Dear Editor: Renting Manufactured Home Space Different than Renting Home

Dear Editor,

The essential feature of capitalism is the motive to make a profit. But both parties must voluntarily exchange transactions and have their own interest in the outcome, but neither can obtain what he or she wants without addressing what the other wants. It is this rational self-interest that can lead to economic prosperity.

But it feels like we have reverted to the Middle Ages and Serfdom, putting us in a position of dependence and limiting our freedoms. Our landlord (at Twin Cedars manufactured home park) Legacy Communities LLC benefits the most from this system.

That being said, many Oregonians have been placed in a situation where our exchange is not voluntary. When the rent goes up to an unaffordable level, a person can move to another apartment at a lower rent because of a capitalist free market economy. When renting an apartment or home from a particular landlord, a renter can choose another landlord, community, larger or smaller home.

Families with children owning a home in a manufactured home park don’t have that option. Manufactured homeowners living in a mobile home park cannot choose to be a part of a free market economy. We have no choice not to “purchase” or pay rent because we have no option to choose another park or home. It would be like your mortgage provider increasing your mortgage payment 10% every 12 months. You didn’t expect it, you wouldn’t have chosen that mortgage provider if you knew they would change the rules on you. If you can’t afford it, they repossess your home. We’re trapped. We can’t move the homes we own to another location.

My home was built in the late 70’s. It’s nearly 1700 square feet. I have no choice but to pay whatever rent my landlord chooses. Most of us moved to manufactured home parks when mom and pops owned them. History showed the rent increased $25 annually. We never anticipated large greedy corporations would be our landlords. We wouldn’t have bought a mobile home in a park if we knew we’d be forced to accept this change. We appreciate it won’t go over 10% but for new move ins the rent is now $1,170 and some change. Up 41.6% in 12 months. Oregonians on a fixed income or low income can’t afford $1,170 a month and maintain their home and yards. New roof, new windows, siding, plumbing, electrical, heating and so on.

Most of the tenants living at Twin Cedars Mobile Home Park are on fixed incomes. They are in their 70’s, 80’s, 90’s. Many are widows, widowers, veterans, and disabled. Our social security incomes are not increasing at a rate to sustain a 10% lot rent increase annually. If we can’t afford the increases we’re evicted. We can’t sell because in a capitalist economy the potential buyer can choose to buy in a park where it’s not owned by a large greedy corporation like Legacy Communities LLC. We can’t sell, we can’t move, and Legacy takes possession of our homes and our equity, and most everything we’ve worked for. They can then turn around and sell our homes, charge a lower rent to entice buyers. And they have nothing to lose. Can you as a republican support this in the name of capitalism?

This shouldn’t be a republican or democrat issue. It should be everyone’s issue. We need to keep families, children, and elderly people in the homes they own. Owning a manufactured home in a park is a completely different issue than renting an apartment. Setting limits on how much a landlord can charge a homeowner is far different than a structure they own and must maintain. Our incomes don’t provide us with the finances to maintain our homes and pay unjustified lot rent.

Judy Annin