Resident Saved 150 Manufactured Homeowners From Eviction

Ernie Howell believes his life has a new purpose: preserving his community. He got off to a good start when he prevented 150 families from being evicted from their manufactured homes park in Roseburg, Oregon.

When Ernie and his neighbors learned that the owners of Saddle Butte Mobile Manor were planning to evict them to build large upscale houses, the community banded together. They formed a residents' association and contacted CASA of Oregon, a local partner in Prosperity Now's I'M HOME initiative - Innovations in Manufactured Homes.

I'M HOME is a multi-year Prosperity Now-designed initiative to improve the financial security of the 17 million Americans that live in manufactured housing, formerly known as "mobile homes" or "trailers." Most residents are working families or older people with limited incomes. Because they only own their homes and not the land underneath, they often face arbitrary evictions under short notice resulting in unexpected moving costs, bleak prospects for finding new affordable homes or homelessness.

Prosperity Now works on the local, state and federal policy levels through its I'M HOME policy partners, such as CASA of Oregon, to improve long-term security for residents like Ernie and his elderly mom, who lived with him. Prosperity Now's I'M HOME initiative also encourages the development of attractive manufactured homes in urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods.

For Ernie, mobilizing his neighbors is one piece of the puzzle leading toward financial security through homeownership.

"[Now I] see the big picture and the importance of organizing and being proactive for myself, my park and my neighbors," he said. "I feel so much more informed and like I have a lot more tools to face this situation."

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