For Immediate Release – February 17th, 2015
Contacts: Barbara Vondell 701-651-4050
Richard Robinson 801-690-1866
Seniors, Manufactured Home Owners Gather to Further Develop Local and Statewide Housing and Economic Justice Campaigns
Williston, ND – Amid growing concerns involving access to affordable housing in the Williston area, national community leaders from the states of Washington, Utah, Montana and Massachusetts will visit Williston to assist local renters, homeowners and manufactured housing residents to develop local and statewide campaigns designed to protect and strengthen affordable housing options for local residents.
The visiting community leaders hail from MHAction, a special project of the Center for Community Change. MHAction is a growing national movement of manufactured home owners who engage in public policy issues that address their interests and concerns as homeowners on the local and state levels, as well as larger issues of retirement and economic security on the national level.
“Our goal is to build economic justice campaigns designed to protect and enhance the economic and retirement security of manufactured home owners,” stated Richard Robinson, a MHAction representative from Farr West, Utah. “Our communities are feeling the pressure of what, in our opinion, are predatory equity schemes by large, out of state corporations that are preying on the most vulnerable in our society, especially seniors.”
Land-lease manufactured housing communities, where home owners rent the land their homes sit on, are becoming increasingly out of reach for many Williston families. Many of the manufactured housing communities in the Williston area are now owned by out-of-state real estate investment corporations, like ReNue Properties. These companies have come under fire in recent months for what many residents claim are arbitrary rent increases that are coupled with decreased capital improvements.
“We have seen our rents triple in many of the communities in the Williston area,” cited Barbara Vondell, a local community leader that has been pushing for changes to protect local homeowners. “Now is the time for our community to come together and directly engage corporations that are simply pushing for outrageous profits on the backs of our seniors and low-income workers. We’re really looking forward to next week’s meetings in our effort to make important issues like this front and center in our community.”
Who: Williston Area Manufactured Home Owners
What: Issues Forum and Community Training Session
Where: Williston High School Cafeteria, 502 West Highland Drive
When: 2 Repeat Sessions, February 26th and 27th at 7pm