Bismarck mobile home park residents object to spike in rents

BISMARCK (AP) — Residents of two Bismarck mobile home parks say they are struggling to pay higher rents and fees after an investment firm bought the properties.
Havenpark Capital purchased Colonial Estates and Holiday Park in August.
Since then, Susan Wingerter’s monthly rent at Colonial Estates has increased from $385 to $415. Wingerter, 65, lives with her 16-year-old grandson, who uses a wheelchair. Her only source of income is $917 a month in Social Security.
“I have to get him to school, feed him and everything else,” Wingerter said. “Between the increases of everything, like all the other increases and other bills and everything I have there, it’s really hard to get any sleep.”
Resident Cathy Job also lives in Colonial Estates and earns $22,000 annually as an office administrator. A mother with a 17-year-old son with autism a 15-year-old daughter with diabetes, she said the 8% rent increase leaves “very little” for food and gas.
Utah-based Havenpark told the Bismarck Tribune in a statement that its rents are standard.
“As a general rule of thumb nationally for the industry, mobile home site rent is often one-third the rent of the average apartment or home in the area,” the company said. “Havenpark’s rent prices follow these norms and are below the average or in line for an average of other surrounding comparable properties.”
The company also added that it’s planning new roads and tree work in Holiday Park and that the quality of the property and amenities influence rent. Holiday Park’s rent increased to $400 from $385.