Sen. Ghazala Hashmi, D-Chesterfield, is the patron of Senate Bill 922, which provides a state tax incentive for owners of mobile home parks to sell to nonprofits or entities owned by tenants.
To be eligible, the entity purchasing the mobile home park must be “owned by at least 25% of the residents of that manufactured home park or (ii) an organization exempt from tax under Section 501 (c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, provided that such terms of sale require the guaranteed maintenance of the property as a manufactured home stock for a period of at least 30 years following the sale.
“The primary purpose of the bill is to provide an incentive to mobile park owners who are considering selling their property that they are considering selling first to nonprofit housing providers,” Hashmi told Cardinal News. . “And the goal, of course, is to be able to maintain the stability of existing tenants in this mobile home park and continue to provide affordable housing to the communities that live in these parks. And the incentive for owners looking to sell their properties is being able to deduct from their tax income any gain they make from the sale. So it should be a win-win situation for most people.
At the National Conference of State Legislatures’ summer meeting, “it was an important topic around the larger conversation about affordable housing,” she said. “And Pew Research was doing extensive work and research on the issue of mobile home parks or manufactured homes. And so it’s really part of a national conversation.
The Pew Research Center describes itself as “a nonpartisan news group that educates the public about the issues, attitudes, and trends that shape the world.”
Hashmi said she has also worked with the Virginia Poverty Law Center on the matter.
In 2020, Project: HOMES purchased the Bermuda Estates prefab housing community in Chesterfield County. “I am happy in the new district that I will be running in, which is Senate District 15, we have Bermuda Estates, and project:HOMES, which is a non-profit organization, made this purchase and are working to renovate and to create a very solid base for the people who live in this region. So that’s good news. But we have a lot of communities around Chesterfield and in the greater central Virginia area that are going to be facing sales situations. And it’s important that we have opportunities to stabilize the property rather than converting it into apartment communities that will be out of reach for the families who already live in these areas.
Hashmi said she also followed the case of Massie Trailer Park in Montgomery County, where a company linked to hedge fund Alden Global Capital bought the park and told some of the tenants to leave or face unexpected charges. (See previous story: ‘A hedge fund-linked company bought a mobile home park. Many residents were told to pay hundreds more or be evicted.’) This company bought at least 80 mobile home parks across the country and other companies bought more, then raised rates.”Mobile home parks are proving to be cash cows, and investors are jumping in,” said Salem’s attorney, Ross Hart, told Cardinal News, “They’re treating them like an investment instead of housing for people who need it.”
Ghazala said she expects SB 922 to be presented to the Senate Appropriations and Finance Committee today (Tuesday) at 5 p.m.
“We may have to make some adjustments. I am ready and always happy to listen to comments from my colleagues and stakeholders and to see if we need to make any changes to the bill. I know my bill mate in the House [HB 1578] did not leave the committee. And because it didn’t come out of the House committee, I’m happy to consider changes to this bill, just so that we put it in a position where hopefully it will go through the Senate , but also will succeed in the House.
“If it passes the Senate, it will be sent to the House. But I want to put him in a position where we have a broader agreement. We will therefore see what the recommendations are this afternoon with regard to the finances of the Senate.