Briggs King hosts manufactured housing meeting

Offices of attorney general and insurance commissioner to attend
December 7, 2012
Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown SOURCE FILE PHOTO

Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown, said she plans to make manufactured homeowners’ rights a priority in the coming legislative session, which begins Tuesday, Jan. 8.  She will hold a meeting to discuss issues affecting residents of manufactured housing communities at the Long Neck CHEER Center in Millsboro.

Briggs King said she scheduled the meeting to hear concerns of her constituents in unincorporated Long Neck, where town hall meetings are not an option.  “The area is new to me, but some of the issues are not,” she said.  “It’s obvious there’re some special needs and concerns in the manufactured housing community.”

Briggs King was re-elected to the House in November.  Representative District 37, which used to include much of Lewes, shifted after redistricting in 2011 to include all of Georgetown and most of the Long Neck area.

Deputy Attorney General Greg Strong, who recently was named director of Delaware’s Consumer Protection Unit, will attend to address safety consumer protection-related issues for manufactured homeowners.

Strong is expected to explain the rental assistance program, discuss the purpose and authority of the Council on Manufactured Housing, and enforcement of manufactured housing laws by the Consumer Protection Office.

Briggs King said Strong is the third deputy attorney general to head consumer protection in two years.  She said she hopes the meeting will give Strong a chance to become more familiar to the needs of manufactured homeowners.

Briggs King also said she wants to impress upon the Attorney General’s Office the importance of responding in a timely manner when manufactured homeowners file a complaint.  She said some of her new constituents have told her when the office receives a complaint, they sometimes turn it away and direct the person to another office instead of redirecting the complaint themselves.

Briggs King also invited a representative from the Delaware Insurance Department to address concerns about obtaining homeowners insurance.  She said homeowners insurance for manufactured housing residents is a specialized product, and residents often have difficulty obtaining coverage because few companies sell this type of insurance in Delaware.

King said she also plans to discuss concerns over criminal activity in some of the manufactured housing communities.

The meeting is open to the public.  Briggs King said she hopes homeowners association leaders and anyone with concerns about manufactured housing will attend.  “It’s something I want to do on a regular basis,” she said.

Last legislative session, Briggs King opted out of a vote on Senate Bill 205, which would have limited lot rent increases for manufactured homeowners in Delaware. The bill passed the Senate, but it was defeated in the House.

During her campaign, Briggs King said, if re-elected, she would work to protect the rights of manufactured homeowners.  She said in a Dec. 6 phone interview she is already drafting legislation to fulfill her campaign promise.  “This is the first step in the process,” she said.

The meeting will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Long Neck CHEER Center at 26089 Long Neck Rd. in Millsboro.