by 43% between 2000 and 2030. Learn more about the Rush Line Corridor

How do I get involved?

Regardless of the method you choose, you must get involved in the Rush Line initiative as your participation is essential in shaping the direction of the project. Conventional and creative opportunities will be available for residents to participate in the Rush Line planning process. Traditional options include open houses at existing transit centers whereas more creative methods include web-based feedback. Please visit Rush Lines get involved page or contact APAC for additional details. Get Involved!

Preserve Your Community

Risk of Park Closure

Park residents have an unusual rental situation because in most cases they own their home but rent their lot. Thus, the closure of a manufactured home park neighborhood can be financially devastating for residents. It most often means the loss of their homes and possibility of homelessness. In 1987, APAC worked to pass legislation allowing cities to adopt ordinances that guarantee relocation compensation in the event of a park closing. APAC and park residents have worked together to pass such ordinances in 22 cities; from Rochester, to Bloomington, to Brainerd. In 2007, APAC lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to establish the Minnesota Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund providing a statewide guarantee of relocation compensation when a park closes to 180,000 residents in over 400 cities.

Lack of Resident Control

But even guaranteeing compensation for relocation costs is not enough with park vacancy rates so low. Don Pierson, a long-time APAC board member, summarizes the problem of many residents when he says, “I can’t afford affordable housing, when the cheapest apartment in town is renting for $700 per month.” Mr. Pierson is a retired senior living on Social Security who has lived since 1963 in Southgate, one of the two Bloomington parks remaining after three closures. Because park residents own their homes but not the land, they face the threat of a park being sold or closed, needed park improvements not being made, unfair or inconsistently applied park rules, profit driven rent increases and an inability to accumulate equity.

Community Preservation Solutions

A solution to all of these problems is conversion to resident-ownership through a cooperative, land trust or non-profit. There are currently two routes that can be taken for residents to purchase their parks:

Several very significant changes came as a result of the effort to purchase Shady Lane and the road blocks that brought the effort to an unsatisfying end. The media took notice of park closings like never before. Twin Cities Public Television commissioned a half-hour documentary on park closing, which originally aired on April 23. Several new non-profit developers have indicated some desire to become involve in park preservation including CHDC, Central Community Housing Trust and Central Minnesota Housing Partnership. Finally, APAC is working with advocates, developers and funders to increase the capacity for park preservation through purchase by residents, non-profit and land trusts. The principle goal is to increase the funding for public policy work, community organizing and legal advocacy and the financing and for acquisition, infrastructure improvements and manufactured home replacement and rehab.

What are the Benefits of a Manufactured Home Park Cooperative?



Control
The residents of a cooperative are also the owners. This provides a greater level of control. Residents decide on rules, maintenance, management, and virtually every other aspect of the running of the park.

Rent Stability
Instead of regular rent hikes to pad the park owner’s pockets, cooperative residents enjoy very stable monthly payments. Those payments would be used to pay off the mortgage and take care of the park. The cooperative would decide when rent needed to be raised, for example: if they wanted to add another service for residents.

Permanent Housing
Because the property is owned by the residents, it is their choice whether to accept offers and close for redevelopment. This gives families much more stability.

Maintenance
No longer would residents have to wait on management to get around to maintenance requests. Because the residents own the property, they will also be able to decide who is responsible for maintenance, whether that is through an individual, a resident, or a company. The co-op will do the hiring.

Ownership
In a cooperative, the residents collectively own the property. It is the residents who make all decisions concerning how the park is run. This leads to a higher sense of pride and a feeling of community.

Low-cost financing
Through Northcountry Cooperative Foundation, it is possible to finance the purchase of your park. With their assistance, your mortgage payments for the park could be equal to or less than what you already pay in rent and also avoid having to pay a large down payment.

Help Available
You are not alone in this. If you are interested, but don’t know where to go from here, don’t hesitate to call Northcountry Cooperative Foundation for information toll-free at 1-877-623-2827. If you have general questions, you can also call APAC at 651-644-5525 or toll-free at 1-855-361-2722.

Manufactured Home Park Cities

Pushing Tin

By Brad Zellar, City Pages January 29, 2003

What follows is the once-upon-a-time story of a group of trailer park residents who were spurned and kicked around until one day they got fed up and created a humble little city they could call their own, complete with a magnificent 24-hour Flameburger restaurant. This all happened a long time ago, but before we proceed with this largely neglected chapter of local history, I'd like to ask each and every one of you to look into your heart of darkness and unburden yourself of the more uncharitable notions you harbor there. I ask you to pause for just one moment--it won't take long--and think about some of the things the phrase "trailer park" inevitably conjures in your mind. 'Fess up, you hateful wretches: Trailer trash. Tin gypsies. Human Humane Society. Blatz Babylon. Hee-Haw Heaven. Redneck Reservation. Arkansas Timeshares. Methamphetamine Inc. NASCAR Fantasy Camp. George Jonestown. Disgraceland. Hillbilly Hilton. Unplanned Parenthood.

There. I must admit, the harshness and inspired malice of your associations astonishes and appalls even me. I'd like you to leave these odious judgments behind for a time. I want to introduce you to the little city of Hilltop. It is, I contend, a tough and charming exemplar of the best sort of bootstrap democracy, and I'd like to think that you're going to be very ashamed of yourselves. Read more.

Promote Manufactured Housing

APAC's Twin Cities 2018 Comprehensive Planning Project

APAC has launched a new project to engage with local planners and officials to improve their city’s comprehensive plans to support the wellbeing of manufactured housing residents.

Comprehensive plans are guiding documents that city councils use to describe their long-term goals for land-use and housing and to present these ideas to the public. Comprehensive plans are required to be updated in 2018 (and every ten years), which means that cities across the Metropolitan region are currently in the process of renewing and potentially changing the language they use to discuss manufactured housing.

Therefore, the 2018 comprehensive plan update presents an important opportunity for APAC and park residents to engage in shaping city policies regarding manufactured and affordable housing. This is an important chance for resident constituents to ask their city councils to add language to comprehensive plans in support of manufactured housing.

Comprehensive Plans are required describe the city’s strategic approach in the following areas:

- Land Use
- Transportation
- Water Resources
- Parks & Trails
- Housing
- Resilience
- Economic Competitiveness
- Implementation


Learn More and Get Involved

General Procedures for Creating and Amending Comprehensive Plans

Source: http://www.lmc.org/page/1/handbook-for-mn-cities.jsp Chapter 14, pg. 4-6

  • Cities must submit their draft comprehensive plans to local governmental entities for review and comment
  • Cities must submit their comprehensive plans to Metropolitan Council for review of conflicts with regional systems plans
  • Cities must hold a public hearing before formal adoption of a comprehensive plan
  • City councils may adopt or amend comprehensive plans by a two-thirds vote, or simple majority if the issue at hand involves permits for affordable housing
  • The requirements for amending or updating a comprehensive plan are the same as for creating one, including holding and providing notice of a public hearing
  • Cities must submit all amendments to Metropolitan Council
  • A planning commission may be created to oversee the comprehensive plan through an ordinance that clearly describes its duties and responsibilities
  • City councils can submit proposed amendments to the planning commission, and cannot formally ratify new language until they receive a report on the submission from the planning commission, or until sixty days have elapsed
  • The final say on what is approved rests with the city council, not the planning commission, which serves in a strictly advisory role

APAC's General Manufactured Housing Recommendations to City Planners and City Councils

Although they are generally well-researched and professionally-crafted documents, virtually all cities’ comprehensive plans fail to adequately identify and address the needs of manufactured housing residents, and remain silent regarding the many real benefits that manufactured housing can and does bring to the table.

Very few of the comprehensive plans we reviewed recognize that manufactured housing is affordable housing, or that having manufactured housing in the community raises the affordable housing rate, potentially enabling cities to obtain funding for infrastructure improvements under the 2011 Livable Communities Act.

Given this widespread lack of awareness of manufactured housing communities, APAC has launched a letter-writing campaign to city planners and councils in the Metropolitan Region, and we encourage residents and members of the public to reach out to their representatives, council members, and planners, asking for language and policy changes in support of the following issues:

1. Use manufactured housing to address affordability without new large-scale multifamily construction.

2. Change ordinances to allow manufactured homes to be sited in residential districts outside existing parks.

3. Improve your City’s level of affordable housing by reducing loan barriers to move residents into currently vacant manufactured housing units.

4. Generate funding opportunities for repair and maintenance, and set standards for infrastructure in manufactured housing parks.

5. Encourage resident purchase of communities through local tax incentives and first refusal rights.

6. Promote manufactured housing within your comprehensive plan and other city outlets as a primary unsubsidized affordable home-ownership option for low-income working residents.

7. Actively reduce stigma against manufactured housing.

For more detailed descriptions of these points, please review our advocacy letters tailored to particular cities below.

Links to APAC's Recommendations for Specific Cities

If you want to learn more about engaging with a specific city, please follow the links below.

Arden Hills Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are an Arden Hills Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email Jacki@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Planning Website:

http://www.cityofardenhills.org/index.aspx?NID=170

Plymouth's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing

"Nine percent of the housing in Arden Hills is manufactured/mobile homes compared to a regional average of just 1.6 percent" (2-7). "Manufactured Housing (MH) – includes manufactured and mobile homes in specialized parks" (6-4). "6.4.6 Manufactured Home Community The Arden Manor neighborhood has been identified as an important community and the primary supply of affordable housing options in the City. Bounded by Interstate 35W, Highway 96, and Highway 10, the neighborhood is facing pressure from adjacent highways and land uses. Although the 1998 Comprehensive Plan identified this area for potential redevelopment into nonresidential uses, the City anticipates this property will remain as a medium density residential use for the foreseeable future. Although complete impacts are not yet known, potential changes to Highways 10 and 96 may impact the manufactured home community. The City is currently in the process of reviewing road design proposals for this area" (6-10). "In 2007, there were 285 units in the Arden Manor manufactured home community and approximately 80 percent of the units were owner occupied" (7-7). "Water use: D& H Enterprises (Arden Manor Manufactured Home Community) 21,860,800 5%" (APPENDIX D PG 3). "High density residential (HDR) – apartment and townhome land use category providing for densities of up to twelve units per acre. Mobile homes are also included in this category" (6-3).

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Matthew Bachler
Senior Planner
Ph: 651-792-7822
mbachler@cityofardenhills.org

Arden Hills City Hall
1245 West Highway 96
Arden Hills, MN 55112
Ph: 651-792-7800

Bloomington Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are a Bloomington Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Planning Website:

https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/plan/forward-2040-about-comprehensive-plan

Bloomington's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing:

"Bloomington’s 36,900 plus dwelling units include a mix of single family detached homes, townhomes, duplexes, mobile homes, condominiums, apartments, group homes, and assisted living facilities" (3-1). "Table 3.2 Mobile Homes 186 0.5%" (3-3).

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Julie Farnham, Planning Manager
(952) 563-4739
jfarnham@BloomingtonMN.gov

Planning Division
952-563-8920
952-563-8740 (TTY)
planning@BloomingtonMN.gov

City of Bloomington
1800 West Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431-3027
952-563-8700 (TTY: 952-563-8740)
information@BloomingtonMN.gov

Burnsville Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are a Burnsville Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 1-855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Comprehensive Plan Website:

http://www.burnsville.org/2040

Burnsville's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing:

"Medium Density Residential – This land use classification includes attached housing (townhomes, small apartment buildings), small lot detached townhomes and manufactured homes (mobile homes) within the three existing manufactured home parks (Camelot, Rambush, and Sunny Acres). Lands within this category are served with municipal utilities. Net residential densities from 4 to 8.7 units per acre are allowed (mobile home park net residential density is 8.47 units per acre)." "3.2.2 Manufactured Homes Burnsville is home to three manufactured/mobile home parks, with a total of 766 lots. People own their unit but do not own the underlying land and as such, they can be faced with enormous relocation costs if the park owner sells the park for another use. To protect mobile/manufactured housing park residents, the Burnsville City Council enacted an ordinance that requires the owner and/or developer to pay reasonable relocation costs to the residents. The city is not aware of any planned park closures. In 2004 the city considered policy changes in an effort to ensure mobile/manufactured homes remain in good condition and continue to be a valued style of housing for community residents. A study was conducted by Decision Resources, LTD via telephone interviews of 267 owners and renters of mobile/manufactured homes. The study found that 97% own and 3% rent their manufactured/mobile home unit. Most desired the affordability of the mobile/manufactured home and saw themselves continuing their residency. Eighty-five percent of residents living in the mobile/manufactured home parks cited no problems with their home. The study included demographic information on the survey respondents including data on household tenure, income, education and employment." (IV-5,6). "Affordable owner occupied housing is available in Burnsville in the form of single-family detached units, two-family homes, townhouses and mobile/manufactured housing." (IV-23).

Use the following link to make your voice heard and submit your request that Burnsville improve its comprehensive plan language towards manufactured housing:

http://www.burnsville.org/FormCenter/Planning-28/2040-Comprehensive-Plan...

