Manufactured Housing Action or MH action based in San Francisco visited people living in three mobile home parks in Billings, on Wednesday and Thursday.
Many have talked about increases in rent along with fees for water, sewer and garbage.
“Public Enemy Number One, it’s just the increase in costs that families are facing,” said Kevin Borden, MH Action executive director. “And then in Meadowlark for instance, when we see decreased community maintenance, we see issues like the water going bad.”
Q2 asked Havenpark Communities about MH Action.
“We continue to believe that our $400-$500 price point at Meadowlark remains an excellent value for our residents, especially considering the exploding housing costs in the Billings market over the past few years,” said Josh Weiss, Havenpark spokesman. “Havenpark continues to invest heavily in Meadowlark, having spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last two years alone to repair and improve infrastructure, safety, and curb appeal of the community.”
Water has been among the main issues of Meadowlark and Havenpark says it has upgraded and replaced the filter system and is doing all it can to repair the sediment and filtration issues.
However, it remains one of several concerns for Meadowlark residents.
“We’ve also helped to coach those resident teams to get into negotiations,” Borden said. “But generally when we’re in those rooms, the corporate owners are pretty clear about like well, this is our business model if you want us to change we’ll see in Helena.”
MH Action has visited about 1,000 homes at Meadowlark, Cherry Creek and Golden Meadows.
“They’ve seen our needs,” said Carla Hill, a Cherry Creek resident and MH Action resident leader. “Because there’s a lot of people here that are just afraid they’re afraid to speak up. They’re afraid of retaliation. They’re afraid that they’re going to be evicted.”
Hill said bills in the last legislative session that would have helped did not pass and the goal is to get people to contact legislators
“A little postcard or a little letter saying this is what we need so that when it comes time to try and get those bills passed again, that there’s a better chance of getting on pass this time,” Hill said.
“We’re getting folks ramped up to really let their voice be heard this this upcoming legislative session,” Borden said.