Home On The Road

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 5 2012 @ 4:45pm

Fred Clark sees trouble brewing in mobile home communities:

The problem with mobile homes is that they’re not really mobile. They’re anchored to a particular site, and detaching them to transport them elsewhere is extremely expensive and, in many cases, impossible. That means the regular rules of the market do not apply — there can be no competition to restrain arbitrary or extreme rent hikes because these home-owners are, literally, stuck right where they are. This creates an untenable situation for both the homeowners and the landlords who rent out the ground beneath their homes.

My preferred solution is to convert them — all of them, everywhere — into resident-owned communities. That’s the idea championed by New Hampshire-based nonprofit ROC USA. They’re right. When residents own the land beneath their homes they acquire the stability and security they now lack. They are able to build equity and to plan for the long term. Resident-ownership strengthens communities and empowers the families and retirees who live in them. And it reduces government regulation and intervention by eliminating the need for it.