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Regina Dean
City Planner
Phone: 952-895-4453
regina.dean@burnsvillemn.gov
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

100 Civic Center Parkway
Burnsville, MN 55337

Consulting Organizations

Hoisington Koegler Group Inc.
Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
Emmons & Oliver Resources, Inc.
Tangible Consulting Services

Links to Burnsville’s Timeline to complete the Comprehensive Plan Update:

http://www.burnsville.org/DocumentCenter/View/11381
http://www.burnsville.org/DocumentCenter/View/11491

Fridley Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are a Fridley Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 1-855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Comprehensive Plan Website:

http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/567/Comprehensive-Plan

Plymouth's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing

“Mobile Home Units, 397, Percentage of Total 3.42” (5-46). “The 2007 housing condition survey shows that 85% of Fridley residential properties rank as being in excellent condition. Only 11% were ranked in good condition, only 4% in fair condition, and less than 1% in poor condition. This ranking included all housing types except manufactured homes, which were not evaluated” (5-48). “Whereas in 1998, 69 percent of Fridley’s single family housing stock was valued under $100,000, less than eight percent is now, and this is including the values of 397 manufactured homes, which appear to have been omitted from the 1998 study. Further, in 1998, only two tenths of one percent of Fridley’s homes were valued over $250,000. Now, nearly 13 percent are valued that high” (5-49). “Assessors data for 1998 indicated a mean value of approximately $94,000 for all single-family homes that have been assigned a state tax code of homestead (1A), partial-homestead (.51A, .51AB, .51B), blind homestead (1B) and non-homestead single family homes (4BB). In 2006, the median home value for the same classifications was $209,116, not including manufactured homes. The mean value is $199,348 if manufactured homes are included, but for comparison purposes, the higher number should be used as 1998 data did not include manufactured homes. The average Fridley home sale price in 2006, according to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, was $218,337.” (5-50). “There is a continued long-term (four decades) trend of a reduction in the percentage of owner-occupied housing. If we eliminate the inclusion of manufactured homes in Table 5.4, owner-occupied is really down to 63% and rental is up to 37%” (5-63). “The City of Fridley has one private water service within its limits, which serves a private mobile home park. It is anticipated that the City of Fridley will begin to provide service to these 365 customers between 2010 and 2020” (11-181). “R-4 District Allowed principal use includes: Mobile Home Park Districts” (14-215).

Link to City's Comprehensive Plan Chapter on Housing

http://www.ci.fridley.mn.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/662

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Planning & Zoning
Main Number: 763-572-3592
Fax: 763-571-1287

Scott Hickok
Community Development Director
Scott.Hickok@FridleyMN.gov
Ph: 763-572-3590

Julie Jones
Planning Manager
Julie.Jones@FridleyMN.gov
Ph: 763-572-3599

Inver Grove Heights Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are an Inver Grove Heights Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Comprehensive Plan Website:

http://www.ci.inver-grove-heights.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=334

Inver Grove Heights' Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing

“Existing connections to Eagan are primarily the mobile home park and some residential development in the vicinity of Cliff Road. There is a small overlap in the Eagan and Inver Grove Heights service areas. While Eagan or Inver Grove Heights could serve the area south of Highway 55 and north of the mobile home park with water, it is not the City of Inver Grove Heights practice to use the City of Eagan for water service” (8-6). “Multi-Family/Mobile Homes The first 2,000 gallons or less $6.10 per unit/per month 2,001-7,000 gallons $2.12 per 1,000 7,001-13,000 gallons $2.45 per 1,000 13,001 and more gallons $2.64 per 1,000 The minimum charge per unit per month shall be $6.10” (8-21). ““R-4” Mobile Home Park District 1 unit per 5,000 sq. ft. 5,000 sq. ft. per unit” (11-7). “Urban Single Family Residential & Manufactured Homes – Existing residential uses include single-family, detached housing, which on the basis of land consumption, is the dominant land use category in the community. Multi-Family Residential – Multi-Family Residential includes all categories of attached housing such as apartments, condominiums, townhomes, duplexes, triplexes, quadhomes, senior housing, and manufactured housing.” (2-2). “Single Family/ Manufactured Homes 145 - 145 1%” (TABLE 2-1).

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Tom Link
Community Development Director
Phone: 651-450-2546
tlink@invergroveheights.org

Lakeville Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are a Lakeville Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Planning Website

http://www.ci.lakeville.mn.us/434/Planning-Commission

Link to City’s Comprehensive Plan

http://www.ci.lakeville.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/572

Lakeville's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing

“Manufactured housing is also allowed as a conditional use within residential zoning districts allowing multiple family dwelling units as required by State Statute subject to specific minimum lot requirements and setbacks. Ardmore, Country View and North Creek manufactured home parks are all properly zoned RSMH, Residential Single Family – Mobile Home Park District. Ardmore and Country View are fully developed whereas North Creek has additional vacant land for future expansion. Future expansion of North Creek and continued operation of Ardmore and Country View manufactured home parks is guided by the 2030 Land Use Plan to continue and will be regulated by the RSMH District. The Queen Anne and Connelly manufactured home parks located along the I-35 corridor exist as legal non-conforming land uses with regard to both use and design. The location of these two manufactured home parks within one of Lakeville’s primary commercial nodes at I-35 and CSAH 50 creates potential land use compatibility issues, while the individual layouts of each site create public health safety concerns with regards to emergency access. The 2030 Land Use Plan continues to guide both the Queen Anne and Connelly parks for future redevelopment as office park and commercial land uses respectively. As non-conforming uses, these manufactured home parks can continue to exist at the same size as they exist today, but no expansion will be permitted. Furthermore, a proposal to redevelop the Queen Anne or Connelly mobile home parks in the future with uses consistent with the 2030 Land Use Plan would be anticipated to be a privately initiated effort and not a the result of direct action by the City of Lakeville” (97). “City of Lakeville 2008 Existing Land Use Manufactured Housing Acres 252.41 Percent 1.0% … Man. Housing 997 252 6 0 0 0 246 4.1” (78). “Manufactured housing 977 5.2%” (91). “Promoting continued maintenance of existing single family dwellings, townhouses, multiple family units and manufactured housing aids in meeting Lakeville’s affordable housing goals” (92). “Land Use Manufactured Home Park Density 4.0 to 7.0 du/ac. Allowed uses Manufactured home dwelling units” (95). “There are five manufactured home parks in different areas of Lakeville. Manufactured housing is an important component of the community’s housing supply with respect to affordability. The Zoning Ordinance was updated in 1994 and 2000 to address regulations for the various developments in relation to State Building Code definitions and nomenclature, design standards regarding individual lot size and structure setbacks to allow for larger house styles, establishment of accessory building, outdoor storage and fence regulations and design standards for utility connections, internal driveway design, guest parking, and landscaping. ” (97). “2030 Land Use: Manufactured Homes 197.29 0.8% 197.29 0.8% 197.29 0.8% 197.29 0.8% (105)” “Connelly Manufactured Home Park exists as a non-conforming use and the 2030 Land Use Plan anticipates its future redevelopment for commercial uses … Queen Anne Manufactured Home Park is planned for future redevelopment as an Office Park land use based on proximity and access to I-35 at CSAH 50.” (109). “Continued development of the North Creek Manufactured Home Park shall occur in a manner consistent with the performance standards established by the Zoning Ordinance” (159). “RSMH, Single Family Manufactured Home Park District. The RSMH District is a separate district with performance standards for manufactured home parks. Allowed uses include single family dwellings and manufactured home parks. The density allowed in the RSMH District is less than six dwelling units per acre. The minimum lot requirements of the RS-4 District apply to all single family development. For manufactured home parks established after January 1, 1995, the minimum park area is five acres. Individual home sites within the park must have a minimum width of 65 feet and minimum depth of 120 feet” (174).

Link to Lakeville's Citizen’s Guide to the Comprehensive Plan

http://www.ci.lakeville.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/575

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Daryl Morey
Planning Director
dmorey@lakevillemn.gov
952.985.4420

20195 Holyoke Avenue
Lakeville, MN 55044

Maplewood Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are a Maplewood Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Planning Website

http://maplewoodmn.gov/567/Comprehensive-Plan

Link to City’s Comprehensive Plan Housing Chapter

http://maplewoodmn.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1479

Maplewood's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing:

“Communities must plan to accommodate lifecycle and affordable housing. Lifecycle housing refers to the mix of housing types that meet the housing demands of individuals and families throughout their lives, such as single family detached, townhomes, condominiums, manufactured housing, apartments, and senior housing” (1-4). “Table 4.1 Housing Units by Type, 2000 Manufactured Housing 783 5.6%. Multi-family housing consists of 33.1 percent of the City’s housing stock and manufactured housing consists of 5.6 percent. ” (4-3). “There is a diversity of styles and price ranges in the homes in Maplewood. Older homes on smaller lots provide opportunities for first-time buyers in the Western Hills, Parkside and Gladstone neighborhoods. Opportunities for low- and moderate- income households are available in manufactured home parks and in a variety of types and locations of multiple dwellings. The move-up housing market is strong with these choices available throughout the City. Buyers can find more expensive housing in the Hillside, Vista Hills, Highwood and Kohlman Lake neighborhoods.”(4-4). “Medium Density Residential (6.1 – 10.0 units per net acre) The City intends the Medium Density Residential land use for moderately higher densities ranging from 6.1 to 10.0 units per net acre. Housing types in this land use category would typically include lower density attached housing, manufactured housing and higher density single family detached housing units.” (5-15).

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Name: Michael Martin, AICP
Title: Economic Development Coordinator
Phone: (651) 249-2303
Email: Michael.Martin@maplewoodmn.gov

Mounds View Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are a Mounds View Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Planning Website

http://www.ci.mounds-view.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7B076ED731-8...

Link to Mounds View's Comprehensive Plan

http://www.ci.mounds-view.mn.us/vertical/sites/%7B9DACB450-86B3-4304-946...

Mounds View's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing

“MHP: Mobile/Manufactured Home Park: Land under single ownership that has been planned and improved for the placement of mobile/manufactured housing for dwelling purposes; or land that has been planned, improved and subdivided for the placement of mobile/manufactured housing for dwelling purposes” (3-19). “TABLE 2 Large [water] Volume Users - List the top 10 largest users; Customer, Gallons per year, % of total annual use; Towns Edge Terrace Mobile Home Park 17.61 3.5% Mounds View Mobile Home Park 10.64 2.1% Colonial Village Mobile Home Park 9.60 1.9%” (3). “In addition, the City should consider the current Townsedge Terrace Manufactured Home Park and the adjacent Skyline Motel site along Old Highway 8 as possible sites for future industrial expansion.” (3-25). “Manufactured Homes (MH) Housing Units Per Acre: Min 1.0 Max 8.8 2000 71.5 2010 71.5 2015 71.5 2020 71.5 2025 71.5 2030 37.2 Change -34.3” (3-27). “TABLE 12: Total Number and Percent of Dwelling Units by Type. Manufactured Homes Homestead 508 Non-homestead 77 Total 585 Percentage11%” (4-7). “There are 5,267 dwelling units in Mounds View, with 1,601 units being rental housing (2008). The majority of Mounds View’s housing stock is owner-occupied single-family dwellings (52%). Apartments make up 29% of the housing stock. Manufactured homes comprise 11% of the total dwelling units, which exceeds the overall Ramsey County percentage of 3%. Overall, 70% of the housing in Mounds View is owner-occupied while 30% is rental” (4-7). “Redevelopment possibilities include manufactured home parks and single-family lots adjacent to commercial and high-density residential properties. Project costs, land assembly, infrastructure needs, financing and other factors can complicate redevelopment projects.” (4-16). “Mounds View Manufactured Housing Program offers loans” (4-23). “R-5, Manufactured Home: The purpose of this district is to provide for the planned regulation of manufactured homes. Such homes are grouped together due to their particular space requirements, construction and style” (9-10).

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Jon Sevald, Planner
763.717.4022
jon.sevald@ci.mounds-view.mn.us

Plymouth Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you are a Plymouth Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Link to City’s Planning Website

http://www.plymouthmn.gov/departments/community-development/planning/com...

Plymouth's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing:

“As of January 2007, detached homes, including single family, mobile homes, farmhouses and seasonal homes, represented 54 percent of the housing stock” (Appendix 4A -4). “TABLE 4A-4 2007 HOUSING STOCK Mobile Homes 59 0.2%” (Apdx 4A-5).

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Barbara Thomson, Planning Manager
bthomson@plymouthmn.gov
763-509-5452

Planning Division
Plymouth City Hall
3400 Plymouth Blvd.
Plymouth, MN 55447-1482
P 763-509-5450
F 763-509-5407
planning@plymouthmn.gov

St. Anthony Comprehensive Plan Resource Page

Community Liaison Contact Information

If you were a St. Anthony Manufactured Housing Resident and would like to get involved, please email owen@allparksallianceforchange.org or call APAC at 855-361-2722.

Links to City’s Planning Website

http://www.savmn.com/254/Comprehensive-Plan

http://www.savmn.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/557

St. Anthony's Comprehensive Plan Language Regarding Manufactured Housing:

