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Renters In America Are Running Out Of Options

Mar 07, 2024
I am 75 years old. I had to get out of this trailer. I was getting sick. Now I live in my truck tonight. I'm going to try lying down this way because my legs were getting so swollen that they kept lifting them up. and I brought it up and felt like I was losing control of my life. Private equity is about fast money. Everything else, damn it, the problem with the system now is greed. So, urban, suburban, ex-urban, rural. Do we have a housing crisis in the United States? Yes, you had it. I don't even doubt it, no I don't doubt it, Republican or Democrat, no one wants affordable housing in their backyard, there is no life like being homeless, America's affordable housing crisis is a national problem, there is no place that be immune to it, but it is especially serious in some places. like manhattan and the big cities where to my left there is public housing and to my right there are six million dollar apartments for sale there may be disagreement because there is certainly disagreement about the solutions, but there is unanimity of opinion that the United States is in the middle of a crisis of housing after two years of lockdowns in a faltering economy an inflation rate approaching double digits the cost of housing has skyrocketed with rent increasing by 11 percent in 2021 and home prices reaching a staggering 19 in a single year this building is asking for 28 rent increase shame change the demise of regular stimulus checks and the federal moratorium on evictions for those on the margins of the American economy the future looks bleak this building was set to moderate income housing for low income people 28 no one can beat that my income is not raise social security pensions do not collect 28 new york has tried almost everything to alleviate this problem with limited success in the last 10 years the plan has funded The construction and preservation of more than 130,700 affordable units under this plan over the next 10 years will create opportunities for so many people who are currently being excluded from our city.
renters in america are running out of options
Over the past 10 years, the New York City Housing Authority has processed 25 million applications for the housing lottery in a city of 8 million residents, but as anyone who has ever bought a Powerball ticket can give faith that lotteries are an insufficient solution to an existential problem chris mayer is an economist and professor of real estate at the columbia business school who spent most of his adult life studying the heretofore ineligible problem of market interest rates. affordable real estate in new york city we are never going to create a situation where affordable housing is widely available, i.e. there is not a lot of land you can build on, there is not a lot of land, but you can build a world-class density, The cities are a lot denser than New York and there are a lot of places, well they say they don't want it, they're not in my backyard, why do you look over there and see all these really tall buildings?
renters in america are running out of options

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Why shouldn't we be able to build? higher here and in many parts of the city, yes, we need some infrastructure and we should invest money in effective and efficient public transportation, but we need to be able to build more units because housing will not be less expensive if New York is an attractive place for Housing to live in won't be less expensive unless we build more, there's no way around it. Yes, on the spectrum of affordable housing


in America, the cheapest end is the humble trailer park, which, after years of negative associations, has been rebranded as manufactured housing.
renters in america are running out of options
They are inexpensive and often available to those with bad credit and six percent of Americans live in one, although there are some disadvantages, so we will move to Schwartz Creek Estates, which is a mobile home park in Michigan that is now owned by a private equity firm. and people can't afford to stay home, sorry I get that reaction a lot, it's those yeses, so I keep the tarantulas. Holly Hook is the founder of a mobile home residence in Michigan for affordable housing. She makes a living selling young adult e-books on Amazon. The niche is apocalyptic novels, give me an idea of ​​what an apocalyptic book is.
renters in america are running out of options
It's usually a group of survivors trying to survive a major disaster, like an asteroid impact or a nuclear explosion, so the situation you're in now isn't that bad comparatively. it's not quite apocalyptic it's not quite apocalyptic it's pretty bad but it's not that bad as rents rise everywhere what might seem like small increases in the manufactured housing sector they say a hundred dollars can be catastrophic for those on fixed incomes it What you need to remember with mobile homes is that if you own it, you still pay rent, that is because your mobile home is not mobile, it is in a fixed position and while you may own the structure on the top of the land, someone else has owned the land it is on for three years.
The Utah-based company Haven Park Capital purchased Swartz Creek Estates where Holly lives in July 2018, and they came in and put signs on our door that said: Hi, we're Have Park Capital. We just bought your community. Okay, we buy your community. Yes, we are delighted to acquire it. their community is how they worded it because of course they were happy that there was someone in the community please no because they immediately put a 22 rent increase for the slab of land yeah which is a nice way to put it , yeah, and how much is a Well, when I started it was only 290 a month with the old owner which was in 2012.
