Metzger stands with residents to oppose lot rent increases

Metzger (third from right) stands with Huguenot Estates residents and Senior Staff Attorney for Legal Services of the Valley Jaime Samarel in Deerpark

DEERPARK – Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) on Monday, stood with residents of Huguenot Estates at a press conference opposing a 4.34% lot rent increase by RHP Properties for Huguenot Estates during a pandemic and calling on the company to address maintenance issues. RHP Properties, a Michigan-based company, is the largest owner of manufactured-housing communities in the country.

Metzger’s district is a largely rural district in the Hudson Valley and Catskills where manufactured housing communities are one of the main affordable housing options available for seniors, veterans, and other individuals and families living on a fixed or modest income. Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and Huguenot Estates residents joined Senator Metzger to publicly share their stories of routine dismissive practices at the hands of RHP, including resident Aurora Houck whose family has been living with an odorous broken septic pipe for almost a year.

After hearing residents’ accounts of RHP’s unresponsiveness to residents’ complaints and the company’s announced lot rent increase, Senator Metzger wrote a letter to RHP CEO Ross Partridge, co-signed by Senators James Skoufis and David Carlucci, calling the company out on its management practices and urging the company not to increase the lot rent. RHP Properties owns five manufactured home communities in the three Senators’ districts.

“When RHP Properties informed residents it would raise the lot rent yet again, this time by 4.34%, they justifiably ask, on what basis?,” said Senator Metzger. “Particularly at a time when many are already struggling financially, such an increase is unacceptable. I am here with Huguenot Estates residents to demand more attention be paid to their complaints, and for the rent to be frozen during the challenging time.”

In 2019, Senator Metzger introduced a bill to protect manufactured homeowners from excessive lot rent increases and was able to get a cap on increases and other protections for these communities in the 2019 Housing Stability and Community Protection Act. While this was a victory for residents of these communities, some communities continue to face challenges, such as poor maintenance.

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