“Consider the long-term redevelopment of the Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park into new housing at a medium density” (1-7). “Housing •Equal percentage of vacant (or occupied) housing units •Slightly lower rate of the total housing stock being owner-occupied. •Higher percentage of the housing stock in multi-family buildings •Slightly lower percentage of owner-occupied housing units Higher percentage of rental housing. •Older housing stock, on average (median year built 1966 vs. 1971•Approximately equal median value of owner-occupied housing o Median mobile home value is lower.” (1-9). See “Table 1-2 Housing Data (1-11) and Table 2-2 Housing Composition” (2-10). “The City’s forecast was prepared using figures for the number of housing units approved in Silver Lake Village since 2000 (a total of 798) plus an estimate of additional net new housing units gained through redevelopment of St. Anthony Shopping Center and Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park (790)” (1-12). “What should the City do, if anything, to continue to improve conditions and appearances in the Kenzie Terrace corridor, including the Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park, the St. Anthony Shopping Center and the road itself. Is the Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park an appropriate land use for the long-term future? If redevelopment of that site occurs, what should the City do, if anything, to help ensure that the residents are resettled into housing that is affordable and decent?” (2-8). “The Lowry Grove mobile home park is the one major instance of aged and deteriorated housing in St. Anthony. However, it is also the major source of affordable housing for population with incomes less than 50 percent of the community median” (2-11). “The only areas of housing in the city that might be considered substandard are the Lowry Grove mobile home park and a pocket of townhouses along the north side of 39th Avenue east of Silver Lake Road” (2-14). “Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park. The mobile home park was opened in the 1940s and now has nearly 100 mobile homes and several seasonal recreational vehicles. The mature trees give it an established and comfortable appearance. The mobile homes themselves are a component of the city’s stock of affordable housing, and many of the residents have lived in this location for decades; some are elderly. Unfortunately, most the mobile homes are equally old and most would not meet current federal standards. There is no central amenity such as a swimming pool and only a rudimentary and dilapidated meeting center and severe weather shelter. Given the value of residential properties in the vicinity, mobile homes on the site represent an underutilization of the land … In the future, the Kenzie District could evolve into a southern hub for the St. Anthony “suburban village.” To some extent, the district already plays that role, but the problems noted above with the shopping center, the mobile home park and Kenzie Terrace itself detract somewhat. While protecting the stable and attractive residential neighborhoods to the north and south, the older commercial, office and mobile home land uses could undergo redevelopment and/or remodeling. ” (2-21). “The Comprehensive Plan is a guide to the general future use of land, which is regulated by the City’s zoning ordinance and zoning map. However, it is the role of the property owner to propose any changes, to design a new plan for the property, to finance the redevelopment or remodeling and to address the subject of tenant relocation. (Tenant relocation at the Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park is regulated by City ordinance 2006-005 and State law 327C.095.) It is highly unlikely that the City would wish to – or even be legally able to – use eminent domain powers to buy the property for redevelopment. Redevelopment design would be regulated by the City’s zoning ordinance subject to public comment through the City’s established review process. ” (2-22). “The Mobile Home Site The Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park could be privately redeveloped into townhouses and condominium apartments. Examples of these types of housing are illustrated by the photos below. The bank building on the corner of Kenzie Terrace and Stinson Boulevard is sound and should probably remain. If redevelopment of this site occurs, the City of St. Anthony will ensure that the residents of the mobile home park are assisted in their relocation to other housing that meets their needs in terms of cost, location, handicap access and other provisions as required by State law (M.S. 327C.095). That law requires, among other provisions, that: There be a public notice of the owner’s intent to convert the mobile home park to another use. There be a public hearing before the City Council on any needed zoning change. That a displaced resident be paid reasonable relocation costs if he/she cannot relocate his/her mobile home to another manufactured home park within 25 miles. That residents be given the opportunity to collectively purchase the mobile home park for the same cash price as the seller would have received from the actual prospective buyer (the redeveloper). To ensure that adequate and affordable replacement housing is found for the park residents, the City may work on its own or in cooperation with the redevelopment company and/or the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority or a private non-profit housing corporation. The relocation housing would ideally be located in St. Anthony, either in the form of existing or newly-constructed units. Potentially, some of the new housing for displaced residents could be located on the site of the redeveloped St. Anthony Shopping Center.” (2-24). “Redevelopment and infill will be pursued as opportunities become available. The trend has been for redevelopment to occur at the northern and southern ends of the city (e.g., Apache Plaza becoming Silver Lake Village) while its central single-family neighborhoods remain largely unchanged. Additional redevelopment supported by this Comprehensive Plan may add housing units in the southern part of the city near Kenzie Terrace at the Lowry Grove mobile home park and the St. Anthony Shopping Center … St. Anthony is essentially a fully developed community. The land use changes proposed in the Land Use Plan are fairly local in nature. Changes that may occur as the plan is realized include: Redevelopment of the Lowry Grove mobile home park to higher density housing … In order to support transit ridership, the City will adopt a land use plan and zoning amendments that allow redevelopment of the St. Anthony Shopping Center to a more intensive, vertically mixed-use residential and commercial configuration, along with redeveloping the Lowry Grove mobile home park to higher density housing” (3-15, 16). “Consider the long-term redevelopment of the Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park into new housing at a medium density” (1-7). “Moreover, 49 percent of the city’s housing stock is considered “life cycle housing” –units other than single-family detached (including manufactured) housing. By fostering the development of single-family attached and multi-family housing, the City has helped to meet residents’ needs as their circumstances change” (2-13).

City Community Engagement/Planner Contact Information

Breanne Rothstein
City Planner
planner@savmn.com
Phone: 763-231-4863

Ways to Become Involved in Your City's Comprehensive Planning Process

The silence regarding manufactured housing in comprehensive plans is a symptom of the reduced political power that manufactured housing communities have at their disposal, and if not remedied, will enable and perpetuate misinformed policies based on stigma towards these communities that are not in anyone’s best interest.

We recommend that park residents and stakeholders band together to engage in the 2018 comprehensive plan update process. The goal of this approach is to encourage cities to use more supportive language towards manufactured housing and to create robust frameworks and awareness that support manufactured housing communities. This webpage can be used as an initial resource to help residents get started with their involvement with this process.

Easy ways to get engaged:

  • Review your city’s Comprehensive Plan (Google your city’s name and “Comprehensive Plan” to find their website) or follow links to specific cities below, if available.
  • Attend comprehensive plan public hearings and meetings to voice your concerns and desire for more constructive language towards manufactured housing in the comprehensive plan. Review our advocacy letters to help formulate your requests.
  • Write letters to your City Council and elected representatives (they assume that one letter from you is representative of many more voices in your community who did not take time to write, so even one letter can go a long way).
  • Call your City Council Member, City Planner, Community Engagement Representative, and elected representatives and ask for changes in comprehensive plan language and policies towards manufactured housing.
  • Inquire about joining your local planning commission.
  • Get on your planning commission’s email lists to receive ongoing updates.
  • Engage with your neighbors and organize local groups – schedule meetings and get the word out!
  • Start a resident association for added impact.
  • Identify additional elements of the comprehensive plan (like parks and recreation, etc.) that you find important and engage with the committees who oversee them. This will give you added leverage and additional legitimacy when advocating for language and policy change regarding manufactured housing.
  • Identify a community liaison and teams that organizes resident engagement with the planning process across parks. Activities could include delivering flyers, setting up meetings, maintaining contact lists of actively engaged residents, engaging with the planning commission, and developing proposals to submit to city council.

Please review the links below for further information and feel free to contact us by email (info@allparksallianceforchange.org) or by phone (651-644-5525) for additional guidance on how to get involved.

Links to Planning and Organizing Resources

Link to APAC Community Organizing Manual
http://allparksallianceforchange.org/?q=organizing/manual

Link to Arden Hill’s Citizen’s Guide to Planning
http://www.cityofardenhills.org/DocumentCenter/View/168

An Activist’s Guide to Land Use Planning
http://www.sierraclub.org/sites/www.sierraclub.org/files/sce/north-star-chapter/pdf/activistsGuideToLandUsePlanning.pdf

American Planning Association Citizen Planner Handbook
http://www.planningmn.org/vertical/sites/%7B90040865-D256-42F0-9D0D-9C70F73691EF%7D/uploads/Citizen-Planner-Handbook_Nov20121.pdf

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board - A Citizen’s Guide: Community Decision-Making Basics
https://www.eqb.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/files/Citizen's%20Guide-ER%20and%20LGUs.pdf

Minneapolis Community Planning & Economic Development – Neighborhood Guide for Developing Planning Documents
http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@cped/documents/webcontent/convert_265104.pdf

At the Capitol

Formed in 1980, APAC first worked to eliminate no-cause eviction and to create new storm shelter standards. These efforts eventually led to a special section of state law for manufactured home parks (Minnesota Statute 327C), providing numerous resident rights and protections. Currently, APAC is developing strategy for our top priorities for the 2017 Legislative Session.


APAC's 2017 Legislative Agenda

Eliminate Barriers to Manufactured Home Owners Buying Their Own Park Communities

Establish Manufactured Housing Infrastructure Fund

Provide Fair Tax Treatment for Manufactured Home Owners

Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund - 2015 Legislative Proposal


Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund
2015 Legislative Proposal

Talking Points

Background

  • The Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund was established in 2007.
  • It replaced 22 local ordinances adopted over a 20 year period.
  • It provided uniformity and universal coverage and de-politicized park closings.
  • It was passed with the support of residents, park owners, and the League of MN Cities.
  • It is funded by a $12 annual fee paid each year by home owners and a fee of up to $3,250 (single section) and $6,000 (multi-section) per home paid by the park owner at closing.
  • Benefits are provided for either moving costs or a home buyout.
  • There are two-tiers of benefits: 22 cities with previous ordinances cover actual costs, and 380 other cities cover costs up to a capped maximum benefit.

The Situation

  • A $1 million cap was placed on the Relocation Trust Fund balance in 2011.
  • The cap was added during the special session without a public hearing or any resident input.
  • It prevented collections from occurring in 2012 and 2013, which likely cost the fund as least $700,000 based on the amounts collected in 2010 and 2011.

The Issues


1) Cap on Relocation Trust Fund Balance

  • Now: $1 million
  • Problems:
    a) This is insufficient to cover the closing costs of just one large park in a city with fixed benefit levels or, in a city that allows actual costs, it might not cover even one medium-sized park with a large number of newer or larger homes.
    b) If funds are exhausted, there is no provision for forwarding funds from another source, or conducting an emergency collection from residents. In addition, both local government and residents are barred from seeking benefits elsewhere.
    c) If the balance is not allowed to rise, it will not be possible to increase the maximum benefits, which are well below average costs.

  • Proposal: Increase the cap to $5 million
  • Rationale: This amount is a sufficient balance to cover two large parks both in cities that allow actual costs to close at the same time.

2) Moving Costs

  • Now: maximum of $4,000 (single section) and $8,000 (multi-section)
  • Problem: The current maximum benefit levels are below average moving costs, which make the benefits meaningless for low-income residents who can’t cover the difference.
  • Proposal: Increase the maximum to $6,000 (single section) and $12,000 (multi-section)
  • Rationale: This is self-financed by the residents. The park owners are not being asked to contribute more. It only covers actual costs and is paid directly to the movers.

3) Home Buyout


o Issue #1: Maximum Benefit Amounts

  • Now: maximum of $5,000 (single section) and $9,000 (multi-section)
  • Problem: The current maximum benefit levels may fall far below appraised values. Even at full value, it is often impossible for residents to find comparable replacement housing since manufactured homes are a depreciating asset.
  • Proposal: Increase to $7,000 (single section) and $14,000 (multi-section)
  • Rationale: This is self-financed by the residents. The park owners are not being asked to contribute more. It only covers the actual home value.

o Issue #2: Establishing Home Value

  • Now: A home buyout is based on the appraised market value.
  • Problem: It can sometimes be hard to get a meaningful appraised market value on an unmovable home in a closing park.
  • Proposal: If the market value cannot be determined, allow use of the appraised tax value averaged over a five-year period to be used as an alternative.
  • Rationale: Of the 22 local ordinances adopted before creation of the Relocation Trust Fund, 14 allowed the use of the appraised tax value recognizing municipal government as a credible, neutral party.

o Issue #3: Providing Home Title

  • Now: A home buyout requires endorsement of the current certified home title.
  • Problem: Manufactured home sales often take place in a less structured way than most sales of site built homes using a traditional mortgage lender. As a result, titles often do not get transferred and are sometimes even lost, making proof of ownership and receipt of benefits highly difficult.
  • Proposal: In the event the home owner is unable to locate the title, allow a signed affidavit attesting to the sale of the home and releasing the park owner from liability for the home’s disposal.
  • Rationale: Absence of a title is a common problem with manufactured housing. A signed affidavit can protect the park owner (although not a resident who commits fraud) and can allow timely payment of benefits.

Past Legislative Victories



1980
APAC is founded as the “Anoka People's Alliance for Change” to address the needs of low and moderate income individuals. Over 70 citizens attended the first meeting at Blaine High School, which covered issues of inadequate public transportation, lack of low cost health care, and other issues. APAC later evolved into “All Parks Alliance for Change” becoming an effective voice for manufactured home park residents. APAC obtained increased health care funding for low to moderate income individuals provided for under the Hill-Burton Act.

1982
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to eliminate no cause eviction, prevent retaliatory eviction and establish storm shelter standards. The bill was signed into law on March 22, 1982.

1983
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to bar so-called 15-year clauses in leases. These clauses allowed park owners to prohibit in-park sales of older homes, forcing residents with older homes to either demolish the home or move it out of the park at their own expense. Residents now have the right to sell a home within the park regardless of the age as long as it is in compliance with park rules.

1987
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to authorize municipalities to require park owners and/or purchasers to provide relocation compensation in the event of a park closing. APAC also successfully pushed a storm shelter law allowing for stricter enforcement of shelter requirements. It gives cities the authority to order park owners to construct shelters if an evacuation plan is determined to be inadequate.

1989
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature for to allow cooperative and nonprofit owned parks to homestead. This tax change reduces the costs of park conversions by lowering property taxes about 65%.

1991
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature for to create a right of first refusal in the event that a park is sold for redevelopment within one year of that sale. Residents or an authorized nonprofit are given 45-days to match the terms and conditions of the sale.

1994
Working with the Legal Service Advocacy Project, APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to pass three bills: (1) a requirement that home repossession actions take place in the county in which the home is located; (2) a requirement that park residents receive a copy of the park's evacuation plan and a certificate of rent paid form; and (3) a prohibition on restrictive zoning against parks.

1997
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to require parks to provide criteria used for evaluating prospective tenants.

2005
APAC stopped passage of a bill that would have allowed park owners to break lease agreements and charge for water, even if it was already included in lot rent.

2006
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to require that park closing notices be sent to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health.

2007
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to guarantee compensation for manufactured home park residents displaced as the result of a park closing. The Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund created in response to the growing threat around the state of park closures. This program guarantees that if all or part of a park is closed a displaced home owner will receive reasonable compensation to move the home, or, if it cannot be moved, a buy out for the value of their home.

2008
APAC successfully lobbied the Minnesota Legislature to establish the Manufactured Home Lending Practices Bill, a law that protects homeowners from predatory lending practices, such as charging for services that aren’t performed, as well as extending the foreclosure process on manufactured homes giving homeowners more time and resources to prevent the loss of their homes. APAC works with Woodlyn Court the first community to close under the Relocation Trust Fund to ensure the process operates properly and residents receive full compensation. APAC hires its first Democracy Project organizer in order to engage residents in the 2008 elections and in the following legislative session.

2009
APAC strengthened the Relocation Trust Fund by requiring collection of the fees from park owners. APAC established and participated in a manufactured housing transportation project working group with MnDOT and local transportation authorities that lead to MnDOT guidelines that favor avoiding parks, replacing parks, and providing full relocation compensation. APAC organized and lobbied with residents to halt road projects in Arden Hills and force MnDOT to form a working group with residents in Shakopee.

2010
APAC established the right to choose your home installation option rather than having to accept the most expensive option. As a result of APAC's efforts, manufactured homeowners now have access for the first time to the Right-of-Way Acquisition Fund (RALF) when road projects take their homes, and property tax treatment is comparable to the lower rate for site-built homes for homeowners who live in resident-owned parks.