That was in 2012. It's a good business there, so it's gone up from 290 to today, the rate of the lot alone is 416. 416. and now there are other accrued fees that used to be included in our rent. We have garbage sewer. We have a school tax. We have an administration fee after they took over billing us for water. It has been approximately a 55. percentage increase in three years there will be some increase at some point, of course, I mean the rent has to go up, I mean, everything, the expense of everything goes up, inflation, etc., what do you think it would be a reasonable rent or a reasonable rent increase of three percent? per year seems more reasonable, the previous owner raised the rent a couple of times, but it was ten dollars and I think that happened once or twice in the five years before Haven Park arrived.
Haven Park responded to our inquiry about the rent increases with a statement saying they were necessary because they allowed us to make key community improvements, add amenities, and cover rising cost inflation in the period covered by Holly's rent increase. . Haven Park told us its operating costs in Swartz Creek increased 59 percent driven largely by property tax increases, payroll increases. and insurance increases Thieven Park has been in the news for similar rent increases at other parks across the country. Haven Park Capital planned to increase rent by 69 percent, but recently announced a new policy that would not increase lot rents more than 50 in a year. this park is now Haven Park, so this is the capital of Haven Park or they call it something else now, right, Haven Park, bunnies and ferries or something, it's something better, yeah, yeah, yeah, remember what Haven is Park, uh, communities, but it used to be Haven Park, capital, yeah.
OK, so what are the general complaints about Haven Park Capital in this community? The general complaints are that they are always increasing the rent. Constantly increasing the rent. There are excessive fees, administrative fees, garbage fees, sewer, pet fees, even when you own your home. Harold Johnson works. As an organizer for mh action, an activist group dedicated to creating campaigns to protect the affordability and quality of manufactured housing communities and promote racial, economic, and gender justice, she is also a former mobile home owner whose last fixed address was a Missouri park managed by impact community one of the largest manufactured home park owners in the country, I was actually renting the house and I was renting the land, after about four or five months the management came to me and offered me a rental option program where I could start purchasing the house to rent it out. owning something like that, yeah, since I've been doing so well with renting, she wanted to offer me to buy the house and said it would be a lot cheaper, so I accepted her offer after about nine months of buying my house.
I got a letter saying they're not going to renew my lot lease and I thought, well, they're not going to renew my lot at least because they're going to start another lot lease, so I asked them about that and they told me. No, you have 90 days to move, how the hell does that work? You're starting to own the house and then you can't rent the land the house is on. I didn't know it at the time, how common it was, yeah. Johnson says the lease on his lot was terminated and she was subsequently evicted. The court went in favor of Impact Community because in my lease it said I can in my lease or they can end it and he went with Impact Community and went in their favor.
Not having the five thousand dollars it would cost to move their house, the mortgage company foreclosed on it, so what they did was technically legal. If the court approved it, they say it is legal and those are the laws that need to be changed. Make it illegal for them to do that, so where did you go next? I have been living in a hotel with my family since then and because of that I am considered homeless. I would never want anyone to go through what I'm going through. it's nothing it's personal there's no life like being homeless a source told me that an avalanche of negative news has made the manufactured housing industry cringe in the press and our attempts to get people on the record seem to prove it, But a businessman Frank Rolfe who runs a so-called university for potential mobile home park investors has become the de facto public face of the industry's éminence grise and has little problem saying what everyone knows to be true, but consider it rude to say so, one of the big drivers of making money.
This is the ability to raise the rent, we weren't holding them hostage if they weren't stuck in those houses on those mobile home lots it would be a completely different picture, the subsequent press hasn't been kind to rolf wow, usually when someone is so derogatory to poor people they are immediately visited by the ghost of christmas future i asked ralph about these comments this is frank frank this is michael moynihan from vice how are you? Hey, I'm doing good, how are you? getting into a lot of media attention because of college, if I said I wanted to take your course how would you sell it to me, this is actually a huge profit generator for me.
You know, we don't sell people to invest what we need to do is educate them if they are going to invest, how to do it correctly. The main attraction is that people are betting on the fact that lot rents will likely continue to rise for years to come. I've talked to some people who say we were happy, maybe a little dissatisfied with our previous landlord, but when these big guys come in and raise the rent by 30 percent, there have been new charges for water that they didn't have to pay before. , no matter what the price is.
