I am writing in regards to The Woodlands manufactured home community in Lockport and the ever increasing lot rent there.

I moved into The Woodlands in August of 2019; the lot rent at that time was $567 a month. In January of 2020 the lot rent increased to $585 a month. In January of 2021 the lot rent increased to $601.20 a month. This coming January 1st, The Woodlands lot rent is increasing to $618 a month.

Manufactured home parks used to be an affordable alternative to a traditional home, but big corporations such as Equity Lifestyle Properties, owner of The Woodlands, are taking advantage of people all in the name of higher profits.

When you add on a mortgage to one of these manufactured homes, it can cost upwards of $1,200 or more before utilities to live in this community.

I know several people who have been forced to abandon their homes here in The Woodlands, all because they could no longer afford their mortgage and the ever increasing rent. The once affordable community is now the victim of corporate greed, and residents are the ones who suffer.

The Woodlands increases the lot rent each year, but they also cut services. The roads in this community are horrible, but they refuse to repave any of them. The flooding issues in this community are insane, but they refuse to address the poor drainage issues. These concerns have been brought up to management numerous times, but they claim they cannot afford to do the repairs.

The Woodlands takes in more than $1.25 million each month in lot rent, but they say that they cannot afford to make this a safe and livable community.

I fear that the rent will continue to increase each and every year, and it is only a matter of time before I am forced to abandon my home.

New York State currently does not have any rent control regulations or laws that pertain to manufactured home parks. This lack of oversight by the government allows big corporations such as Equity Lifestyle Properties (The Woodlands) to increase profits, while pricing hard working Americans out of their homes.

Something needs to change!

MICHAEL PAPA, Lockport

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