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.