Concerns Over Manufactured Housing in Delaware - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Concerns Over Manufactured Housing in Delaware

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LAUREL, Del. - The Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association is hoping a new legislature will lead to new changes for manufactured homes across the state.

Bill Kinnick, the organization's president says there is little to no oversight of manufactured homes--commonly called trailers-- in the state. Additionally, he says landowners may determine the value of their property, so they increase rent at will.

"[Homeowners] land rent that they pay for these homes is supposed to pay for the maintenance and the other amenities that they get, but the landowners feel they need more money," he says. "So they have a captive audience-- they have no choice but to pay it, fight it or move out."

Kinnick says a majority of the people who live in the 191 manufactured housing communities in Delaware are people on fixed incomes, such as senior citizens or veterans. He says state law forbids landlords to increase the rent above the Consumer Price Index, but a lack of enforcement often leads to just that.

"There's been years of it happening-- a ten dollar increase this year, a ten dollar increase that year, a 15 dollar increase this year," Kinnick tells WBOC. "That's well above the CPIU, even though the CPIU has been less than one percent in the past couple of years."

Kinnick says the rent increases often times lead to evictions--but when people are evicted from a manufactured home, their trailer is locked, so they lose all their possessions as well as where they live. Kinnick hopes to work with legislators this year to create a manufactured housing commission and then pass legislation related to manufactured housing in the upcoming session.

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