At least 550 manufactured home communities across Iowa have historically provided affordable homes and tight-knit communities to thousands of retirees on fixed incomes, veterans, low-income families, people with disabilities, and employees seeking affordable living near their workplaces.
A rapid sell-off of manufactured housing communities to out-of-state interests has left thousands of Iowans at the mercy of predatory business practices. Out-of-state investors now control over 25% of Iowa’s manufactured home communities. Corporate owners are gouging residents with high lot rents (increases often ranging from 30-70%), utility overcharges, and new fees, while jeopardizing safety by failing to invest in local maintenance. Residents are suffering and communities are being torn apart.
Iowa Code Chapter 562B, covering manufactured homes, has over decades become severely imbalanced in favor of park owners over residents. We need lawmakers to restore basic fairness to both sides, ensure manufactured home residents have rights at least as strong as those of other renters, and preserve affordable housing for Iowa’s future.
The Iowa Manufactured Home Residents Network supports a Residents’ Bill of Rights that includes five pillars: 1) Rent protection, 2) Good cause eviction standards, 3) Fair fees, 4) Fair and legal leases, and 5) Resident first right of refusal when parks are put up for sale.
In 2020, we supported bi-partisan legislation (HF 2351/SF 2238) as an important first step toward providing checks and balances in a currently one-sided system. The bill included good cause eviction standards, required justification for rent increases that exceed inflation, and many legal protections for manufactured home residents to mirror those of other renters. The proposed legislation left owners full rights to increase rents, evict residents for non-payment, and manage their parks. The bill simply leveled the playing field between Iowa residents and out-of-state investors who are using our neighborhoods to flip quick profits which immediately leave our state.
It's important to ask our representative to introduce similar legislation in the 2021 session.
While manufactured homes are often referred to as "mobile" homes, this is often far from reality. Many manufactured homes cannot structurally withstand a move due to modifications or home size. Those that can be moved can cost thousands of dollars to relocate, depending on size and distance of the move.
Like traditional homeowners, many manufactured homeowners have saved, borrowed, and heavily invested in purchasing their homes and making repairs or improvements. But under Iowa law, manufactured homeowners are at risk of losing their homes if a park owner refuses to renew their lot lease or evicts them and they are unable to quickly sell or move their home.