Manufactured housing war not won yet

November 3, 2013

Mr. Flood, I read your article with great interest. I know Bobbie Hemmerich and have worked with her. I, too, moved here from Maryland over 10 years ago and got involved with the problems surrounding manufactured housing on rented land. I was amazed at the lack of fairness and very prevalent animosity that manufactured homeowners were subjected to.

It took years and years to convince legislators that we needed protection from both local community owners and out-of-state community owners. The reasons are simple - it always comes back to money and we advocates do not have the "deep pockets" the owners do.

I would suggest you also speak to Ed Speraw, president of Delaware Manufactured Homeowners Association, who has been fighting for protection for us and is responsible for most all of the laws we have managed to get passed to help protect us, including the expansion of the Landlord-Tenant Code, "standing water" law, the "tree" law, and also the "right of first offer" law which gave the community an option/right to match an outside offer to purchase the community should it be put up for sale. Each protection is really just common sense and fairness, but we had to get "laws" passed because manufactured homeowners were treated as second-class citizens without any "rights."

Last year the Leased Land Coalition, of which Bobbie is a founding member, was formed and joined in the fight to get the "rent justification" bill passed, a long time coming. And, every time we get something to protect us done, they, the "owners," do everything they can to find loopholes or circumvent the law. But we persevere, we stand watch and we fight back. All of this has been done by retired volunteers like Bobbie and Ed Speraw, and Fred Neil and many others who have passed away.

We are older citizens, who fought our fights when we were young, and now that we are "retired," find we must continue to fight just to hold on to our homes. We were born during a different time, we learned to appreciate what we worked for and we never expected anyone to give us anything for free. Maybe that is the reason we will continue our fight to protect the older "retired" generation. We have always fought for what is right, it is who we are. And, we won't go away.

I hope you do even more about this situation, because the fight will continue and there are so many people who contributed to it.

Dixie Boucher

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