EXCLUSIVE: According to the US Census, about 20 million Americans live in mobile home parks. For many, this is the best and perhaps only way to achieve the American dream of home ownership.
But that way of life is being threatened by a new trend as Wall Street investors and multi-billionaire Warren Buffett gain control of the market and drive up costs to the point that many trailer park residents can no longer afford to live there. New documentary A decent house explores the stories of ordinary Americans who are in danger of losing control of their own destinies, but who do everything they can to avoid being evicted from their homes.
The challenge for many people who live in mobile home parks is that while they may have their own trailer, they usually don’t own the land it sits on. they pay rent. Filmed by director Sara Terry in trailer parks across the country, including Denver Meadows in Aurora, Colorado, “where residents are fighting to save their low-income park from foreclosure by its owner who wants to rezone the land and sell it for millions.” .
At Golfview Mobile Home Park in North Liberty, Iowa, Terry discovered that “residents, local politicians and the Teamsters are fighting a Utah-based private equity firm that is buying up parks throughout Iowa and raising rents by 50-60%. percent”.
In the movie’s trailer, one park resident says, “I found a letter taped to my door saying our rent is going up 63 percent.” Another resident, a disabled man, says of the increased costs: “My whole world just fell apart.”
In a director’s statement, Terry expressed his dismay at the situation. “[W]”One has to question what the hell we are becoming as Americans when housing on the very bottom rung of the ‘American Dream’ is bought by the richest of the rich in order to gloat over the return on their investment,” she wrote. “When are the rich rich enough?” Whose dream are we serving?
Gravitas Ventures publishes A decent house, which will be available Tuesday, October 25, on VOD platforms including iTunes/Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and YouTube. The documentary will be available same-day on cable and satellite on-demand services including Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, Verizon and DirecTV.
Film directed and co-written by Sara Terry. Victoria Chalk is editor and contributor. Produced by Sara Archambault, Alysa Nahmias and Terry. Gretchen Landau serves as co-producer; James Costa is executive producer.
“A decent house is a character-rich, feature-length documentary about the uniquely American phenomenon of mobile home parks and the nation’s critical affordable housing crisis,” according to the documentary’s synopsis. “The film examines pressing issues of class and economic (im)mobility—the growing flaws of a faltering system and the widening wealth gap—through the lives of residents of mobile home parks across the country…”
Watch the trailer above.