CTI has supported previous affordable housing bonds because they have advanced the preservation and creation of affordable housing including: homes for both renters and prospective buyers, permanent supportive housing, home repair for low-income homeowners, etc. However, often overlooked are the needs of residents of mobile home parks. While Central Texas Interfaith (CTI) supports the principle that the City of Austin increase its investment in affordable housing and likes many of the priorities discussed in the initial bond conversations, we call on the council to include strategies for mobile home renters to receive substantial funding by the proposed affordable housing bond.
Mobile home park residents, including those who own their home but rent the land underneath their home, are often required by their landlords to quickly repair and/or renovate their homes or face displacement. To remain in Austin, mobile home residents need access to home repair funds - which currently exclude them. More importantly, they need a mobile home park stabilization strategy – one designed to stabilize rents and prevent displacement. The City can play a role by facilitating the purchase of mobile home parks for strategies including: community land trusts, cooperative resident ownership, and/or transfer to a nonprofit or lower profit entity.
Central Texas Interfaith congregations and non-profits are directly engaged with mobile home park residents in our communities, and know the challenges they face. For CTI to be fully supportive and engaged in advocating for another affordable housing bond, we urge the council to include substantial funding for mobile home park communities in any proposed bond and city budget.