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    Park Owner's Definition of "Affordable Housing"

    I subscribe to a newsletter put out by one of the largest owners of mobile/manufactured home parks in the country. In a recent issue the question of how high could rents be taken was addressed. He proposed a practical limit he calls the "affordability index". One way he uses to approximate this for any given area is to take 33% the median income for the area. (A little higher than HUD's definition). Then, assuming those living in these communities fall well below the average you take that result and divide it by two. I ran this calculation for Lakeland, FL. The median income is $39,238. Multiply that by .33 and you get $12,949. Take half of that and divide by 12 to get the monthly lot payment = $540/month. Most of the parks this particular owner has are more basic than many of the "resorts" we have in Florida so one could look at anything above this number as a "resort premium". While of no value per se in negotiating rents I found this an interesting place to start the conversation.

    Russ Watson
    Director at Large

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