Rep. Dave Loebsack meets with North Liberty mobile home park residents as rent increase looms

Rep. Dave Loebsack meets with homeowners at Golfview Mobile Home Court in North Liberty, after...
Rep. Dave Loebsack meets with homeowners at Golfview Mobile Home Court in North Liberty, after residents found out their rent will increase by more than double starting July 1. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: May. 28, 2019 at 4:14 PM CDT
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Homeowners in a North Liberty mobile home park are preparing for their monthly rent to increase starting July 1- and are trying to fight back.

Rep. Dave Loebsack, a Democrat who represents North Liberty and the 2nd District of Iowa, visited with those homeowners Friday morning to hear their concerns and determine how he can help.

For many of the homeowners at Golfview Mobile Home Court, they are worried about the future of their neighborhood.

"We have a good community and it's very diverse," said Cindy Wade, who has lived at the mobile home park for the last 18 years. "And we have friends that were suddenly going to have to move. And they did."

This summer, many of these homeowners will see their rent go as high as $500, when many are paying around $300 now.

"I don't want them to raise it to $450-$475," Wade said. "$350-$400, that would be the max."

Rep. Loebsack came to hear from them directly and with it, his concerns grew, too.

"Often folks who live mobile home parks are among the poorest of folks who own homes," Rep. Loebsack said. "This is unacceptable that kind an increase, as far as I'm concerned."

People shared their stories and interactions with the park's new ownership, Havenpark Capital. Rep. Loebsack had heard similar stories and sent along his own response to the ownership group with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts.

"What I'm doing, in a letter with Elizabeth Warren, is asking a series of questions of Havenpark, about their practices, essentially," Rep. Loebsack said. "What's happened in other parts of the country where they've done this sort of thing."

While it may not solve their issues by July 1 when their rents go up, some residents believe it could serve as a start to save other communities.

"If it's too late to help us out of this, right now, maybe he can stop it from happening to other communities across Iowa and the United States," said Candi Evans, who has lived in her mobile home since 1998.

"The more sunlight we can, I think, shed on the issue, the more likely it is we're going to get this resolved," Rep. Loebsack said.