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Doc Sportello

(7,707 posts)
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 10:37 AM Oct 2022

'The truth is they're vulnerable': inside America's mobile home crisis

New documentary "highlights a cross-section of mobile home-owners and the system that aims to ruin them".


A Decent Home, Sara Terry’s unflinchingly intimate and troubling documentary about the crisis that is roiling the nation, tells this ever-pervasive story on a refreshingly human scale.
Terry spent six years working on her film, which follows bands of residents at a quartet of mobile home parks under threat by developers looking to jack up rents – sometimes by more than 50% – or repurpose the land for more lucrative use. Moving a mobile home can cost up to $20,000, which makes it easier for landlords to get away with inflicting steep rent hikes.


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'The truth is they're vulnerable': inside America's mobile home crisis (Original Post) Doc Sportello Oct 2022 OP
John Oliver did a segment a while back on the mobile home industry. Appalling. niyad Oct 2022 #1
Oliver's contribution is mentioned in the article Doc Sportello Oct 2022 #2
Who can help these folks? Nt XanaDUer2 Oct 2022 #3
It's disgraceful Johnny2X2X Oct 2022 #4
This is what US capitalism has become. Investor groups actively look for loopholes to blow open halfulglas Oct 2022 #8
Agree Doc Sportello Oct 2022 #11
Well said Doc Sportello Oct 2022 #10
Berkshire Hathaway aka Warren Buffet owns Clayton Homes TexasBushwhacker Oct 2022 #13
So? Doc Sportello Oct 2022 #15
This is about the people who own the land Zeitghost Oct 2022 #21
You forgot to point out that, in at least some cases, those "mobile"homes niyad Oct 2022 #18
Not only that, but around here there are no real leases, it's month to month Warpy Oct 2022 #5
I lived in a mobile home my last two years in college in the 1970s csziggy Oct 2022 #9
Trailers are so much better than apartments Warpy Oct 2022 #16
I only lived in an apartment a short time csziggy Oct 2022 #20
I'm sure I'd have been told no Warpy Oct 2022 #22
I tell everyone in the MH market NEVER put it in a park. oldsoftie Oct 2022 #6
That's the thing Johnny2X2X Oct 2022 #14
so who owns the land under tiny homes dembotoz Oct 2022 #7
So they decided... ret5hd Oct 2022 #12
This documentary is available for rent on Amazon Prime, if you are interested. Trailrider1951 Oct 2022 #17
Thanks for the info n/t Doc Sportello Oct 2022 #19

Doc Sportello

(7,707 posts)
2. Oliver's contribution is mentioned in the article
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 10:54 AM
Oct 2022

The Guardian did the original story behind the doc in 2015 and Oliver did a piece in 2019 that infuriated one of the developers, who stopped cooperating with the filmmaker.


(19,964 posts)
4. It's disgraceful
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 11:39 AM
Oct 2022

And the $20K to move a trailer is the whole key here. The homeowners don't have a choice, you're absolutely stuck where you are and there's nothing to help.

That someone saw this loophole and rallied investors to take advantage of it is just the pinnacle of predatory capitalism.

There's nothing wrong with living in a trailer park, there are many nice trailer park communities in my area. But they are the last rung out of poverty for many families. The fact that corporate America decided to ruin them for millions is just a disgrace. A retired couple i know who owned their trailer, saw their lot rent go from $350 to $750 a month over the course of 4 years. And there were added fees and increased enforcement of rules that came with fines. it became unaffordable to them, luckily they were in a position to buy a regular home.


(1,654 posts)
8. This is what US capitalism has become. Investor groups actively look for loopholes to blow open
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 01:37 PM
Oct 2022

For the next big opportunity. They don't build anything of value. They don't produce anything. Like slicing and dicing the mortgages. Or buying and selling old debts and milking them for everything they can and trying to get people to pay on written off debt.

The only difference between someone who will take advantage of an "investment" like this and someone who holds up a bank is one will get sent to jail and the other will dine at the country club.

Doc Sportello

(7,707 posts)
10. Well said
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 01:51 PM
Oct 2022

I lived in one for six months. I liked this article and want to see the film because people often have a negative view of MHs, and this shows the people who live there are just decent people trying to navigate an economy that is beholden to predatory capitalism. When I left the par, the rental rates had already gone up 50 percent. No telling what they are now.


(20,498 posts)
13. Berkshire Hathaway aka Warren Buffet owns Clayton Homes
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 02:14 PM
Oct 2022

They manufacture 25% of all mobile homes in the US. They also do the financing of the homes through their 21st Mortgage and financing of the parks through their Berkadia Mortgage.


(4,126 posts)
21. This is about the people who own the land
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 07:31 PM
Oct 2022

Not the people who build/finance the homes that are parked on that land.


