Why does APAC need you to Give to the Max?
This summer, two manufactured (mobile) home parks closed in the Twin Cities metro area: Lowry Grove in St. Anthony; and Southgate in Bloomington. These closures tore apart two tight-knit communities that have existed for over 50 years. They displaced low-income, but self-sufficient home owners, in what were highly-diverse communities with many people of color.
The loss of these two communities highlight two problems that APAC and park residents will fight to solve during the 2018 Minnesota Legislative Session:
First, we will fight to eliminate barriers to manufactured home owners buying their park communities. Minnesota’s “right of first refusal” law gave residents the right to purchase their park if it was being sold for redevelopment. The residents worked with a housing nonprofit and put in an offer. However, the park owner went ahead with an illegal sale to a developer and the law did not give residents the right to reverse this sale; only to seek financial damages. The “right of first refusal” must be strengthened to preserve parks that are closing, in addition a 60-day period for residents to put in an offer must be provided any time a park is being sold.
Second, we will fight to strengthen the state’s Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund. The fund is supported by a $15 annual fee paid on each home owner-occupied lot. When Lowry Grove and Southgate closed, the displaced residents were paid nearly $1 million in benefits, which left the fund balance below $100,000. At least $1.75 million should have still been in the fund, but the Legislature put a $1 million cap on the balance in 2011 that stopped annual collection of the fee. The $1 million cap on the Relocation Trust Fund balance must be eliminated or raised to $5 million, and a process must be put in place for conducting additional emergency fee collections if needed.
Your contribution on Give to the Max Day on between now and midnight on Thursday, November 16 , will, hopefully, make us strong enough to combat the superior financial power of the park owners’ association. Your support will allow us:Outreach to park communities around the state to increase awareness of these issues Bring together residents at the grassroots level to generate calls, letters, and emails Organize groups of residents to meet with Legislators at the State Capitol Maintain an ongoing presence at the State Capitol to fight back against park owner attacks and push for a powerful resident agenda
Our goal is to raise $1000 during the Give to the Max Day period. Just $1000 will help to ensure resident’s rights to purchase their parks, so that they will not have their lives torn apart because their park is closed. Just $1000 can help ensure that residents are fairly compensated and can afford to move to another park.
Please help us continue the fight!