A bill that passed the state House this week would require manufactured home community owners to provide adequate notification and offer compensation to tenants when a sale to a developer occurs.
State Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, who voted in favor of the legislation, said it will ensure that residents of such communities do not experience what is happening with tenants of Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Piatt Township.
"I have been working on this issue since the previous session when I served on the House Urban Affairs Committee," he said. "The recent events at the Riverdale Mobile Home Park helped to bring this issue back to the forefront."
SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
Robert Getner, center, speaks during a rally March 28 at the Riverdale Mobile Home Village in Piatt Township as park residents Kevin June, left, and Fred Kinley watch.
The bill will require notification to tenants within 60 days when the community is sold and slated for development for another use.
In addition, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency must be notified and relocation funds provided to tenants.
Neither Everett, nor state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, who also voted in favor of the bill, indicated they received a lot of communications about pushing for such legislation. State Rep. Matt Baker, R-Wellsboro, also voted in favor.
Everett said the bill has been in the works for a number of years but ran into opposition from manufactured home builders and park owners.
"People who represent the Park Owners Association think we are giving tenants too many rights," he said.
At the same time, tenants felt park owners had too many rights, Everett added.
When all was said and done, a compromise finally was worked out.
"I think it was one of those bills where there was widespread support," Mirabito said. "There was reasonable support to solve the problems that existed."
The legislation now moves to the Senate for approval.