Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck, is asking Legislative Management, which handles the interim committee work for legislators, to consider a new study this interim over concerns about mobile home parks around the state being bought by capital investment firms.
Utah-based Havenpark Capital purchased two Bismarck parks- Colonial Estates and Holiday Park, in July. Dever wants to look at claims that companies here in the state and around the country are intimidating residents. Both of the parks bought in July are in Dever's districts. Havenpark bought more parks in Fargo in August. He says he doesn't want to impede on the free market, but people need to have some protections.
“I think that landlords that own the parks need to recognize that mobile homes aren't as mobile as they used to be. People have a right to the quiet enjoyment of their homes and I think some of the things happening are a little bit onerous and a little bit over the top,” said Dever.
Dever hopes the study will be approved.
Resolution sent from Dever to Legislative Management:
WHEREAS, Mobile Home Parks represent an important asset to non-subsidized affordable housing; and,
WHEREAS, mobile homes are not as mobile as they once were leaving residents with limited options; and,
WHEREAS, recently national companies have come together made up of wealthy investors interested in shifting assets from the stock market to real estate; and,
WHEREAS, those national companies are buying up mobile home parks across the country, raising rents, and imposing onerous regulations on residents; and,
WHEREAS, one of those companies has purchased two parks in Bismarck and three in Fargo/West Fargo; and,
WHEREAS, in addition to a large increase in rent, water meters are being installed and water and utility charges are now becoming the responsibility of the residents; and,
WHEREAS, the increased costs are creating hardships for many residents, and are impossible for some; and,
WHEREAS, the regulations may prevent licensed childcare providers from continuing their operations; and,
WHEREAS, the new landlords are making early threats of eviction in an effort to intimidate residents; and,
WHEREAS, several states have considered, and some states have enacted legislation in response, and in the interest of fairness; and,
WHEREAS, this situation has come up since the last Legislative session and potentially could be elsewhere in the state in a short period of time;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Legislative Management be asked to consider initiating a study in the current interim of this situation and of legislative considerations in other states; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the interim committee consider any appropriate legislation and prepare it for introduction in the next Legislative session.