The FWD #128
What’s 14′ x 60′ and lives in a park? One solution to our affordable housing crisis.
For decades, manufactured home communities (aka mobile home parks) were the affordable housing that people loved to hate. Most localities wanted to zone them out of existence and most affordable housing advocates thought they were an unwanted legacy of the past— not a part of the solution going forward. Less than a decade ago, these communities seemed destined for extinction.
All of that is starting to change. Suddenly, mobile home parks are a hot commodity in the real estate world attracting high profile private investors like Warren Buffet, Blackstone, and the Carlyle Group. Nonprofits are also entering the scene. Two years ago, Catholics for Housing purchased the struggling East End Park in Manassas and project:HOMES has just completed a park purchase in Chesterfield County. Nonprofit and resident ownership will be key strategies to preserving affordability in the coming years.
The recently formed Manufactured Home Community Coalition of Virginia is at the forefront of policy changes in Virginia and is hosting a virtual conference early next month that brings together experts from across the country as well as those working on this issue here in Virginia. Esther Sullivan, author of Manufactured Insecurity: Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place, will keynote the event on Monday, October 5 as well as lead a wrap up discussion at the end of the week.