Paid Up Home In 3, Not 30, Years? How Does A Co-op Trailer Park Sound?

arial view of mobile home park
NARA-558296 photo by Flip Schulke is licensed under the public domain
Trailer park clients traditionally own the structure but rent the land. A Minnesota group is trying to change this arrangement in order to preserve their affordable housing.

Public funding, foundation grants, sweat equity, donated land, land trusts, all these and more play a part these days in attempts to piece together affordable housing projects aimed at citizens with the lowest levels of income.

Housing co-ops are another form of of affordable housing realization that has fallen by the wayside but is now being touted for a comeback. For more on the nature and potential of ‘conventional’ housing coops, try: Ontario Pines For The Heady Affordable Housing Co-ops Of Yesteryear

We use the term ‘conventional’ for a reason. That’s because in Minnesota, some unlikely housing activists have been at work attempting to organize an unusual but thought provoking trailer park co-op. More info at the last link on this page.

Trailer parks have long been understood by their much-disparaged residents to be inexpensive places to live. Most own their homes free and clear, unlike nearby upscale neighbourhoods with many residents up to their ears in debt and struggling to pay off 30-year mortgages.

Trailer parks have suffered lately from two significant disadvantages. First, their homes have historically been lightly constructed and vulnerable to bad weather, particularly windstorms and floods. However, new government regulations regarding siting and anchoring of mobile homes are making a difference. Try: The Reprieve Of The Flimsy Fly-By-Never Single-Wide Trailer Park Death Trap

The safety of these communities has improved to the point where parks can be purchased and refurbished into investment vehicles as upscale retirement communities. This conversion to an investment vehicle is a major reason for the rapid decline in the numbers of trailer parks across North America. Try: You Can Invest In Affordability With A Manufactured Home REIT. A What?

Comedian John Oliver recently delivered a rant against the rapacious damage that investment schemes can wreak on this form of affordable housing. Read more at The Guardian: John Oliver Rips Private Equity In Mobile Home Parks As If ‘Income Inequality Came To Life’

However, inexpensive cooperative trailer park ownership could allow mobile/manufactured home owners to enjoy not only the security of owning their own home, but as well, cooperative ownership of the land where it sits. It could be a way to revive this industry. Read more in TwinCities: With Affordable Housing Hard To Come By, Could Trailer Parks Make A Twin Cities Comeback?