NEWBURGH – Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) welcomed residents from New Windsor’s Silver Stream Village Manufactured Home Community and members of Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) at his District Office in Newburgh on August 12. Together, the groups presented Skoufis with an Appreciation Award for his tireless efforts fighting for housing rights for residents of manufactured home communities.
In November 2019, Skoufis stood with residents of Silver Stream to demand that the park’s owner, RHP Properties, withdraw its unlawful proposed rent increase, and called on the state’s Homes and Community Renewal Agency to intervene. Under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act passed by the New York State legislature that same year, mobile home lot rent increases may not exceed 3%, barring extenuating circumstances such as a significant property tax increase. In the case of Silver Stream, RHP planned to bump tenant rents by nearly 6% without justification.
Skoufis prevailed in his pressure campaign, calling on RHP President Joel Brown to fly to New York for a meeting, and persuading Brown to change course on Silver Stream’s increase, commit to a 3% increase, and extend this relief to neighboring RHP Washingtonville Manor Manufactured Home Community.
“Anyone who’s followed my work over the past nine years in the Legislature knows that I’m not one to shy away from taking a fight public, especially when it will have immediate consequences for those I represent,” said Skoufis. “It was my honor-and my responsibility–to support the residents of Silver Stream in their fight for housing justice and stability. I’m humbled to receive this recognition.”
Skoufis remains a staunch advocate for housing fairness. In the most recent legislative session, he authored and passed two bills in the Senate aimed at protecting the rights of manufactured home owners: S6085, which gives homeowners the right of first refusal in the event that the owner of a mobile home park attempts to sell the property; and S6199, requiring park owners to provide a written justification for rent increases in excess of three percent, which may not include ordinary maintenance or repair to meet habitability.
Those in attendance for the presentation were Silver Stream’s Irma Hernandez, Janella Minutolo, Michelle Tucci, and Moises Galarza, and MHAction’s Yvonne Maldonado and Brandon Hunter.