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Mobile Home Owners Find a Lifeline Against Displacement

When a landlord sells a mobile home park, it can upend an entire community. Through co-ops, residents are finding a way to stay where they live and control their rent costs.
Danelle Knapp stands outside her home at the Duvall Riverside Village, where she has lived for five years.
Danelle Knapp stands outside her home at the Duvall Riverside Village, where she has lived for five years.Hallie Golden

More than a decade after Jim Wallace moved into a small mobile home community in Duvall, Washington, he said the landlord threatened to sell the property and possibly make everyone leave. Wallace had been living there since 1982. He didn’t want to move. He also didn’t think he could afford to.

If he tried to move his 14-foot, single-wide mobile home, it “would fold up like a cardboard box,” he said. Wallace didn’t own the land he was on; like his neighbors, he was renting it. Leaving the community would probably have meant dropping his home off at the dump and leaving Duvall, where he has lived in his entire life, in order to find a cheap apartment somewhere farther north.