The thing is, no one likes to pay higher prices. Typically, 10 parts of the park use more water with a higher water load than the entire representative of the lot. I have seen water rates as high as five hundred and six hundred dollars a month. They have no sense of conservation. The cost of water has risen a lot, which to me does not seem in any way unjustified, that is, almost all the parks that we have bought, we have literally brought life back to the park and to make it worth it we have to raise the level red.
Do you really want to refer to the people who live in your parks as hostages? Well, when I teach a class it is 30 hours, that fragment is a few seconds of 30 hours. I don't understand how it could be contextually different if you say If we weren't holding them hostage, if they weren't trapped in the houses in the yards of the mobile homes, I certainly don't think the clients are hostages and if that offends anyone, I apologize for offending them. , but no one in that class was saved from that. think differently than these are the clients and it's not like they're not hostages, we don't tie them up or anything so I mean that's not in any way correct, I don't think anyone would think that the word mobile is a misnomer it's not a mobile home i thought they must be cheap to move in they're not cheap to move in so again i liked it do you mind if we don't like them? to our clients the rents had doubled but their quality The standard of living had increased infinitely because they had paved roads and water and sewage services, a niceoffice, a nice entrance and new signage, so everything has value again.
Most residents love it, so we like them. by our clients, but we are simply not liked by the media. One thing the media never gets right about that whole concept is that the mobile home park people have a very real option that no other housing people have, not houses, not condos, not anyone. I mean the


are: they can sell the house if they're not happy, they can sublease it if they're not happy, they can obviously walk away and abandon it, but the fourth element is that any mobile home park owner in the US is going to pay happy to move anyone.
Who is not happy with the house from a park to their park? Moving a mobile home costs about five thousand dollars and probably all park owners, with the exception of a few moms and dads, will happily foot that bill. They have the ability not to extend your lease. on their property depending on how I treat their property even though I own my house they can evict me if I don't follow their guidelines there really is no security they can say at any time hey you have to leave but they are really not movable, especially it has covers and everything else, you know, it's quite expensive.
I don't have 10,000 to move this, that's how much it costs and I can't afford to sell it because I can't afford to fix it. That's a niceAmazing sentence, I can't afford to sell it, so how much did the trailer cost? Well, I bought it, they sold it to me in nineteen hundred and nine. It's an 86 trailer. That trail alone is worth five to six thousand dollars. Grover Canine is 75 years old. Retired welding instructor and maintenance worker spent the last few months living in his truck every time I come here I see this and it hurts my whole life is in this 10 by 20 shed so you've been living in your truck for a couple of months , yes which is better than living in the trailer, yes for me the trailer I was in was full of black mold, the boiler kept turning on, it was like it was strangling me, I couldn't breathe and the more I looked into it , more I found out what was wrong with the trailer, who owned the park when you bought the trailer, the ownership group is called impact, they don't take care of anything, most of these trailers are 10-15 years old or more, they are They buy from some. place in the south and that's the company, yes, impact, yes, so they sold you that real piece of yes, contractually, is it their problem?
When you sign up to live there, do you have any obligations at the time I purchased the trailer? They told me. it was fine, you didn't have an inspection, no, because i moved there in the winter and they told me the trailer is fine, nothing wrong with it, neither the impact nor the park manager responded to our request for comment, two of the neighbors The canine said they saw the mold in Grover's house and that they too were having similar problems due to the recent flooding, but one of Grover's neighbors said the impact had made improvements, including repairing some of the park's roads. and a bus stop.
Mobile home residence in Michigan for affordable housing is First of all, on an informative website about Haven Park, we discovered that the leading company, which is a subsidiary of Enterprise Community, partners with the large non-profit housing company. profit, they were actually financing Haven Park's purchase of our communities and, as far as we know, they got entangled in the web, we did. They are a non-profit, yes a large affordable housing non-profit, as I understand it, they are an affordable housing non-profit, affordable and non-profit are the two key phrases that fund a large pool of financial capital to buy houses and raise around themselves.
If I keep right, it seems somewhat illogical, but yes, I think it is quite illogical, too illogical, but typical of a well-intentioned government program that requires Fannie and Freddie to better serve families in the domestic manufacturing market and help mitigate the La housing crisis is taken advantage of by those who, by not doing anything illegal, already have cash and use low interest loans to acquire more parks faster. Residents like Ms. Hook were left with the impossible option of banning the home they own with literally nowhere to go. Nowhere else to run her house or pay rent or try to pay rent they can't pay Holley's agitation attracted the attention of Senate Housing Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, who invited her to testify.
