LANSING, Mich., Feb. 26, 2020 — State Reps. Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek), Angela Witwer (Delta Township), Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and a group of House Democrats unveiled a comprehensive package of bills today to improve consumer protections for residents in Michigan’s mobile home communities, a group that is too often overlooked and taken advantage of under current law.
“As elected officials, it is up to us to ensure there are measures in place to keep all Michigan residents safe,” said Witwer. “However when it comes to our mobile home communities, we are still not doing nearly enough to get that done. The residents of these communities deserve to have their input considered when public safety reports are submitted, and that is what my bill would mandate.”
Among other vital issues, this 8-bill bill package would allow for increased resident representation on the Mobile Home Commission, prevent unfair and sudden surges in lot rent, and increase transparency and legal recourse for residents who currently have few options in large part because of the way the law is currently written.
“Not only does this package take proactive steps to protect the safety and well-being of mobile home families, it gives residents the opportunity to be active participants in their communities while allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money,” said Haadsma. “These bills also provide us the tools we need to address blighted parks while creating a path for residents to share in ownership of the places they live.”
“Michigan is one of the weakest states when it comes to consumer protection, and the way we regulate mobile home communities is no exception,” said Camilleri. “We have residents who own their mobile homes but see their lot rent rise year after year, and many of these people are on fixed incomes. We need to close the loopholes that allow wealthy management companies to take advantage of low-income residents across our Downriver community and around our state, and that’s exactly what this package would do.”
Among other vital issues, House Bills 5562-5569 would allow for increased resident representation on the Mobile Home Commission, prevent unfair and sudden surges in lot rent, and increase transparency and legal recourse for residents who currently have few options in large part because of the way the law is currently written.
A brief description of each bill in the package can be found below:
HB 5562: Mobile Home Commission Changes (Rep. Sheryl Kennedy): Requires that at least two members of the 11-person Mobile Home Commission are actual residents of a mobile home park.
HB 5563: Mobile Home Public Safety Reports (Rep. Angela Witwer): Requires Mobile Home Commission public safety reports include input from residents.
HB 5564: Provide for Tax Incentives from Sale of Mobile Home Parks (Rep. Jim Haadsma): Allows park owners to take advantage of tax incentives by selling their parks to resident co-ops, nonprofit housing corporations, housing commissions, housing authorities or local governments in order to encourage ownership by local communities rather than private equity firms.
HB 5565: Mobile Home Air Conditioner Stipulations (Rep. Sara Cambensy): Requires that local mobile home ordinances guarantee residents are able to have adequate temperature control (heating and cooling) for the sake of public safety and health in mobile home communities across our state.
HB 5566: Prevent Mobile Home Park Owners from Collecting Rent if Licenses Lapse (Rep. Leslie Love): Bans owners/operators of mobile home parks from collecting rent if they let their licenses lapse for that park after the existing 30 day grace period has passed and the park has still not come into compliance.
HB 5567: Mobile Home Notice of Intent to Sell (Rep. Alex Garza): Allows for right of first refusal when a trailer park is to be sold to another management company and written notification to all residents.
HB 5568: Transparency in Lot Rent Increases (Rep. Darrin Camilleri): Requires the owner or developer to provide a written justification to the Mobile Home Commission and residents of the mobile home park not less than 6 months before lot rent increase.
HB 5569: Mobile Home Rent Control (Rep. Darrin Camilleri): Places caps on the “rent” of the land (lot rent) that mobile home residents can be charged by tying it to the consumer price index in order to prevent management companies from employing arbitrary rent hikes to effectively price residents out of the land even if they already own the trailers.
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