NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KWWL) — Residents living in the Golf View Mobile Home Park said they’re about to get priced out of their homes, after new owners plan to increase rent by more than 60%.
The ground underneath mobile homes in Golf View, will be more than double in price starting in June. Havenpark, the new owners said in a notice the increase is to keep residents in their homes. However, residents like Don Lund who’s lived in his home for more than 20 years, said it’ll actually do the opposite.
Lund, a sports enthusiast who works much of the time working from his home said he’s worried what the future holds, “It’s not the fact that they increased it, it’s they increased it by so much in one time. You go up by $25 next year, fine. They go up by $25 the year after that, okay we adjust. But when you jump it up that high.. It’s like oh my gosh, where do I get an another $150 when I’m on a fixed income.”
Lund has equipped his home to be more accessible because he was born without arms or legs, but soon he said those efforts might get washed away. He got a letter notifying him that the rent for the land under the home he’s paid off will increase from $285 to $450.
“I might have an extra five dollars after I pay all of my bills, maybe, and you know if there’s anything that comes up then I put myself in the hole,” said Lund.
Many of his neighbors are also in the same boat. Which is why with the help of Teamsters Local 238 and TeamCAN (Community Action Network), a union organization, the neighborhood organized.
TeamCAN president, Jesse Case said there can be power in numbers, “We’re not opposed to them raising the rent but for to raise it by 60% at a time is going to have devastating consequences, whether it’s intended or not.”
Havenpark cites increased property value in North Liberty, as the reason for their increase. In a notice to residents they said the land would be more valuable as commercial property and the increase would prevent them from tearing down the mobile homes.
“This is going to result in people losing their homes, and a lot of people losing their homes. We have a company out of Utah who’s taking advantage of a housing crisis and taking advantage of those most vulnerable in our society,” said Case.
The neighborhood association, Teamsters Local 238, and other organizations are working to get a meeting with Havenpark. They hope to reach some sort of agreement, other neighbors around the complex said they’ll be forced to move out if they don’t.
We did reach out to Havenpark for comment, and are still waiting to hear back.
The Des Moines register reports this is also happening at a Des Moines mobile home park that was recently bought out by the same company.
-An earlier version of this story misidentified the owners of the trailer park. The correct management company is Havenpark. We regret the error.