Delaware State Legislature passes Senate Bill 33 to protect Manufactured Homeowners
Wilmington, DE – AARP Delaware applauds the Delaware State Legislature for passing Senate Bill 33, relating to manufactured homes and communities. AARP supported the bill as it moved through the legislative process. Manufactured housing is an affordable and accessible option to allow Delawareans to successfully age in place.
According to the bill, if a manufactured home community landowner desires to raise the rent more than what the average annual increase listed in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is, they must get approval from the Delaware Manufactured Home Relocation Authority. The Authority will determine whether or not the community owner’s request to raise rent is warranted, based on evidence regarding the operating, improvement and maintenance costs paid by the community owner. If any homeowners or community owners disagree with the ruling, they may appeal to the Superior Court. The bill gives homeowners a voice when rent increases are imposed.
According to the U.S. Census, Delaware is home to over 40,000 manufactured homes. Many of those residents are age 55+ and living on a fixed income. AARP estimates the median income of manufactured households run by someone aged 50+ was $22,000 in 2005, compared to $44,000 for those living in conventional housing. Individuals 55+ with low or fixed incomes are often hit harder by even a small rate increase.
Manufactured housing is a realistic option for older homeowners who might find it difficult to afford other kinds of housing. Manufactured homeowners typically do not own the land, only the home. Once the home is established on the land, moving the structure can be a costly endeavor. In the event of a land lease termination, the home must either be removed at large cost to the homeowner, abandoned or sold if they are able to find a buyer soon enough. These land-renters have been vulnerable to rent increases or other fees charged by landowners. Senate Bill 33 leverages the balance of power in the homeowner and landowner relationship.
The bill passed by an overwhelming majority in both the Delaware State Senate and the House of Representatives. AARP testified numerous times, submitted a position paper, and mobilized a corps of manufactured homeowners who advocated for the bill’s passage.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment security and retirement planning. We advocate for consumers in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP VIVA, a bilingual news source. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.