2011
APAC prevented the park owners from passing legislation to allow them to break leases with residents in order to install sub-meters and separately charge, over and above lot rent, for water and sewer. APAC had attempted to negotiate a mutually acceptable compromise that protected the residents' rights as consumers, but ultimately had to oppose the legislation.

APAC's 2016 Legislative Agenda

APAC's 2016 Legislative Agenda

Primary Legislative Issues

Update Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund benefits to match current costs

  • Background – The Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund is a program supported by a $12 annual fee from home owners. No public funding is involved. The fund was established in 2007. It provides benefits for either moving costs or a home buyout when a manufactured home park closes. It replaced 22 local ordinances adopted over a 20 year period. It was proposed with the support of the home owners/residents, park owners, and the League of Minnesota Cities. It provides uniformity and universal coverage and has de-politicized park closings.
  • Benefit Amounts – There is no built-in method to automatically increase benefits in order to keep up with actual costs. Single-section home moving costs have ranged from $4,310 to $6,477, but the maximum benefit is $4,000. Multi-section home moving costs have ranged from $8,385 to $12,169, but the maximum benefit is $8,000. The most paid out in benefits in a single year was $82,633 in 2009, the annual average is $31,050, and the fund balance has been over $1 million since 2010. The maximum benefits should be increased for moving costs to $7,000 single-section and $12,500 multi-section and for home buyouts to $2,000 above those amounts. In addition, a minimum buyout should be set at $4,000 single-section and $8,000 multi-section.
  • Other ChangesEstablishing the Home Value: If an appraised market value of the home cannot be determined, allow use of the appraised tax value (averaged over a five-year period) as an alternative. Identifying an Alternative Collection Method: Currently, the $12 annual fee is invoiced to the park owners and passed along to the home owners. The Minnesota Department of Revenue should study alternative collection methods, with formal representatives of the park owners and home owners, and provide a recommendation by January 31, 2017.

License the managers of manufactured home park communities

  • Since 1982, Minnesota state law has established the overall rights and responsibilities of park owners and home owners/residents as well as the licensing requirements for manufactured home manufacturers, dealers, and community owners. However, there are no education or licensing requirements for those who work most directly with residents. Park managers are involved in the daily operations of a park, including screening prospective residents, storing confidential records, enforcing rules, and maintaining contact with home owners. Park managers should be required to satisfy 12 hours of qualifying education courses approved by the MN Department of Labor & Industry every three years. The courses should cover basic manufactured home park law (MN Statute 327C), the Fair Housing Act, HUD-defined home installation processes, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and general real estate topics.

Provide residents with notice of park health violations and better enforcement tools

  • State law and administrative rules establish clear health and safety standards, but enforcement is limited by very blunt tools provided to the Minnesota Department of Health: 1) send a notice; 2) fine $10,000; and 3) pull the license and shut the park. Tenant remedies actions can be a more effective tool if resident associations and municipalities are given standing to file them on behalf of residents. However, in order to act, residents must first receive notice of local or state code violations. In addition, it is important for prospective residents to know about unresolved health violations before they commit to purchase a home in the park in the first place. Despite the common name “mobile home,” buying a home in a park is a fairly permanent decision since the home's age/condition, or the moving costs mean 81% of homes never move from their initial placement.


Other Endorsed Issues

Classify manufactured homes as real property

  • Many states’ laws concerning manufactured homes have not kept pace with the changes in the homes over the last 90 years. Based on manufactured homes’ earliest ancestor (the travel trailer), state laws classify most of these homes as personal property and title them like cars. Once called “mobile homes,” only 19% of homes are ever moved from their initial placement. Today’s homes have the same construction quality and safety, life expectancy and deterioration rate, and even appearance as site-built homes. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has developed model legislation for modernizing state titling laws to recognize the homes as real property, in order to improve access to better home financing, which can provide buyers with the same legal protections as site-built home owners.

Fair utility metering and billing in manufactured home parks

  • Consumer Protections: In parks, water and sewer services are most often provided as a pass through by the park owner from a municipal utility to the residents. Lost in the pass through are the consumer protections provided to the park owner as the utility’s only recognized customer. Residents should, with small adjustments, receive these same basic protections. Water Sub-Metering: In 2002, a Minnesota Appellate Court found it an unlawful “substantial modification” of existing leases to unilaterally switch from including water and sewer service in the lot rent to individually sub-metering. The switch should only be allowed when consumer protections are provided when the lot rent is reduced to remove the existing cost. Municipal Water Rates: Cities often charge parks higher commercial, high-volume water rates. This practice should not be allowed to continue since it is in direct conflict with state law prohibiting park owners from charging higher rates to residents than the rates charged to households in the surrounding area.

APAC's 2015 Legislative Agenda

Formed in 1980, APAC first worked to eliminate no-cause eviction and to create new storm shelter standards. These efforts eventually led to a special section of state law for manufactured home parks (Minnesota Statute 327C), providing numerous resident rights and protections. Currently, APAC is developing strategy for our top priorities for the 2015 Legislative Session as selected by members at our November 1 Annual Meeting.

2015 Legislative Priorities

Lift the cap on Relocation Trust Fund benefits

  • The Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund is a program supported by a $12 annual fee from home owners. It provides for moving costs or a home buy-out in the event of a park community closure. During the 2011 session, a $1 million cap was placed on the Trust Fund at the urging of the community owners. It was adopted without a public hearing or any resident input. This amount is not enough to cover the costs of just one large park community closure. In addition, if the balance in the trust fund is not allowed to rise, it will not be possible to increase the maximum benefits for relocation or buy-out. The maximum benefits are now set well below the average amount of these costs for displaced home owners. [Note: To learn more, read the talking points for the 2015 Legislative Proposal.]

Extend mandatory background checks for apartment managers to cover park managers

  • State law has required background checks for apartment managers since 1995 (MN Statute 299C.66). The law requires that property owners run background checks on prospective building managers. If the individual has been convicted of a serious crime (murder, rape, stalking, etc.), the property owner may not hire them or must discharge them if the manager has already been hired. The legislative history and case law related to the apartment manager background checks demonstrates that it does not currently apply to park managers and the legislature must act.

Classify manufactured homes as real property

  • Many states’ laws concerning manufactured homes have not kept pace with the changes in the homes over the last 90 years. Based on manufactured homes’ earliest ancestor (the travel trailer), state laws classify most of these homes as personal property and title them like cars. Once called “mobile homes,” only 19 percent of homes are ever moved from their initial placement. Today’s homes have the same construction quality and safety, life expectancy and deterioration rate, and even appearance as site-built homes. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has developed model legislation for modernizing state titling laws to recognize the homes as real property, in order to improve access to better home financing, which can provide buyers with the same legal protections as site-built home owners.

Manufactured Housing Metering and Fairness in Utility Billing Act

  • In manufactured home parks, water and sewer services are most often provided as a pass through by the park owner from a municipal utility to the residents. Unfortunately, lost in the pass through are the consumer protections provided to the park owner as utility’s only recognized customer. With some adjustments, this proposal ensures that residents receive those basic protections. It also allows for park owners to switch from including water and sewer service in the lot rent to individually sub-metering as long as the cost is backed out of the lot rent. It has been unlawful for park owners to make this switch unilaterally since a 2002 state Appellate Court decision, which found it to be a “substantial modification” to existing leases that entails “a significant new expense for a resident.” Minn. Stat. § 327C.02 (2008).

2014 Legislative Agenda

Formed in 1980, APAC first worked to eliminate no-cause eviction and to create new storm shelter standards. These efforts eventually led to a special section of state law for manufactured home parks (Minnesota Statute 327C), providing numerous resident rights and protections. Currently, APAC is developing strategy for our top priorities for the 2014 Legislative Session as selected by members at our October 12 Annual Meeting.

2014 Legislative Priorities

Lift the cap on Relocation Trust Fund benefits

  • The Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund is a program supported by a $12 annual fee from home owners. It provides for moving costs or a home buy-out in the event of a park community closure. During the 2011 session, a $1 million cap was placed on the Trust Fund at the urging of the community owners. It was adopted without a public hearing or any resident input. This amount is not enough to cover the costs of just one large park community closure. In addition, if the balance in the trust fund is not allowed to rise, it will not be possible to increase the maximum benefits for relocation or buy-out. The maximum benefits are now set well below the average amount of these costs for displaced home owners.

Extend mandatory background checks for apartment managers to cover park managers

  • State law has required background checks for apartment managers since 1995 (MN Statute 299C.66). The law requires that property owners run background checks on prospective building managers. If the individual has been convicted of a serious crime (murder, rape, stalking, etc.), the property owner may not hire them or must discharge them if the manager has already been hired. The legislative history and case law related to the apartment manager background checks demonstrates that it does not currently apply to park managers and the legislature must act.

Classify manufactured homes as real property

  • Many states’ laws concerning manufactured homes have not kept pace with the changes in the homes over the last 90 years. Based on manufactured homes’ earliest ancestor (the travel trailer), state laws classify most of these homes as personal property and title them like cars. Once called “mobile homes,” only 19 percent of homes are ever moved from their initial placement. Today’s homes have the same construction quality and safety, life expectancy and deterioration rate, and even appearance as site-built homes. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has developed model legislation for modernizing state titling laws to recognize the homes as real property, in order to improve access to better home financing, which can provide buyers with the same legal protections as site-built home owners.

Manufactured Housing Metering and Fairness in Utility Billing Act

  • In manufactured home parks, water and sewer services are most often provided as a pass through by the park owner from a municipal utility to the residents. Unfortunately, lost in the pass through are the consumer protections provided to the park owner as utility’s only recognized customer. With some adjustments, this proposal ensures that residents receive those basic protections. It also allows for park owners to switch from including water and sewer service in the lot rent to individually sub-metering as long as the cost is backed out of the lot rent. It has been unlawful for park owners to make this switch unilaterally since a 2002 state Appellate Court decision, which found it to be a “substantial modification” to existing leases that entails “a significant new expense for a resident.” Minn. Stat. § 327C.02 (2008).

2013 Minnesota Legislative Agenda

What is All Parks Alliance for Change? - All Parks Alliance for Change is the statewide organization representing Minnesota’s 180,000 manufactured (mobile) home park residents. APAC works with residents to improve the quality of life in park neighborhoods, protect the rights of the residents, advance public policy change, and preserve this vital source of affordable housing.

Who lives in Manufactured Housing? - There are over 900 licensed parks located in nearly all 87 counties. Our households are one out of every 20 households in the state. We are long-time, self-sufficient home owners with nearly 90 percent of us owning our homes and renting the ground underneath the home. Over 40 percent of us have lived in the same home for more than 10 years. Although 80 percent of us are considered low- to very-low income (according to Housing and Urban Development guidelines), our housing is completely unsubsidized and, in fact, there are more units of affordable housing in Minnesota park communities than all the project-based HUD subsidized units and rural development units combined.


Lift the cap on Relocation Trust Fund benefits

  • The Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund is a program supported by a $12 annual fee from home owners. It provides for moving costs or a home buy-out in the event of a park community closure. During the 2011 session, a $1 million cap was placed on the Trust Fund at the urging of the community owners. It was adopted without a public hearing or any resident input. This amount is not enough to cover the costs of just one large park community closure. In addition, if the balance in the trust fund is not allowed to rise, it will not be possible to increase the maximum benefits for relocation or buy-out. The maximum benefits are now set well below the average amount of these costs for displaced home owners.

Classify manufactured homes as real property

  • Many states’ laws concerning manufactured homes have not kept pace with the changes in the homes over the last 90 years. Based on manufactured homes’ earliest ancestor (the travel trailer), state laws classify most of these homes as personal property and title them like cars. Once called “mobile homes,” only 19 percent of homes are ever moved from their initial placement. Today’s homes have the same construction quality and safety, life expectancy and deterioration rate, and even appearance as site-built homes. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has developed model legislation for modernizing state titling laws to recognize the homes as real property, in order to improve access to better home financing, which can provide buyers with the same legal protections as site-built home owners.

2012 Minnesota Legislative Agenda

APAC is the statewide organization representing Minnesota’s 180,000 manufactured (mobile) home park residents. Our families live in over 900 licensed parks spread throughout nearly all 87 counties. They are one out of every 20 households in the state. They are long-time, self-sufficient home owners with nearly 90 percent owning their homes, over 40 percent living in the same home for more than 10 years, and none of them receiving any housing subsidies. Despite 80 percent being considered low- to very-low income (according to Housing and Urban Development guidelines), their housing is completely unsubsidized and, in fact, there are more units of affordable housing in Minnesota parks than there are HUD subsidized units and rural development units combined.


Lift the cap on Relocation Trust Fund benefits

  • The Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund is a program supported by a $12 annual fee from home owners. It provides for moving costs or a home buy-out in the event of a park closure. During the 2011 session, a $1 million cap was placed on the Trust Fund at the urging of the park owners. It was adopted without a public hearing or any resident input. This amount is not enough to cover the costs of just one large park closure. In addition, if the balance in the trust fund is not allowed to rise, it will not be possible to increase the maximum benefits for relocation or buy-out, which are now set well below the average cost for displaced home owners.

Stop cities from charging park residents more for water service than other home owners

  • State law prevents park owners from directly or indirectly charging residents a higher rate for municipal water service than the “rate which is charged to single family dwellings with comparable service within the same market” (MN Statute 327C.04). However, cities are billing park owners as large commercial users, which means higher rates for residents. Cities have fought hard at the State Capitol to continue this practice.

Extend mandatory background checks for apartment managers to cover park managers

  • State law has required background checks for apartment managers since 1995 (MN Statute 299C.66). The law requires that property owners run background checks on prospective building managers. If the individual has been convicted of a serious crime (murder, rape, stalking, etc.), the property owner may not hire them or must discharge them if the manager has already been hired. The legislative history and case law related to the apartment manager background checks demonstrates that it does not currently apply to park managers and the legislature must act.

