Factory-built Manufactured Homes are often called the largest stock of unsubsidized affordable homeownership in the U.S. Roughly 2.7 million of these modest-size homes are sited in Manufactured (“Mobile”) Home Communities (MHC) in which people own the home but rent the land on which it is sited.
As recently highlighted on NPR, the Sunday NYT, and by John Oliver, MHC have historically been owned by local “mom-and-pop” investors. With these mom-and-pop owners retiring and selling, private equity funds are consolidating MHC and increasing land rents dramatically and generating record profits: Between 2010 and 2020, MHC REITs were the most profitable of all REITs.
Community institutions like ROC USA and NHCLF have been working with low-income homeowners for decades, helping them form cooperatives to buy the land they formerly rented, control costs, and build equity. Today, they serve over 20,000 homeowners and nearly 300 Resident Owned Communities (ROC) in 21 states.
Homeowners are competing with large and small PE funds – some of whom are pitching impact investors. ROC USA and NHCLF are CDFIs that are scaling co-op community ownership. Innovative financing and structures are needed to compete successfully. We want to co-create solutions with the audience and offer guidance for asset allocators to assess the sector with a critical eye.