Del. State Senate Advances Protections For Manufactured Home Community Residents
Delawareans who live in manufactured housing communities would get new legal protections, under legislation (Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 9) that has passed the State Senate.
One part of the measure would close a loophole that allows owners of manufactured home communities to increase rents, even when they refuse to address outstanding health or safety violations, by requiring a bond or letter of credit to cover the full cost of the increase if those issues are not addressed.
Single-year rent increases would be tied to the consumer price index. The bill would also expand the number of homeowners who are eligible for Delaware’s lot rental assistance program.
“The residents of manufactured home communities are some of the most vulnerable constituents we represent,” State Senator Jack Walsh, D-Stanton said. “They are often seniors on fixed incomes or families with limited means who have moved into these communities for the promise of relatively low housing costs. Unfortunately, that is often not the case due to a number of factors, including the fact that they are frequently hit with hefty increases in the rent they pay for the land that’s literally beneath their feet. I want to thank my Senate colleagues for passing legislation today that will create a fair and predictable system for all parties.”
The bill moves on to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“This bill is the result of more than 8 years of discussion and negotiation between the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority, manufactured housing community owners, the Community Legal Aid Society and legislators,” Walsh added “It’s not a silver bullet, but I believe it is the most significant progress we have made in some time.”
“This legislation is an example of the Delaware Legislature working at its best to serve the people we represent.,” Representative Paul Baumbach, D-Newark said. “I commend Senator Walsh and Senator Townsend for taking the time to listen to and work with Delaware stakeholders, including the community owners, leaders, and residents, to find where common ground existed, where they could agree, and where they could negotiate. We can all recognize that SS 1 for SB 9 is a meaningful solution and step forward.”