2011 Minnesota Legislative Agenda


Manufactured (mobile) home parks are the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in Minnesota. They exceed Housing and Urban Development subsidized units and Rural Development units combined. They offer very low housing costs (mean monthly rent statewide is $367) and the opportunity for low-income home ownership (87 percent are owner-occupied). However, residents are in a vulnerable housing situation arising from an arrangement under which they own their homes, but not the land. Many families living in parks could literally not afford to live anywhere else, if their park closes, or if they are evicted, which includes many single parents and seniors living on fixed incomes.


Establish Alternative for Dispute Resolution

  • Background: Manufactured home parks present a unique housing situation since one party owns the land and other parties own the homes sitting on that land. As a result, fundamental property rights are put into competition with each other. A number of disputes arise from this arrangement.
  • The Problem: There is currently no way to seek resolution to a dispute without the time and expense of legal action which becomes even more difficult as both court and legal aid budgets are slashed.
  • Proposed Action: In 2007, Washington State established a model program for allowing a quick agency ruling on a dispute as an alternative to pursing a case in court. Either park owner or home owner can seek to use this system and neither is barred from pursuing additional legal action. The MN Offices of Administrative Hearings can offer a similar program that allows for resolution of legitimate legal matters within 30 days at a cost of only a couple hundred dollars. This program can offer mediation all the way up to a hearing resulting in a final ruling by an Administrative Law Judge.

Video explaining alternative for dispute resolution

Increase Relocation Compensation from the MN Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund

  • Background: The closure of a park can be financially devastating for residents and most often means the loss of their homes, since their homes cannot be moved due to age, moving costs (from $6,000 to $13,000), shortage of available lots, or parks barring homes over 10 years old (71 percent of all homes). In 2007, the Legislature established the Trust Fund to provide reasonable relocation compensation through a program funded through an annual $12 contribution from home owners (collected by the park owners) and a one-time contribution from park owners at the time of closure. This program replaced a patchwork of local ordinances which funded relocation compensation solely through park owner contributions.
  • The Problem: Parks have closed since the establishment of the program and the Trust Fund has been used successfully to provide relocation compensation. However, the maximum benefits for relocation ($4,000 for a single section home and $8,000 for a multi-section home) or buy-out ($5,000 for a single section home and $9,000 for a multi-section home) are well below the average costs of displaced homeowners.
  • Proposed Action: The relocation compensation limits should be increased to match the average statewide relocation costs and the buy-out limits should be increased to $1,000 above those amounts. In addition, the need for a monthly invoice should be eliminated to make it easier for park owners to collect the $12 annual fee through the $1 per month option.

Require Park Manager Background Checks

  • Background: The goal of any manufactured home park owner should be to provide a safe and secure community for the residents who live in it. The park manager is often the individual most involved in the daily operations of a park, including screening prospective residents, storing confidential records, enforcing rules, and maintaining contact with residents. The background of the park manager can be relevant factor in fostering that safety and security.
  • The Problem: There is currently no requirement that a background check be conducted of a prospective park manager. As a result, there is no guarantee that the residents’ families and confidential information is in safe hands.
  • Proposed Action: Since 1995, state law has required background checks for apartment managers. This law requires that owner's of property run background checks on prospective building managers. If the manager has been convicted of a serious crime (murder, rape, stalking, etc.) the owner may not hire the manager or must discharge the manager if the manager has already been hired. If the manager was already working, and the owner knows the manager committed a serious crime, the owner must notify all tenants. If the tenant's wish, they have the right to give two weeks notice and quit their lease. A tenant exercising this option is treated as if they had given the proper amount of notice before leaving.

See the Bill Fact Sheets.

See the 2007 Legislative Agenda

2010 Lobby Day

Rally for Residents' Rights


Thank you to all park residents, legislators, and allies that helped make our 2010 lobby day and rally at the State Capitol a great success!


2009 Lobby Day

Rally for Residents' Rights


Thank you to all park residents, legislators, and allies that helped make our 2009 lobby day and rally at the State Capitol a great success!

Friday, March 6th, 10:00 AM


Fight for Your Manufactured Home!

Fight for Your Community!

Fight for Your Rights!

Park residents, this is your time to tell your elected officials to value your home and your community. Come to the State Capitol on March 6th to rally with other residents to stand up for your rights.


Watch the short videos below to listen to park residents talk about lobby day and the 2009 legislative agenda.









Location
Minnesota State Capitol Building
Under the Rotunda
75 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Agenda
Registration: 10:00-10:15
Lobby Day Training: 10:15-10:45
Rally for Residents' Rights: 10:45-11:15
Visits with Legislators: 11:30-12:30
Lunch: 12:30-1:00
Bus/Van Departure: 1:30

Transportation
To arrange transportation to the Capitol, please call 651-644-5525 or 866-361-0173. Space is limited so call early!

2008 Lobby Day



Directions

The Capitol complex is north of I-94, just minutes from downtown St. Paul. It is accessible from the east and west on I-94, and from the north and south on I-35E.

  • I-94 eastbound: Exit at Marion Street. Turn left. Go to Aurora Avenue and turn right.
  • I-94 westbound: Exit at Marion Street. Turn right. Go to Aurora Avenue and turn right.
  • I-35E northbound: Exit at Kellogg Boulevard. Turn left. Go to John Ireland Boulevard and turn right.
  • I-35E southbound: Exit at University Avenue. Turn right. Go to Rice Street and turn left.

Parking

  • Metered parking is available in Lot Q, Lot AA, Lot F, Lot H, Lot K, Lot L, and on the orange level of the Centennial Office Building Ramp at Cedar Street and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. There are a few metered parking spots in front of the Capitol along Aurora Avenue. Meters: one quareter = 20 minutes.
  • Free on-street parking can be found in the residential areas surrounding the Capitol. Go North of University Avenue on Rice Street or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd toward Charles Avenue. Park on any of the residential streets in the area. The Capitol is 3-4 block from this free on-street parking.
  • Limited ramp parking is available at the Bethesda Hospitol parking ramp at 559 Capitol Blvd, just North of University Avenue. This is a pay-ramp; rates vary. The ramp is 2 blocks from the Capitol building.
  • Disability Parking can be found in Lot N and Lot F. The main disability entrance to the Capitol is on the northwest side of the building just off Lot N. There also are drop-off entrances on the south side under the front steps on the south

For information about last year's lobby day, click here.

2007 Lobby Day & Rally

Mobile Justice Leadership Conference and Legislative Summit

Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria

The remains of Shady Lane Mobile Home Park are a daily reminder of the effects of park closings. That is why residents from many manufactured home parks across the state met in the Bloomington library which is located next to where Shady Lane once stood. They met to address what state laws they want change and how that can be APAC’s legislative agenda for this year. Residents from Bloomington, Redwing, Shakopee, Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, St. Anthony and Chisago City discussed the importance of having statewide relocation compensation so residents who would be affected by park closings in the state of Minnesota would be protected. Residents also talked about the importance of extending the timeline from 45 to 90 days that currently is in place for residents to exercise the right of first refusal, which gives residents the option to purchase their park in case it is being closed for redevelopment within one year of the park purchase. Residents strongly agreed that these were the two things that they wanted to change and they would like to see APAC pursue these changes in this legislative session. Residents also expressed concerns regarding the increase of lot rent over the few years which creates a financial hardship on many park residents that are on a fixed income. They felt that rent increases do not justify the lack of maintenance done in their communities and that this should be something that residents and APAC should address to change in the future.

At this legislative summit residents determined what changes need to happen so residents can have a voice. At the Mobile Justice Leadership Conference, held a couple of weeks later in the city of St. Anthony, park leaders gained the tools and strategies to make this happen. Leaders learned about building power within their communities, how to talk to legislators and elected officials, and how to get people from their parks involved in their resident associations. Residents engaged the presenters as well as fellow park residents and challenged others to build power within their communities. Many residents left the conference with the feeling of empowerment and excitement because they were learning how they can achieve Mobile Justice.

2007 Minnesota Legislative Agenda

These proposals have the support of AARP, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Housing Preservation Project, Legal Services Advocacy Project, Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (MICAH), Minnesota Association of Cooperatives, Minnesota Housing Partnership, and Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, among others.

Guaranteed Relocation Compensation


  • Background: Manufactured (mobile) home parks are the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in Minnesota. They exceed the state’s combined Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized units and Rural Development units. Residents are in a vulnerable housing situation, however, since they own their homes but not the land. The closure of a park can be financially devastating for residents and most often means the loss of their homes, since their homes cannot be moved due to age, moving costs (ranging from $6,000 to $13,000), shortage of available lots, or parks barring homes over 10 years old (71 percent). In the last six years, at least 17 parks have closed.
  • The Current Law: Under current Minnesota law, there is no guarantee of relocation compensation if a park closes. The law requires that cities hold a public closure hearing and decide whether or not to require that the park owner provide compensation; some cities have decided that park owners don’t have to provide any compensation. This process usually results in multiple public hearings to determine: (a) if such a requirement should be imposed; and (b) the amount and method of that compensation. As a result, cities feel pressure on their schedules and resources, find themselves inserted into specific business deals, and face legal challenges to their role in the park closure proceedings from park owners, developers, and residents. 19 cities have taken the precaution to adopt relocation compensation requirement ordinances. However, this leaves over 380 cities with no clear process and over 90% of residents with no protection.
  • Other States: There are nine states that have guaranteed relocation compensation and four others that require it under certain circumstances. Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut and Nevada have mandatory relocation compensation.
  • Proposed Changes: We are proposing that state law be amended to require that park owners pay relocation compensation including the cost of relocation of the home or, if the home cannot be relocated, the appraised market value of the home to ensure that residents across the state are protected from financial devastation when parks close.


Expanded Right of First Refusal


  • Background: Parks are a critical source of affordable housing. They offer very low housing costs (mean monthly rent statewide is $367) and the opportunity for low-income home ownership (87% are owner-occupied). Many families who live in parks, including single parents and seniors living on a fixed income, could literally not afford to live anywhere else, if their park closes, or if they are evicted. Unfortunately, residents are in a vulnerable housing situation, since they own their homes but not the land, and face a number of threats, including the park being sold or closed, needed improvements not being made, unfair or inconsistently applied park rules, capricious rent increases, and an inability to accumulate equity. Even guaranteeing relocation compensation is not a complete solution given low park vacancy rates.
  • The Current Law: Minnesota law gives residents a right of first refusal, but only in limited circumstances. A right of first refusal exists only when a park is sold for redevelopment. Additionally, residents or a nonprofit authorized by the residents only have 45 days to meet the same terms and conditions as the developer. There are no resident purchase rights when a park is sold to remain as a park or if a park is closed more than one year after a sale. There are no incentives for park owners to sell to residents and so owners have resisted compliance with the current law.
  • Other States: There are ten states that provide resident purchase rights, such as Massachusetts that has a right of first refusal, or New Hampshire, which requires that park owners negotiate in good faith any time a park is sold. The time frame for exercising purchase rights in other states ranges from 45 days to a full year. Additionally, some states have included incentives to prompt park owners to sell parks to residents or nonprofits. For example, both Vermont and Oregon have tax incentives for park owners who sell parks to the residents.
  • Proposed Changes: We propose several changes to the current right of first refusal law, including: expanding the right of first refusal to apply any time a park sells, not just if it is selling for closure within a year (a major loophole in the current law); expanding the time frame for meeting the purchase price from 45 days to 90 days; and providing incentives for park owners who sell to residents or a nonprofit.

    For more information or to become involved, call APAC at (651) 644-5525 or (866) 361-2722

2008 Legislative Goals

August 18, 2007
Come to our Annual Meeting and help set the legislative agenda for 2008!

In the past year, APAC has experienced much progress we would like to celebrate. The victories have been invigorating and empowering, making all of us excited for the possibilities the future holds for Mobile Justice. This is why we are inviting you to come to the Annual Meeting and Legislative Summit, where we will celebrate our advancements, reflect, and outline where we want APAC to go from here. We would love for you to come and tell us your vision, concerns and ideas. Have your voice heard!

Schedule:
10:30-12:30 Annual Meeting
12:30-?? BBQ & Celebration

Where:
Theodore Wirth Park Picnic Pavilion
3201 Glenwood Avenue North
Minneapolis MN 55422

You can expect a few things to happen at the meeting in addition to a BBQ and a great time:

  • Meet other residents from across the state.
  • Help set the legislative agenda for 2008.
  • Learn about Manufactured Home Parks Relocation Trust Fund and other new state legislation on Park Closings.
  • Have residents and members making their concerns APAC’s agenda.
  • Active steps towards Mobile Justice!

How to get there:

Take I-94W. Merge onto I-394 W. Exit Penn Ave, Exit 7. Take a Right onto S Penn Ave. Turn Left onto Glenwood Ave. Follow signs to Pavilion!

Become a Citizen Lobbyist


APAC needs your help to fight for the rights of manufactured home park residents. Please fill out the form below to let us know how you can help out.

Write a Letter: Support Increased Relocation Compensation Benefits!

The legislative session has arrived, and APAC is working hard to get the benefits for the Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund increased so it works like it should! Learn more here!

Let your elective representatives know that this matters to you by sending them a letter or email. This makes a big impact!

WHAT DO I WRITE?

You can use the following as an example, or write your own.

Dear legislator,

My name is ___________, and I live in _____________________, a manufactured (mobile) home park. I am writing to ask for your support for Senate File 2930 / House File 2825, a proposal to increase the benefit amounts issued from the state’s Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund. The bill’s authors are Sen. Melissa Wiklund (D-Bloomington) and Rep. Anna Wills (R-Rosemount).

I am very concerned because if my park closed, the current benefits from the fund would not actually cover the expenses of moving. It would be devastating if the fund I have been paying into didn’t actually protect my neighbors and me from financial crisis in the event of park closure.

I would appreciate your support of this common sense proposal to update the Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund benefits. Thank you for your attention to this important issue!

Sincerely,
_______________

WHO DO I SEND IT TO?

You have options!

