Trailer Parks are Booming Business for Some Investors

A Smyrna trailer park recently made headlines because of its association with a controversial billion-dollar real estate empire, drawing attention to the practice of private-equity funding of affordable housing communities. The Washington Post featured a story last month on the Florence Commons community, comprised of about 300 mobile homes and owned by private-equity firm Stockbridge Capital. While the company has raked in tens of millions in profits for investors, residents claim it is at their expense — through increased rents, lack of maintenance and draconian fees. The paper alludes to a 2016 decision by Fannie Mae that may have emboldened the practice by providing loans to investors for the development of mobile home communities, without limiting rent hikes for the mostly low-income residents, often with poor credit, who reside in them. 

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