(116,093 posts)
18. You forgot to point out that, in at least some cases, those "mobile"homes
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 03:56 PM
Oct 2022

are too old to move. John did aery good job of covering that horrific part.


(112,186 posts)
5. Not only that, but around here there are no real leases, it's month to month
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 12:42 PM
Oct 2022

I lived in a trailer in a very nice park for 4 years. The rent didn't go up that much but I'm sure it has by now, a very large tract of empty land next to the park was developed into suburban housing, big houses on little lots, so I'm sure there is developer pressure on the park.

Mobile homes make a great deal of sense in NM, they're compact, cheap to heat and cool, relatively easy to maintain. If people own the land it's on, they'll have a cheaper alternative to an expensive stick built house on site. We don't get tornadoes or hurricanes in most of the state, so it's also safe housing. Outside the city in the more rural areas, most homes are mobile.

I loved living in one. If I could have moved it out of that park and plunked it on an empty lot closer to work, I would have. I just hated the rental terms in that park. As soon as those ticky tacky suburban houses started to be built, I knew the end was nigh.

I drove through about 10 years after I left and it was about a quarter empty.


(34,159 posts)
9. I lived in a mobile home my last two years in college in the 1970s
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 01:44 PM
Oct 2022

It was the cheapest alternative to sharing an apartment and I just didn't want any more roommates.

I paid $2000 for the used mobile home, which was delivered and set up as part of the price, and $35 a month for the lot rental. Most of the people in that little park were older retirees - I was the youngest person living in that park. When I graduated I sold the house back to the company I bought it from for $1000. They came and picked it up so no cost to me.

So I paid $840 for rent and $1000 for the use of the mobile home which came to under $80 a month for the two years. To rent an apartment by myself would have cost much more for a decent spot.

That mobile home park was sold twenty years later and there is now a retail store and parking lot where it was.


(112,186 posts)
16. Trailers are so much better than apartments
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 02:47 PM
Oct 2022

You don't have people stomping overhead and you don't have to tiptoe so you don't bother people downstairs. Nobody complains if you're listening to music or watching TV at 3 AM, something I did frequently since I worked nights. No more headsets in sticky July.

That was a good deal for you when you got it. I'm afraid the deals have gotten very bad, trailer park residents essentially stuck in a protection racket, paying exorbitant rents so converting the park to a WalMart isn't that financially attractive.

Those of us who were around before Reagan finally killed off the last vestiges of the New Deal were pretty lucky, we didn't have to live with our parents a second longer than was absolutely necessary, and most of us left like we were shot out of cannons.


(34,159 posts)
20. I only lived in an apartment a short time
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 06:01 PM
Oct 2022

And it was a converted garage. I lived where the garage was, there was an apartment upstairs. Still a nightmare and they were very noisy and intrusive.

Back then there were a lot of houses renting - two and three bedrooms for $125-200 a month so to get a good rate you had to share. I'm too much of a loner for that!

My parents wouldn't let us move home once we were gone. My sister moved back for a few months after she finished her Master's but it was a relief for her and our parents when she quickly got a job teaching at the university while she was working on her doctorate. It was a huge fight for her to go back even for a couple of months.


(112,186 posts)
22. I'm sure I'd have been told no
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 09:23 PM
Oct 2022

with the imprint of the front third of my mother's right shoe on my backside.


(13,092 posts)
6. I tell everyone in the MH market NEVER put it in a park.
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 12:44 PM
Oct 2022

I used to own a few in parks but like this article says, they have just gone crazy with lot rents. My last one I just pretty much gave it to the tenant. It needed some work & she was nice. When I bought it the lot rent was 145. That was about 8 yrs ago. Now its 425. While that DOES include sewer & garbage its still crazy for this area.
Its ridiculous but there's nothing you can do unless you pass a law that limits increases & I doubt that would be legal.


(19,964 posts)
14. That's the thing
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 02:21 PM
Oct 2022

Owning the land is unaffordable for many mobile home owners. The type of financing you need for a house is required for a mobile home and the land. So people get what are essentially auto loans for their mobile home and get it put at a park where they don't get to own the land.

And Dems in congress are already working on closing the loopholes that allowed this, but by the time they get something passed, millions of people will have seen their rents go through the roof.



(16,922 posts)
7. so who owns the land under tiny homes
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 01:05 PM
Oct 2022

are they really just mobile homes without wheels?

my parents almost bought a mobile home in a park.

I was away at school but remember there being weird restrictions
almost like a senior housing thing without it being senior.
Like they were pretty sure i could come home for the summer....

They bought a condo instead.


(20,831 posts)
12. So they decided...
Tue Oct 25, 2022, 02:08 PM
Oct 2022

they DID want you to come home for the summer. You must be nice!

As soon as I moved out, my father IMMEDIATELY started turning my bedroom into a bathroom. He said if I visit I could sleep in the tub.

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