Option 1:Write one letter to "Dear Legislators," send your letter to us at APAC, and we can deliver copies to various representatives:
All Parks Alliance for Change
2380 Wycliff St. #200
St. Paul, MN 55114

Option 2: Send your letter to representatives yourself! We suggest you send it to your own state representatives and the committee chairs who will be hearing the bill:

a) Find out who your representatives are and their contact info by searching the "Who Represents Me?" site, then send your letter either by post or email.

b) Then send your letter by post or email to the chairs of the committees who will be hearing the bill, and the authors of the bill to show your support. Click the names for contact info.
Committee Chairs:
Representative Pat Garofalo (Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee)
Senator Kathy Sheran (Health, Human Services and Housing Committee)
Bill Authors:
Senator Melissa Wiklund
Representative Anna Wills

Thank you for making your voice heard as we advocate to update the Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund to ensure sufficient protection for residents!

Around the Nation



Manufactured Housing in the United States

There are about 10 million families living in manufactured homes and more than a third live in the nation's 50,000 manufactured home communities. Two thirds of the new affordable housing developed is manufactured, with comparable quality to traditional, stick-built homes and at half the cost. More people call parks home than all project-based subsidized housing and 90 percent are homeowners. However, homeowners face a range of challenges to maintaining this housing option:

  • Parks closing due to developers or cities prioritizing condos, big box developments, or road projects above manufactured home ownership.
  • Community owners acting like slumlords and making no repairs or improvements to communities.
  • Loss of affordability due to unreasonable rent increases, poor financing options, and predatory lending practices.
  • Stereotypes or ignorance of what manufactured housing is, what it offers, and the families who call it home; also known as "park prejudice."
  • Federal, state, and local government not prioritizing manufactured housing as a real affordable housing option.
  • Homeowner associations operating with little or no dedicated resources or staff; and resources devoted to improving manufactured home communities not going directly to homeowners.
  • Racial discrimination in manufactured home communities, including denied tenancy, higher rents, fewer amenities, and harassment.


APAC's National Organizing Project

APAC is the nation’s largest organization of manufactured home park residents and is the leading the charge to preserve and protect these communities in Minnesota. In 2006, with support from the Northwest Area Foundation, APAC launched a project to strengthen resident leadership, organizing, and advocacy in the eight-state northwest region in order to increase the impact residents are having on state and national decisions that affect them. From 2007 to 2009, with funding from the Corporation for Economic Development (CFED), APAC expanded this project to focus on state home owner associations around the country in order to increase the voice of residents in state and national decisions that affect them.

Other State and National Home Owner Associations

Around the country, a number of successful strategies have been developed for overcoming these challenges. Making these solutions a reality requires a base of strong, committed leaders. It requires a clear, shared vision rising from the homeowners. It requires strong local, state, and national homeowner associations and it means forging a nationwide movement to preserve these manufactured home communities.

More than half the states have statewide homeownership associations, but communication among them has been limited. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, APAC had the privilege of hosting (and in 2010 helping to organize) the national conventions of the Manufactured Homeowners Association of America (MHOAA) as a way of sharing resident expertise and resources.

Visit our links page to find out more about groups working in other states and nationally.

MHOAA National Conventions

The theme of the 2007 MHOAA national convention was “Build a Vision. Build a Base. Build a Movement.” This provided a first step in crafting a national homeowner vision and establishing priorities for base building and movement building. This past year, we identified strategies and tactics for achieving MHOAA's 2007 goals, and involved additional homeowners, homeowner associations, housing and consumer advocates, and others.

The theme for 2008 was, "Communicate! Educate! Legislate! Celebrate!" With participation from a wider array of state homeowner associations than any previous convention, homeowners were able to both make new and strengthen existing connections with residents and allies that will serve for years to come. This upcoming year will be focused on building up both MHOAA on an organizational level and as the central hub for state HOAs. For a complete list of the new MHOAA board of directors and committees, all MHOAA state HOA members, and all known state HOA's in existence, please see the attachments located below.

NMHOA National Convention



All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) is proud to be a dues paying member of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA).

  • NMHOA is the nation-wide membership based organization representing and advocating for manufactured home owners.

  • Mission: The mission of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) is to promote, represent, preserve, and enhance the rights and interests of manufactured home-owners throughout the United States.

  • Vision: Among the basic principles fought for by the founding fathers of this country was that of basic property rights. The owner of a manufactured home shares the same tangible investment as does the owner of a one-bedroom condominium or a fifty-room mansion. NMHOA looks forward to the day when the owner of the manufactured home is accorded the same rights and privileges as the other property owners. First and foremost is the sense of security in their community. Safeguards must be in place to ensure the home-owner’s community is safe from sale and closure without the opportunity of the community to participate in its own self determination. If self determination is not achievable, home-owners should receive fair and just compensation as a result of such actions.

  • Values: If all people lived by the Golden Rule, there would be little need to discuss values and principles. As an organization, we value the principle of treating others the way we would like to be treated. We believe in dealing honestly and treating each other with civility and kindness. We expect the same of those outside our organization and forgive the shortcomings of those who do not meet our expectations. We embrace, endorse, and celebrate our diversity. We reach out to those who we may perceive may be different from ourselves. We seek understanding and to understand. This is not limited to our gender, ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity. It extends to the diversity of thought and ideas. We encourage creativity and looking for new ways to solve old and new problems.

To learn more about MHOAA’s mission, vision, values, and other information, please click here.

APAC in NMHOA
APAC has also had the honor of being invited to both conduct the majority of the planning for the NMHOA national conventions and to participate in the development and strengthening of the organization itself.

For questions about APAC’s involvement with NMHOA or earlier conventions, please contact Dave Anderson.
Email: dave@allparksallianceforchange.org or call: 1-855-361-2722

For questions about NMHOA as an organization or to join NMHOA, please visit the NMHOA website.

2015 NMHOA National Convention


NMHOA 2015 Annual Convention


October 24-25, 2015
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The NMHOA Board of Directors announced the 2015 Annual Convention of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from Saturday, October 24 to Sunday, October 25.

NMHOA’s annual conventions have traditionally been a time for home owners from across the country to meet together to learn from each other and from other experts about how best to address common issues facing manufactured home owners. The 2015 Annual Convention will not disappoint – there will be something for everyone – returning attendees as well as new members coming for the first time.

NMHOA hopes to provide stipends to support the attendance of two attendees from each member state. Others from member states are of course encouraged to attend as well. In addition, NMHOA state association members who are also members of CFED’s Lead Organization group will have an opportunity to attend CFED’s conference on October 26-28, after the NMHOA Annual Convention.

More details will follow as the program is shaped to accommodate the interests of manufactured home owners but rest assured that NMHOA will provide the quality programming we’ve been complimented for in the past.

2010 MHOAA National Convention

The 2010 MHOAA National Convention will be held October 22-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

More Details to follow.

2009 MHOAA National Convention


The 2009 MHOAA national convention took place on September 11th & 12th in Seattle, WA. The convention was a collaboration between APAC and Washington's Association of Manufactured Home Owners (AMHO). More information about AMHO can be found at: www.wamho.org



Any questions regarding the convention may be directed to Dave Anderson at dave@allparksallianceforchange.org or call toll free 1-855-361-2722.

2008 MHOAA National Convention


National Leaders Converge in Minnesota

This year’s Manufactured Homeowners Association of America (MHOAA) national convention was a fantastic success! With over 100 participants, the 2008 convention was the best attended MHOAA event to date– an increase of over 30% from last year and up 60% from the year before. Residents from 25 different homeowner groups and representatives from 24 allied organizations came together in Bloomington, Minnesota, from over 25 states to exchange expertise, ideas, history, energy, and new friendships for two days during the weekend of October 3rd and 4th.

[slideshow]

We conducted in-depth surveys with homeowners from across the nation to determine what they hoped to gain from a national meeting of the minds; and this year’s list of topics was challenging, broad, and invigorating! We benefited from homeowner and ally expertise across the nation to develop workshops, panels, and motivational speakers around issues of:

  • Building Multi-Racial Alliances – The Path to Power
  • Park preservation strategies – including: the Federal Fair Housing Act (FFHA), zoning, resident owned communities, and more.
  • Members – how to maintain, increase, and activate!
  • Fear factor – stories & methods of dealing with intimidation, harassment, & retaliation
  • Organizing in Latino communities
  • Legislation – sharing from other states, passing your own, analysis of national possibilities
  • MHOAA as a strong national organization
  • Developing regional working groups
  • Money – grant writing, fundraisers, member dues, and more
  • Organizing tools – power analysis, leadership styles, etc.
  • Law enforcement & compliance
  • Media strategies
  • State homeowners association development

      Find a full agenda and list of speakers in the attachment below.

      Generous funding from CFED provided full and partial scholarships to over 40 homeowners – granting the means by which many participants were able to attend, including dozens of new voices. A particularly key point of growth at this convention was the presence of out of state resident leaders and allies with whom, until now, APAC leadership and staff have had limited or no interactions.

      The convention wouldn’t have been the same without their input and presence, and we thank both the homeowners for taking the time and CFED for recognizing that homeowners are the key voice in the mobile justice movement.

      The following are links to the session notes and handouts. However, this year's convention did not produce a high volume of notes. If you have questions about a particular workshop, please contact one of the panelists as listed on the "Notes, Simplified Agenda, PDF" attachment below.

      2008 MHOAA National Convention Scholarship

      Attention: The scholarship deadline has been extended to FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st!

      Please read these instructions and complete ALL forms prior to AUGUST 1, 2008. Failure to do so may result in loss of scholarship.

      Board Approval

      The scholarship will be awarded to the state homeowners’ association (HOA); rather than on an individual basis. Each state HOA may qualify for up to two scholarships. The board of said state HOA must demonstrate organizational support of the individuals homeowners attending from their group or state. As such, the board must fill out the form below in order for the scholarship to be approved.

      When considering who to send from your organization, we recommend that individual(s) are interested in and able to:
      - share information from their own state;
      - listen to and retain information gained at the convention; and
      - commit to reporting back any information or contacts gathered at the convention for the benefit of those who could not attend.

      Types of Scholarships

      There is a limited pool of money potentially available to cover the following costs: travel expenses (airfare or gas), lodging fees (hotel costs), and the conference registration fee. To reduce costs, all scholarship recipients should expect to share a room. S/he may choose her/his own roommate, or, if there is no preference, we will pick someone of the same gender. If the recipient has concerns about this, please contact the APAC office to discuss.

      Please note that any portion of these expenses that you are able to pay for yourself will result in monies available for those that cannot cover any of their costs. The less you are able to accept, the more homeowners we can bring to the convention.

      MHOAA Membership

      It is required that all recipients apply for MHOAA membership. To receive a scholarship, your organization must have filled out a MHOAA membership form and paid their first year’s dues. The MHOAA membership application can be found on the MHOAA website at: MHOAA Application for Membership

      MHOAA membership is $75 for the first year, and $150 each year thereafter. A copy of the filled out application and the check to MHOAA will be required as evidence of having applied.

2007 MHOAA National Convention


On behalf of All Parks Alliance for Change, we thank you for attending the 2007 National Convention of the Manufactured Home Owners Association of America on September 14-16, 2007. It was our pleasure to play host and we are grateful that so many people went to the time and trouble to not only attend but to contribute so much to the event. The theme for the convention was "Build A Vision. Build A Base. Build A Movement." It was our intention for this event that it provide a first step in crafting a national homeowner vision and establishing priorities for base building and movement building. We are off to a great start!

[slideshow]

By all accounts, this was the best MHOAA convention ever! There were nearly 70 people, mostly residents, from about 20 states. There was a wide-ranging set of speakers and panels that all drew strong attendance and featured 31 presenters, again mostly residents. Everyone had a chance to pick up new information and form new relationships. Just as importantly, we left with a set of identified goals and actions, as well as the following strategic vision:

  • Home owners set the agenda on issues that affect them.
  • State HOAs have the resources to be effective.
  • Park prejudice eliminated as a set of structural and institutional biases.
  • No stigma associated with manufactured home living.
  • Resident ownership of the land.
  • Fair rent for affordable housing.

Some of the action steps identified to act on this vision during the next year, included:

  • Producing coverage of the manufactured home owners’ plight during the presidential campaign.
  • Setting up a communication network for MHOAA and member organizations.
  • Making active contact with all state HOAs.
  • Hiring a MHOAA grant writer and providing grant writing assistance.
  • Implementing the “APAC model” (adequate resources, paid staff, strong organizing, etc.) in three additional states.
  • Proposing or supporting federal public policy change.
  • Increasing racial and other diversity within MHOAA and at next year’s national convention.
  • Developing a system for generating 30 or more phone calls whenever the media uses the “T” word.
  • State HOAs encouraging at least three more nonprofits to provide technical assistance for ROCs.

Ultimately, this vision and these goals are only as meaningful as our follow through. It is important to ensure prompt, regular and consistent follow up to take advantage of this enthusiasm and momentum. Enclosed you will find information that should be of assistance in following up – or catching up, for those of you unable to attend – with various people and organizations. We have put together the contact information for all attendees, all other materials generated for and from the convention, and typed up the notes from the sessions.

Some of the follow up steps we could all take together include:

  • Dedicating web space to national home owner association work, including details and updates on the strategic plan’s vision, strategy, goals, and actions.
  • Establishing regular communication systems for MHOAA and member organizations, including newsletters, conference calls, list serves, bulletin boards, blogs, chat rooms, etc.
  • Providing oversight through the MHOAA board of directors, which includes establishing regular monthly meetings, and identifying concrete steps each month to advance the strategic plan.
  • Engaging a broad range of home owners in implementing the strategic plan by identifying individual commitments, conducting follow up, and providing regular updates.
  • Conducting active outreach to involve all state HOAs in the ongoing development and implementation of the strategic plan.
  • Identifying capacity building needs and resources for MHOAA and member organizations, as well as directly meeting some of those needs through training, advise, support, etc.

APAC is currently in the process of completing an organizing manual and training curriculum; covering topics such as establishing a shared vision, building a constituent base, developing leadership, forming homeowner associations, formulating strategies and tactics, developing messaging strategies, and advancing policy change. We anticipate releasing this book both online and in print in November 2007.

Thank-you again for attending the 2007 MHOAA national convention in Minnesota! We look forward to our continued work together for Mobile Justice!

