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!