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RELEASE: Khanna, Axne Introduce Manufactured Housing Tenant’s Bill of Rights to Protect Residents from Predatory Owners

May 19, 2021
Press Release
The Members also re-introduced legislation designed to keep manufactured housing communities affordable

 

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Cindy Axne (IA-03) introduced two pieces of legislation that will better protect residents of manufactured housing communities (MHCs) from predatory financial practices by corporate owners, provide them fundamental rights as tenants, and help keep communities affordable.

Manufactured Housing Tenant’s Bill of Rights

The first, the Manufactured Housing Tenant’s Bill of Rights, would establish a set of minimum standards for MHC tenants that receive federal financing through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Federal Housing Administration.

In order to ensure tenants living in communities covered by these protections are aware of their rights, the bill also requires that the list of properties where these protections are in place is posted publicly. The legislation also lays out penalties for any property owner that fails to meet these standards, including compensation for the residents who were harmed.

Those rights would include:

  • The right to a 60-day written notice of rent increases or new added charges like water or sewer, with longer notice for larger increases
  • The right to a one-year renewal lease absent good cause for nonrenewal and protection from evictions without cause
  • The right for a tenant to sell their manufactured home without having to relocate it, as well as rights to sublet and post ‘for sale’ signs on the home
  • The right to a 5-day grace period for late rent payments and 60 days advanced notice of a MHC’s planned sale or closure

“Owners of manufactured housing communities get federal backing to buy these properties, and then they turn around and only care about squeezing profits out of older Americans, folks living on fixed incomes, and families who don’t have the same protections as other tenants do in similar circumstances,” said Rep. Axne. “All tenants, regardless of where they live, should have the basic rights as residents that will protect them from unacceptable and predatory practices like we’ve seen at Midwest Country Estates in Waukee, and this bill would provide those protections for properties benefiting from federal backing. I’m proud to introduce legislation that would provide a commonsense and much-needed safety net of protections for residents of our manufactured housing communities.”

Manufactured Housing Community Preservation Act

The second, Manufactured Housing Community Preservation Act, was first introduced in the 116th Congress by the pair of lawmakers, to keep manufactured housing communities affordable by providing federal assistance for acquiring and preserving these communities. The bill creates a new grant program to help nonprofits, resident-formed cooperatives, and other local entities purchase and maintain an MHC through awards of up to $1 million. It also includes oversight provisions to ensure rents remain affordable for residents after purchase by grant recipients.

“The median home price in the Bay Area is 1.1 million dollars. For every 100 extremely low-income family in Santa Clara County, there’s only 29 affordable units,” said Rep. Khanna. “The federal government must step up and protect manufactured housing and mobile home communities, some of the only pathways left toward home ownership in Silicon Valley. Alongside the invaluable support from local nonprofits, together we must preserve an affordable home owning option.”

“Providing residents of our manufactured housing communities a pathway to acquiring their own community through a co-op or partnering with a nonprofit will help ensure we can keep these communities affordable for this and future generations of tenants,” said Rep. Axne. “I look forward to pushing to see this legislation passed in the House again this Congress and will be working with the White House and my Senate colleagues to create this new grant program as soon as possible.”

Last year, the Manufactured Housing Community Preservation Act was added to the House’s infrastructure package by a unanimous vote of the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Manufactured Housing Tenant’s Bill of Rights has the support of Prosperity Now, National Low Income Housing Coalition, MHAction, and the National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients).

Manufactured Housing Community Preservation Act has the support of Prosperity Now, Manufactured Housing Institute, MHAction, and ROC USA.

The full text of the Manufactured Housing Tenant’s Bill of Rights can be found here.

The full text of the Manufactured Housing Community Preservation Act can be found here.

 

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About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.