Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 8.52.56 AM

Park tenants to confront shareholders

From the Citrus County Chronicle

By Chris Van Ormer

A Homosassa man is taking his fight against rising lot rents for residents of manufactured home parks to Chicago this week to confront park shareholders.

“There are privately held land-lease companies who understand it is better to develop a partnership relationship that works best as a business model,” said Edward Green, the Walden Woods resident who was behind a bill that failed in this year’s state legislative session to stabilize rent increases. “Instead of killing the goose that lays golden eggs, some have realized it’s better to work together and prosper for a long-term relationship.”

Green, who already has started work on moving another bill next year, forms half the Florida delegation from the National Manufactured Home Owners Association attending the May 7 and 8 shareholders meeting in Chicago of Equity Life Style Properties (ELS), the nation’s largest corporate owner of manufactured home communities. Green is accompanied by Pam Bournival of Sarasota, along with representatives from Washington, Oregon, Utah, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, New York and Minnesota.

Association members plan to emphasize how seniors and low-income households need affordable housing. Although corporations must generate a return on investment, aggressive profits are destroying the market, Green said.

The association has said corporations have attempted to seek increases as high as 25 percent from seniors on fixed incomes. It intends to work with management of companies such as ELS and other major leased-land corporations to stabilize rents to more reasonable levels.

Contact Chronicle reporter Chris Van Ormer at 352-564-2916 or