Antonia Alvarez and her young daughter left their cockroach-infested Minneapolis apartment complex a decade ago and joined the ranks of suburban homeowners for the first time.
For Alvarez, who works in housekeeping, buying a mobile home in St. Anthony opened the door to higher-performing schools and a safer neighborhood.
“It’s safe for my daughter, number one. We have the good schools close by. We have the hospital close. Transportation is close,” Alvarez said through an interpreter.
She is one of 39,000 people living in 83 mobile home parks in the Twin Cities suburbs. Protecting those parks, some of which are now in peril, is the easiest way to preserve affordable housing in the suburbs, according to a new Metropolitan Council report.
The regional planning agency has launched the “Manufactured Home Park Preservation Project” to save some of the parks at risk of closure and to promote investment in aging communities. It’s offering up to $250,000 in a matching grant to one mobile home park to help defray the cost of connecting to the regional wastewater treatment system. In return, the park owner will likely have to agree to some terms to keep the park open and rents affordable.