Both Fannie Mae and Enterprise claim to promote affordable housing, but when they finance predatory investors like Haven Park they destroy it. Neither Fannie Mae nor Bellwether responded to our request for comment. Business community partners told Vice News in a statement that the manufactured housing business requires policies and capital solutions to protect residents and ensure that speculative developers don't buy those homes, how are Fannie and Freddie involved in their business? They have been the foundation for many of these older properties to come back to life and as a result people have the confidence to come in and buy mobile devices. home parks and they fund them, so is it fair to say that the government is subsidizing some of these purchases?
It's a regular loan, but the industry has such a poor stereotype that many lenders don't make loans for mobile home parks, so Fannie Freddie Bridge. gap, let me put it in simple terms, like you're a guy who takes money, takes money from poor people and you know it doesn't matter, as long as the economy goes south, the need for affordable housing grows exponentially regardless. from politicians or really anything, single family homes in California cost thousands of dollars a square foot which is not affordable so home prices just don't make any sense and as a result people are stuck , they can't buy houses in the belt, apartment rents are crazy. that's what fuels the demand for affordable housing, so you think there are pieces of legislation and you know at the state level that you think would be beneficial, you have to define what is beneficial, you're not going to be able to stop the force of the market in what When it comes to rent, I mean, you can try to control rent, but it hasn't stagnated in almost 100 years and, due to the ever-increasing demand for houses and apartments, all rents have been frozen to prevent speculation during World War II.
World. The federal government introduced wage and price controls and large-scale rent control. A lot of people's instinct is rent control, so in RV parks where there are people who own the structure on top of it, I think rent control is a pretty reasonable solution, given that situation, so this is a specific rent control right which would be if you own something that is not on top of someone else's land they basically can't just torture you to death because they will force you to move and you won't be able to take that with you exactly that problem is one for examples of the ways you know low-income people in this country are taken advantage of.
To me it's a great place where you would say rent control really works. What about the big ones, I mean? In the country as a whole, I mean, is rent control a viable solution outside of that specific example of trailer parks? The downside to rent control is that it reduces people's willingness to build things. The trade-off to make is how do I calculate it? Finding ways to keep people from getting ripped off, but how to allow the market to work to allow people to build more housing and the way to get more housing for me is instead of saying we have a fixed amount of housing and what we go to do.
The thing to do is not allow anyone to raise rents, so we simply build larger and larger lists of people who want access to housing and that is not a good solution; The solution should be to make housing more affordable and while economists tend to agree on very little there is anything resembling a consensus that rent control has not produced the desired results and was abandoned in liberal enclaves like Berkeley California and cambridge massachusetts we are a country that has an inequality problem would you agree that yes how? Do we house the poor? We make immediate construction much easier.
I would put tens of billions of dollars in vouchers at the federal level to help tens of billions of dollars. Yes, we have to have a way to allow new people coming in, whether they're young people, whether they're families, whether they're immigrants and new people coming into a market and give them the ability to buy and live in affordable housing, which are the things that our parents had. the ability to do so if we want societies that people can afford we have to build them here, you might expect something like a conclusion in which I condemn villainous landlords and defend virtuous tenants, followed by a fairly simple solution to a crisis of housing that has eluded the local and state level. governments for centuries but which I have solved in 30 minutes these stories are never that simple virtue and villainy are never evenly distributed stories are often complicated by poor personal and economic decisions made worse by a broken system compounded by owners motivated by the bottom line , but maybe This is also grossly oversimplified, unless the government takes over the housing market and somehow solves the problem of stagnant wages.
Landlords and mortgage brokers who serve low-income clients are necessary and will always be motivated by profit, but that is not where the housing crisis lies. if anything as christopher mayer suggests we need more housing which means more mortgages and landlords and we need higher wages and better jobs and then we have easily solved it this is where me and sadie are left how do we get out of this situation? hoping for a miracle you don't see any obvious way i know right now i have thought about suicide i have thought about it to be honest with you i have been talking to people and that has helped me as does talking to you now it takes some of the pressure off i am michael lairmonth editor Head of Vice News Too often traditional media outlets avoid the real stories and experiences of those living in global conflicts.
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