Backs mible home owners legislation

Letter to the Editor,

Many Iowans live in mobile homes. Also called “manufactured homes” or “trailers,” they are just called “home” by the Iowans live in them and often own them.

Unfortunately, dozens of these affordable communities have been bought by out-of-state investment groups looking to make big bucks.

The out-of-staters don’t plan to tear down the park and build new, more expensive buildings.

Instead, they plan to create ultra-profitable cash cows by raising the rent, sometimes by as much as 70%.

Iowa has hundreds of honest local landlords. Many have been mom-and-pop owner-operators for decades, and they treat their residents with respect.

Iowa’s weak laws fail to protect mobile home owners. Apartment renters like me have more rights than Iowans who own their mobile home and simply rent the lot where the home is parked.

Take this example. The Table Mound Mobile Home Park is in Dubuque County. It was recently bought by out-of-state investor Frank Rolfe. He’s famous for saying mobile home parks are good investments because they are, “like a Waffle House where the customers are chained to their booths.”

He’s also said “The customers are stuck there. They don’t have the option, they can’t afford to move the trailer. The only way they can object to your rent raise is to walk off and leave the trailer, in which case it becomes abandoned property, and you can recycle it and put another person in it. So, you really hold all the cards.”

Iowans are fighting back but they need help that can only come from the Iowa Legislature.

We must strengthen Iowa’s laws and make sure mom-and-pop landlords can continue providing local affordable housing. We will all benefit when Iowans on mobile homes are treated fairly.

Please contact your state legislators. Ask them to support comprehensive, bipartisan legislation so Iowans can continue to own their own homes with reasonable protections.

If you area mobile home owner-or own a mobile home park-I’m interested in hearing from you. My phone number is 391-318-2094.

Senator Zach Wahls