[DISCLAIMER: The notes, which are available for download below, are simply what happened to be written down by a leader in any given session and are necessarily incomplete. We have included the speaker or panelists names for each session, please contact them for more complete information if you are interested in "de-coding" any particular subject. The convention book is available for download here.

2007 MHOAA National Convention Announcement & Materials

September 14-16, 2007
Ramada Mall of America
Bloomington, MN

More than 10 million American families live in manufactured homes and more than a third of them live in the nation’s 50,000 manufactured home parks. Two thirds of new affordable housing is manufactured, with comparable quality to traditional, stick-built homes and at half the cost. More people call parks home than all project-based subsidized housing and 90 percent are homeowners.

However, homeowners face a range of challenges to maintaining this housing option:

• Increasing land values and redevelopment pressures
• Lack of park owner reinvestment and deteriorating infrastructure
• Rising rents and home financing interest rates that reduce affordability
• Few resources dedicated to solving these problems and increasing homeowner rights

Around the country, there are homeowners, housing and consumer advocates, developers of affordable housing, policy makers, and others with solutions to share. Making these solutions a reality requires a base of strong, committed leaders. It requires a clear, shared vision rising from the homeowners. It requires strong local, state, and national homeowner associations and it means forging a nationwide movement for justice.

Northwest Region Project


Working with the Northwest Area Foundation, APAC began a National Resident Organizing Project in December 2006. The project's goal is to build inclusive decision-making and organizing capacity for manufactured home communities in the foundation's eight-state region as a strategy for placing residents in the driver's seat of advancing their rights and securing long-term community preservation. As the project continues, APAC will develop and provide:

Organizing Resources
APAC is finalizing training curricula and an organizing manual that will be shared with all the states in the northwest region, covering topics such as establishing a shared vision, building a constituent base, developing leadership, forming homeowner associations, formulating strategies and tactics, developing messaging strategies, and advancing policy change. These materials will be produced not only for homeowners and homeowner associations, but for nonprofit professionals to better understand resident concerns and how to effectively work with them, including housing and consumer advocates, public interest law firms, community housing development organizations, and others. They will be available in print and on our web site.

Targeted In-State Training, Networking and Support
The involves identifying target states for one-year of in-state training, networking and support based on need, interest and commitment. We will conduct a series of three to five day on-site training and goal-setting sessions in each of the states. All members of our staff will be available for follow up and questions throughout the year, but we will also designate a primary contact.


Idaho

Relevant State Laws
www.legislature.idaho.gov

Manufactured Home Parks
www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/directory/listidaho.htm

Demographic Information
www.indicators.nwaf.org/DrawRegion.aspx?RegionID=16000&IndicatorID=100014

Key Organizations

  • Idaho Legal Aid Services
  • AARP Idaho
  • Idaho Housing & Finance Authority
  • Inter Mountain Fair Housing Council
  • Neighborhood Housing Services
  • SAGE Community Resources

Iowa

Manufactured Home Parks
www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/directory/listiowa.htm

Demographic Information
www.indicators.nwaf.org/DrawRegion.aspx?RegionID=19000

Key Organizations

  • Community Housing Initiatives
  • Iowa Coalition for Housing & the Homeless
  • Iowa Legal Aid
  • Neighborhood Finance Corp
  • Terrace Heights Residents Association

Montana

Relevant State Laws
http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/70/24/70-24-436.htm

Manufactured Home Parks
www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/directory/listmontana.htm

Demographic Information
www.indicators.nwaf.org/DrawRegion.aspx?IndicatorID=100014&RegionID=30000

Key Organizations

  • Alliance for Building Communities
  • Human Resources Development Council District 7
  • Montana Home Choice Coalition/AWARE
  • Montana HomeOwnership Network, NeighborWorks
  • Montana Legal Services Association
  • Montana People's Action
  • Neighborhood Housing Services Inc. of Great Falls
  • Working for Equality and Economic Liberation

North Dakota

Relevant State Laws
www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t23c10.pdf

Manufactured Home Parks
www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/directory/listnorthdakotamhp.htm

Demographic Information
www.indicators.nwaf.org/DrawRegion.aspx?IndicatorID=100014&RegionID=38000

Key Organizations

  • People Escaping Poverty Project
  • CommunityWorks North Dakota
  • Minot Mobile Home Tenants Association Inc

Oregon

Relevant State Laws
www.leg.state.or.us/ors/090.html

Manufactured Home Parks
www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/directory/listoregon.htm

Demographic Information
www.indicators.nwaf.org/DrawRegion.aspx?IndicatorID=100014&RegionID=41000

Key Organizations

  • Oregon State Mobile Home Owners Association
  • Oregon Manufactured Homeowners United
  • Community And Shelter Assistance Corporation (CASA of Oregon)
  • Lane County Legal Aid Services
  • NeighborImpact
  • Portland Housing Center
  • Umpqua CDC
  • Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services

South Dakota

Manufactured Home Parks
www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/directory/listsouthdakotamhp.htm

Demographic Information
www.indicators.nwaf.org/DrawRegion.aspx?IndicatorID=100014&RegionID=46000

Key Organizations

  • Neighborhood Housing Services of the Black Hills, Inc

Washington

Relevant State Laws
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=59.20

Manufactured Home Parks
www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/directory/listwashingtonmhps.htm

Demographic Information
www.indicators.nwaf.org/DrawRegion.aspx?IndicatorID=100014&RegionID=53000

Key Organizations

  • Columbia Legal Services
  • Mobile Home Owners of America, Inc. (MHOA)
  • SOS Homeowner’s Association
  • Central Area Development Association
  • Community Frameworks
  • HomeSight
  • Low Income Housing Institute
  • NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County
  • Northwest Federation of Community Organizations




Tammy Hoth Stands Up for Resident Rights and Charges are Dropped!

45-Year Old Mother and Community Leader Arrested for Exercising Her First Amendment Rights



Early January of 2008, Montana community leader Tammy Hoth turned herself in in response to a warrant for her arrest issued by the Billings, MT police department. Ms. Hoth was handcuffed, searched, had her fingerprints and mug shot taken, and was released on a bond posted at nearly $600. If convicted, she faced a maximum penalty of $500, and six months in jail.

Her imprisonable crime? Passing out leaflets in Casa Village Manufactured Home Community. The leaflets advertised a meeting where residents could learn about their legal rights and strategize how to improve their community. Officially, Ms. Hoth’s “crime,” pressed by Casa Village manager Susie Cole, was Criminal Trespass to Property (Section 45-6-203(1)(b), Montana Code Annotated).

Ms. Hoth is a 45 year old single mother who has been working with her neighbors in Red Lodge, Montana to purchase her own park and to form the state's first manufactured housing cooperative. Additionally, Tammy has been volunteering her time to help other manufactured home park residents become aware of their rights, and of opportunities to own not only their homes, but the land as well. She has led workshops to educate over 175 residents of manufactured home parks. Recently, her own park, Mountain Springs Villa, received a grant nearing half a million dollars to renovate and move their newly formed cooperative.

Ms. Hoth was targeted by park owners and the City for simply passing out information – an act clearly protected by her First Amendment rights. The unfortunate message from the City of Billings is clear – if you live in a manufactured home park, it is a crime for anyone to inform you of your rights, or contact you in person for any reason.

If the statute is read literally, it gives park owners absolute control over the type of information residents have access to and who may or may not enter. Under this argument, if a park owner didn't like your grandmother she or he could put your grandmother in jail for visiting you.

There is, in fact, case law (see Folgueras v. Hassle, Marsh v. Alabama) related to this issue. As an example, Folgueras v Hassle (related to migrant workers living as tenants on the owner's land) concluded:

"The fundamental underlying principle is simply that…real property ownership does not vest the owner with dominion over the lives of those people living on his property. They are…citizens of the United States and tenants. As such they are entitled to the kinds of communications, associations, and friendships guaranteed to all citizens, and secured by the Constitution. The owner's property rights do not divest the migrants of these rights."

Determined to stand up for herself and the rights of all residents, Ms. Hoth pled not guilty and requested a public defender and a jury trial. During the following five months, Ms. Hoth used her vacation time and paid out of pocket for gas to go to a variety of hearings and calendar calls at the Billings court house, an hour and a half drive from her home in Red Lodge, MT.

APAC assisted Ms. Hoth in generating statewide press coverage; a national call-in campaign to the city attorney and mayor of Billings that generated dozens of calls and emails from organizations and residents alike; and nearly 200 post cards to the city attorney and mayor. APAC also assisted Ms. Hoth in finding many local allies, including Montana People’s Action, neighborhood organizations, other manufactured home communities, church members, and current and former state congresspeople.

On Friday, May 2nd, Ms. Hoth called the APAC office with the good news that Susie Cole had agreed to drop the charges against her, if Ms. Hoth signed paperwork agreeing not to enter Casa Village for a period of one year. Ms. Hoth agreed to this condition, knowing that as she was still able to meet with Casa Village residents outside of the park it would not impede her continued commitment to inform and organize interested Casa Village residents.

Although Ms. Hoth is no longer in danger of imprisonment, the danger still exists for any persons trying to inform and organize residents in any capacity; be this a get out the vote drive or a resident meeting. Montana, like many states, and unlike Minnesota (see MN Statute 327C.13), does not have a statewide freedom of expression law. North Dakota does not have this protection either, an important freedom to note as we are starting a three year organizing project in the state. Without the ability to inform and organize, concerned persons, including APAC staff and leaders, are risking arrest every time they step into a park in one of these states. Furthermore, if residents in states with few protections are to have a real shot at gaining rights such as relocation compensation, right of first refusal, and protection from retaliation; it is clear that first step will have to be to gain freedom of expression. There are lots of Susie Coles out there.

Your Vote, Your Voice


APAC works with to engage residents in the political process to ensure their voices are heard at the State Capitol. Park residents can increase their political power through electoral organizing, grassroots lobbying, and "Days on the Hill." Residents around the state are taking action to hold their decision-makers accountable, set the legislative agenda, and create public policy that protects our homes and communities!

Park residents and APAC are gaining electoral power by:

  • Increasing voter registration
  • Hosting candidate forums
  • Building relationships with decision-makers
  • Educating candidates on park issues
  • Conducting "Get Out the Vote" (GOTV) events involving
    canvassing, literature drops, phone banking, rides to the polls,
    assistance at the polls, and much more!

To learn more about APAC's electoral organizing or for voter resources, click on the links below.

How Voting Impacts You and Your Community


Why Should I Vote?

Manufactured home communities are under attack! They are under attack by park lords, developers, highway projects, and anyone who uses the term "trailer trash." Our decision-makers are not paying attention. Now is the time to stand up and make your voice heard and remind decision-makers that it is their job to represent YOU!

Who Are Your Politicians Listening To?
---OR---

Mr. $$$ OR Park Residents?

LET'S MAKE SURE IT'S PARK RESIDENTS!

A united group of people are more powerful than any one individual. Together we can vote to elect the candidates who are committed to representing our communities.

Stand Up for Your Rights!
Make Your Voice Heard!
VOTE!

.................................................................................................................................................................

Find out where the candidates stand on issues that matter to you!

  • Who Are Your Candidates? Find Out Here...
  • The Candidates' Positions Find a Guide Here...

How to Get Out the Vote

APAC's Get Out The Vote (GOTV) activities involve canvassing, conducting literature drops, phone banking, providing rides to the polls, providing assistance at the polls, and much more! Interested in helping out with GOTV events? See our current volunteer opportunities listed below:

    To Be Announced.

After Election Day...

After Election Day, make sure your elected officials are doing their job: Representing YOU!

6 Steps to Being Your Legislator's Boss
How to Set the Political Agenda:

  • 1) Contact and educate the candidates who are competing for your vote!
  • 2) Vote on Election Day!
  • 3) Join APAC's Legislative Action Team!
  • 4) Contact your legislators by phone, mail, or email about legislation that affects you.
  • 5) Come to the Capitol for constituent meetings, lobby days & rallies. Let's show our power in numbers!
  • 6) Celebrate!

APAC's "The Alliance" Newsletter

The Alliance is the quarterly newsletters

of All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC)

You Can Download a Copy of the
Winter/Spring 2015 Issue (CLICK HERE)


You can also read plain text versions of the individual stories in this issue online
by selecting an article from the list below.

Featured Stories:

"It's our money!": APAC proposes fixes to the state's Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund

Before You Sign: A Consumer's Guide to Mobile Home Parks in the Twin Cities

Dave Anderson: Reflecting on 10 Years as APAC's Director

Rush Line Transit Corridor: Connects Park Residents from Maplewood to Pine City

National News:

APAC Attends 2015 National Manufactured Housing Conferences

Jury Awards $111 million to Park Residents

APAC Renews Outreach to Park Residents in North Dakota

Park Community News:

"Move Roads, Not Homes": 8 Years Later, Residents Stayed While Road Projects and Sports Stadiums Moved On

Twin Cities Metro Region: Trends in Manufactured Housing

Shakopee and St. Anthony Parks Targeted for Redevelopment in Land Use Plans

Parks on the Chopping Block in Waite Park, Elbow Lake, and Winona

Several Parks in Financial Turmoil

APAC News:

APAC's 2014 Annual Meeting and Legislative Summit

APAC Sees Changes, Growth in Staff

APAC Launches Strategic Planning for 2015-2018

Why is APAC Membership Important


You can view older issues (CLICK HERE)

Archived Newsletters


APAC's newsletter "The Alliance" comes out quarterly. Click on the date of the issue to download it in PDF format.

