The purpose of the Federation is to promote the general welfare of its members, protect the rights and interests of, and be a consumer advocate for manufactured/mobile home owners.
What is FMO?
The Federation of Manufactured Home Owners of Florida, Inc., (FMO) is a statewide, consumer advocacy association dedicated to protecting the rights and interests and enriching the lifestyles of manufactured home owners.
Formed in 1962, the FMO has a current membership of approximately 15,000 manufactured home owners. FMO operates with more than 1,000 volunteer officers from around the state who serve members by answering questions, assisting with problems, organizing district meetings and workshops, and linking them to the Board of Directors and the administrative staff at the Largo business office.
In 1962, the St. Petersburg City Council planned to enact an ordinance mandating that mobile home owners install tie-downs, a very expensive proposition then. Peggy Johnstone, upset by the impending mandate, contacted fellow mobile home owners and, on March 26th, 77 communities came together to defeat the ordinance.
The FMO was founded that day with a clear vision in place:
Protect the interests of manufactured/mobile home owners in Florida.
WHO WE HELP
Because there are all types of manufactured home owners – those that own their home and land, those that rent land, those that live in family communities, just to mention a few – the FMO has diversified to assist homeowners in whatever situations they may find themselves. Please scroll down to read more about who we help.
Residents of rental manufactured home communities own their homes and rent the lot on which the home sets. The FMO helps residents of rental manufactured/mobile home communities prepare for negotiating with their park owners regarding rent increases. The FMO also provides information about Chapter 723, Florida Statutes (FS), which governs unique park owner/lot renter issues. In addition, the FMO offers workshops on negotiating with a park owner and resident purchase of a community.
RESIDENT OWNED COMMUNITIES
The FMO has pushed for and won many rights for resident owned communities (cooperative and condominium forms of ownership), including clarification of homestead exemption requirements so cooperative manufactured home residents could claim the $25,000 exemption from taxation enjoyed by other Florida residents. Working with other organizations, the FMO has also succeeded in getting the Florida legislature to lower the annual fees for registering a not-for-profit corporation with the state.
The FMO is aware of the unique challenges faced by families. As working parents with small children or working adults without children, those who live in family communities are consumed with many activities during the day and don’t have time to worry about new local or state laws that could affect their lives. The FMO monitors these issues for them.
In the early 1990s, FMO members who lived in subdivisions began asking the FMO for assistance with some problems they were having with community developers. In 1995, the FMO successfully pushed legislation specifically for mandatory homeowners’ associations, which include subdivisions.
It’s one thing to recognize a problem exists; it’s quite another to take action to solve it.
Every year, FMO members submit suggestions for legislative action; the Board of Directors reviews these suggestions and decides what FMO’s legislative priorities will be for the next year. Then we marshal our resources to push for the suggestion to become law.
FMO’s accomplishments for manufactured home owners span its extensive history. In fact, FMO was founded specifically to organize manufactured home owners to defeat, ironically, a mandatory tie-down ordinance that the St. Petersburg City Counsel had planned. Years later, FMO fought for and won legislation to secure funds to assist homeowners in retrofitting their homes with tie-downs.
In 2001 we celebrated the passage of legislation that creates a trust fund to compensate manufactured home owners displaced because of a change in land use, a well-deserved victory after a hard-fought battle.