Until now, Delawareans who live in manufactured homes have been shut out of foreclosure prevention programs.
State leaders unveiled the Manufactured Housing Assistance Program in Dover Monday. Under the program, eligible homeowners will be able to get up to $5,000 in a no interest loan to help with overdue payments. The money can also be used for payment assistance for up to 12 months.
“Manufactured homeowners suffer the same catastrophic events such as loss of a job or a spouse, but have not been able to get financial help because of the restrictions,” said Ed Speraw, president of the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners’ Association. “This program is a great idea and has been a long time coming.”
Those restrictions that have prevented manufactured homeowners from getting assistance stem from the fact that their homes, which are also sometimes referred to as mobile homes or trailers, are technically considered personal property and not real estate. This loan program funded by a portion of the state’s share of the national mortgage foreclosure settlement will rectify that discrepancy.
“This program will help families facing eviction or repossession,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “Helping manufactured homeowners stay in their homes is good for our economy and good for Delaware’s families. We are committed to achieving and sustaining home ownership for as many homeowners as possible.”
To be eligible, homeowners must have suffered a 15 percent or more decrease in income from a loss of employment, reduction in hours, injury or illness. The money must be repaid if the property is refinanced, sold, if the title is transferred, or the borrowers no longer reside in the property.
Manufactured homes make up about 11 percent of the state’s housing stock.