September 2010

Spring 2009

  • Rally for Residents' Rights at the State Capitol
  • Legislative Training Energizes APAC Leaders
  • A Look into APAC's Legislative Progress
  • Arden Manor Resident Association and APAC Save 30 Homes
  • Voice Your Support for Jackson Heights!
  • Burnsville Representative Will Morgan Takes Interest in Parks
  • Park Resident Wins Seat on Township Board
  • Skyline Village Moves Ahead with Rent Increase Case
  • APAC Launches Mobile Justice Training Institute in Winona
  • Reaching New Potential Allies: The League of Women Voters in Winona
  • APAC on the Good Morning Show with Bob Sebo
  • Gaylord Association Moving Forward, Recruiting Allies
  • APAC Teaches Organizing Workshop at Winona State University
  • Fargo Park Residents Want Change!
  • Resident Leaders Join Together for Justice--Midwestern Alliance Conference
  • New Regional Alliances Developing in 2009!
  • The 2009 MHOAA National Convention is Coming Up!
  • APAC Welcomes New Legal & Policy Director
  • APAC Welcomes New Board Members
  • APAC's 14th Annual St. Paul Saints Fundraiser: Saturday, June 20th
  • APAC Partners with Ten Thousand Villages for Benefit Night
  • APAC Membership

Fall and Winter 2008

  • The Fight for Mobile Justice: Elections through the Legislative Session
  • Jackson Heights APAC Chapter Says: "Save Our Homes, Not a Ball Field"
  • APAC Announces its 2009 Legislative Agenda
  • APAC's Annual Membership Meeting Plans for 2009 Legislative Session
  • Arden Manor Residents Influence State Elections
  • Skyline Village Challenges Rent Increase & Organizes Candidate Forum
  • Park Residents Gain Representation on HUD Advisory Committee
  • Woodlyn Court Closes, Residents Compensated Under New Trust Fund
  • Rolling Hills Resident ASsociation Finds Success
  • Regal Estates Residents Working to Set Up Resident Association
  • Leaders and Residents of Manufactured Homes Educate the Community
  • Gaylord Park Under Attack: Residents Organize, Form Resident Association
  • Bennett Park Cooperative Determined to Preserve its Community
  • Lake Village Residents Association Moving Forward
  • Bluffview Mobile Home Court Re-Opens After Flooding
  • Red Top Residents Protect their Rights
  • Sunrise Estates Mourns Loss of Leader, Council Member
  • National Leaders Converge in Minnesota
  • MHOAA Elects New Board of Directors
  • Northwestern State Resident Leaders Build Power
  • APAC Organizing Manual Released
  • APAC News & Updates

Spring and Summer 2008

  • Mobile Justice at the Capitol! Legislative Victory!
  • Bennett Park Cooperative: Residents Take Over Their Park!
  • Skyline Village Residents Push 'Fix-it Campaign,' Oppose Rent Increase
  • Arden Manor Resident Association Remains Vigilant in Battle to Save Homes
  • Future of Four Parks in Chaska and Shakopee Still Uncertain
  • Governor Pawlenty Declares "Manufactured Home Park Week"
  • Sunrise Estates Residents Win New Storm Shelter
  • Residents Work to Gain Control in Madelia Park
  • Minnesota's First Park Co-op Has Another First
  • APAC Opens Northwest Regional Office and Welcomes Sureshi Jayawardene to Community Organizer Position
  • APAC Opens Southeast Regional Office and Welcomes Martha Hernandez to Community Organizer Position
  • Mobile Justice Comes to Lake Village Resident Association!
  • Lobby Day at the Capitol - Sandy Boone, Resident of Lowry Grove in St. Anthony Village
  • 45-Year Old Mother and Community Leader Arrested for Exercising Her First Amendment Rights
  • Freedom of Expression
  • APAC Hosts 2007 MHOAA National Convention
  • Northwest Region
  • APAC Sees Changes, Growth In Its Staff
  • APAC Puts Many Important Resources On Its Web Site
  • APAC Mourns the Passing of Stephen Block
  • APAC Returns to Midway Stadium
  • APAC Invites Your Community to Become a Chapter
  • Why become an APAC Member?
  • Rolling Hills Residents Oppose Rent Increase

Summer 2007

  • They Voted Yes! New State Law Guarantees Relocation Compensation
  • It’s Not A Trailer, It’s My Home: An Intro to Park Prejudice
  • Powerful Leaders in Arden Hills Organize
  • Skyline Village to Challenge Rent Increase
  • Parks on the Chopping Block for Highway Expansion in Chaska and Shakopee
  • Edgewood Park to be Sold to Affordable Housing Non-Profit
  • Organizing Continues in Blaine: Centennial Square Forming a Resident Association
  • Stacy Residents Shake Up City Hall: Five Member City Council Has 3 Park Residents
  • Bennett Park Cooperative, Moorhead: Update - Residents Working Hard to Become 3rd Co-op in Minnesota
  • Expanded Right to Purchase Bill Doesn’t Pass, But Makes Progress
  • Senator Mike Jungbauer: From Park Resident to State Senator
  • Park Week Right Around the Corner
  • Tenants Remedies Action: What is it?
  • Q&A with Margaret Kaplan: In Park Sales
  • Leadership: Build a Vision, a Base, and a Movement: National Convention will be hosted by APAC
  • Five State Summit Held in Saint Paul: Residents Voice Importance of Park Unity
  • APAC Developing an Organizer’s Manual
  • Mark Your Calendars! APAC’s Annual Meeting and Legislative Summit on August 18th
  • APAC Welcomes Jay Clark: He Joins the Fight on the National Level
  • APAC Honored by Headwaters Foundation: Receives Allies for Justice Award
  • Saint Paul Saints Fundraiser: A Success for APAC

Spring 2007

  • Residents Across the State Rally at Capitol
  • Two Bills, One Problem
  • Capitol Update: Both Bills Making Progress
  • Please Support APAC! Call Your Legislators Today!
  • There Oughta’ Be a Law, and Here’s How to Get ‘Em Passed
  • Park Residents Come Together for a Legislative Summit
  • Meet Scott Kranz, a New Politician in Town

Winter 2007

  • Minnesota Celebrates “Mobile Justice” During Manufactured Home Park Week
  • APAC Argues Freedom of Expression Before Minnesota Supreme Court
  • Wave of Metro Area Park Closings Rob Hundreds of Their Homes
  • APAC Returns to Blaine
  • Latino Organizing
  • Saint Anthony Village Passes Ordinance
  • Skyline Village Unites
  • Rosemount Becomes 19th Ordinance
  • Tyranny Makes an Appearance in Glencoe
  • Message to the City of Stacy: There’s a New Group in Town
  • Residents Get Together in Stacy for a Leadership Summit
  • Mobile Justice Comes to Moorhead for Park Week 2006
  • Big Changes to Come in 2007
  • 2006 Elections: Park Residents Had Enough
  • A Change of Scenery
  • Ed Landrum Retires After 10 Years of Dedication
  • Don Pierson Recovers from Auto Accident
  • A Change in Faces at APAC
  • Documentary Sheds Light on the Reality of Park Closings
  • APAC Celebrates 25th Year Anniversary
  • Best of Park Week Pictures

Spring 2006

  • Shady Lane Park Closing in Bloomington Gains Statewide Attention, Reactions
  • APAC Launches “Coalition for Manufactured Home Park Preservation,” 2006 Legislative Push
  • APAC’s First Director, Beth Newkirk, Reflects on the Organization She Founded 25 Years Ago
  • Mora park owned by MMHA attorney goes into foreclosure, residents organize for a better future
  • APAC Highlights Racial Disparities in Parks at Latino Housing Forum
  • Hot Topics in Manufactured Housing with Valerie Sims
  • MMHA president decides to close Maplewood park, sells to nonprofit developer
  • APAC Receives Funding to Support Voter Outreach, Election Organizing in 2006

Fall 2005

  • Paul Revere Community Carries Message to Twin Cities: You Can Own Your Park!
  • Moorhead Residents Face Both Risk of Park Closure and Possibility of Park Ownership
  • APAC Begins its 25th Year of Resident Organizing and Advocacy, Plans Celebration
  • APAC Develops Racial Justice Organizing Approach, Hires First Latino Community Organizer
  • APAC begins evaluation, planning for the next three years
  • APAC expands organizing efforts to Duluth
  • Court Upholds “Right of First Refusal,” but Shady Lane Residents Unable to Purchase Park
  • Hot Topics in Manufactured Housing with Valerie Sims

Summer 2005

  • Minnesota to Gain Second Resident-Owned Manufactured Home Park in Anoka County
  • Brainerd Adopts Park Closing Ordinance
  • Shady Lane Residents Fight to Save Homes, Park Owner Sued for Violation of Park Closing Law
  • APAC Board, Staff and Members Extend Thanks to Former Director Jim Paiste
  • State Capitol Update: 2005 Session Ends
  • Manufactured Home Park Summit Convenes in March 2005
  • APAC Hires Bilingual and Bicultural Organizers for Latino Park Outreach and Organizing
  • APAC Asks for Your Support Through St. Paul Saints Fundraiser and Walk for Justice
  • APAC Annual Meeting Looks "Toward a Future of Resident-owned Manufactured Home Parks"

Winter 2005

  • Minnesota’s First Resident-Owned Manufactured Home Park Co-op Launched
  • State Capitol Update: APAC’s 2005 Legislative Agenda
  • Manufactured Home Park Summit scheduled March 2005
  • APAC Advocacy Gains Park Closing Relocation Funds for Hermantown Park Residents
  • Washington County HRA Announces Closing of Oakdale Park
  • Residents Win Lawsuit Over Water Metering in Lake Elmo, Settle in Apple Valley and Lexington
  • Authorities Lay Siege to Southern Minnesota Mobile Home Parks, Latino Residents Organize to Demand Respect
  • APAC Works with Residents to Pass Park Closing Ordinances in Brainerd, Lakeville and Lexington
  • APAC Welcomes New Staff, Bids Farewell to Familiar Faces

    APAC Launches Strategic Planning for 2015-2018

    St. Paul, MN—In August, the APAC board of directors approved launching a strategic planning and implementation process covering 2015 to 2018. The process will be led by consultant Stacy Becker, executive director Dave Anderson, and board president Henry Miller.

    The goal is to develop a practical plan for APAC that answers three key questions:

    What is APAC’s highest value-added and what activities should APAC pursue to ensure greatest impact?
    What are the options for building sustainable revenue sources; which are likely to be the most successful for APAC; and what is needed to cultivate these?
    What are the key leadership skills and attributes needed to support APAC’s transition into the future?

    This process is being supported with funding from Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, and the St. Paul Foundation’s Management Improvement Fund.

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Minnesota Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund?

In 2007, the state of Minnesota established the Minnesota Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund to provide manufactured (mobile) home owners with reasonable relocation compensation in the event that all or part of their park closes due to private redevelopment. (There are other sources for relocation benefits if the closure results from public redevelopment activity, such as a road project.) A central state fund was created that is overseen by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA). The money in this fund comes from a $15 fee paid by park owners for every homeowner-occupied lot and collected by Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB). [NOTE: The fee was $12 until the Minnesota Legislature changed the amount in 2016.]

Who is responsible for paying the $15 fee and when is it due?

The money in the Relocation Trust Fund comes from a $15 fee assessed on every homeowner-occupied lot. Every year, Minnesota Management & Budget sends a letter by July 15 to park owners explaining whether the fee is being collected for that year, and, if it is, an invoice for all licensed lots that is payable by September 15. The park owner can adjust the payment to subtract any lots that are vacant or not homeowner occupied. In the years the fee is assessed, park owners can collect the $15 afterwards from the home owners; either as an annual lump sum payment, or $1.25 per month with lot rent.

Why hasn’t the fee been collected since 2011 and why is it being collected now?

Originally, the fee was collected every year. In 2011, the Minnesota Legislature changed the collection to only take place when the balance in the fund on June 30 is less than $1 million. When this change went into effect, the balance in the fund was nearly $1.3 million. The balance is now well below that amount and it will be collected in 2017.

Why was the Relocation Trust Fund created?

The Relocation Trust Fund was established through the action of the Minnesota Legislature. It was developed in response to the risk of manufactured home parks closing and home owners being displaced. Prior to creation of the program, park residents were not guaranteed relocation compensation unless their city adopted a local ordinance that required it. In the past, a lot of uncertainty accompanied a park closure; for both home owners, who didn’t know if they were going to receive relocation benefits, and park owners, who didn’t know if they were going to be required to pay them.

What benefits are available through the Relocation Trust Fund?

Manufactured home owners are guaranteed reasonable compensation either to move their homes or to receive a buy-out if their home cannot be moved. For a “single wide” home, the owner can receive up to $7,000 to move the home, or up to $8,000 as a buy-out. For “double wide” home, the owner can up to $12,500 to move the home, or up to $14,500 as a buy-out. The buy-out amount is determined by either a home appraisal, or the tax-assessed value averaged over a five-year period; except that the owner is guaranteed a minimum buyout of $2,000 for a single-wide and $4,000 for a double-wide.

Can a home owner receive any relocation benefits other than what was just described?

If the park closes as a result of public redevelopment activity, there may be other sources for relocation benefit. Also, if the home owner lives in a city that had a local ordinance covering relocation or buyout payments, they will receive whichever benefits are higher; the local ordinance or the state law. The cities known to have had ordinances are: Anoka, Apple Valley, Austin, Bloomington, Brainerd, Burnsville, Dayton, Elk River, Fridley, Hopkins, Inver Grove Heights, Lake Elmo, Lexington, Mounds View, Oakdale, Red Wing, Rochester, Rosemount, Roseville, Shakopee, St. Anthony Village, and Stacy.

When and how do home owners received compensation under the Relocation Trust Fund?

When a park owner intends to close all or part of a park, a written notice is sent at least nine months in advance to the home owners, the local municipality, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and the Minnesota Department of Health. The city or county appoints a neutral third party to oversee the closure process. To file a claim, the home owner submits a form available on the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) web site, along with the required documentation. Upon approval by the neutral party the MHFA issues checks to the home movers or the home owner as appropriate.

Does the park owner pay in or take out funds from the Relocation Trust Fund?

Yes, but only if they close a park. After the park owners recoup the $15 fee payment from home owners, they are still responsible for paying up to $3,250 for each “single wide” and $6,000 for each “double wide.” When there is a home buy-out, the park owner is responsible for the disposal of the home and can request a credit of up to $1,000 for these costs.

For further information:

Contact All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) at 651-644-5525, toll free 800-855-361-2722, or info@allparksallianceforchange.org.
APAC is a statewide non-profit organization of manufactured (mobile) home park residents.




2016 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Changes to the Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund