Article Courtesy of
WFTV Channel 9 Orlando
Jason Kelly and Todd Ulrich
Published July 29, 2022
ORLANDO — An Orange County woman fears she will be evicted from her own home and
the community that she has lived in for 30 years.
Thousands of owners
just like her face the same fate as investment companies buy
mobile home parks at record rates.
As Action 9′s Todd Ulrich reports, the big rent increases
that follow hurt the homeowners who can least afford it.
It is an aging mobile home park east of Orlando that has
seen better days. But to Linda Lasure, the Big Oaks Mobile
Home Park has been her refuge -- a place where she can
afford to live.
“It might look like junk to other people, but to me, it’s
mine,” she said. “I own it.”
That is all changing because of Wall Street investors 1,000
A private equity company bought the property, ending
Lasure’s very affordable housing almost overnight.
Residents received a 90-day rent increase notice from the
park’s new owner, Big Oaks MHP LLC.
‘Happening across the country’: Entire mobile home
parks are being bought by investors An Orange County woman fears she
will be evicted from her own home and the community that she has
lived in for 30 years.
Lasure’s monthly rent for the land beneath her home that she owns jumped
almost 60% -- from $440 a month to almost $700.
“It was, like, oh, my god, where is the money coming from?” she said. “I
can’t afford to fix the car.”
Lasure said she has been priced out of the park.
Her son posted a GoFundMe page to help his mother, who expects to receive an
eviction notice any day.
Lasure, who is confined to her home, receives oxygen 24/7 because of a
medical emergency several months ago.
“It’s really hard -- especially knowing that I died a few months ago and the
doctor brought me back, she said. “For what? To be evicted? To be homeless?”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many housing experts say private equity firms
and other investors are on a mobile home park buying spree to turn quick
“Some of these communities have a target on their back, don’t they?” Ulrich
“This is happening across the country, Todd -- private equity firms
acquiring mobile home parks,” said Paul Bradly, who runs ROC USA, a
nonprofit that helps communities buy their mobile home parks to avoid
private equity ownership and runaway rent hikes.
Many housing experts said that since the pandemic, an explosive market made
these parks attractive buys, using federally subsidized low-interest loans
Investors are bidding up prices aggressively to buy properties, and those
soaring prices for the property then fuel even higher rents in the parks.
“It’s really hard when you’re 74 years old,” Lasure said. “I’ve never been
Action 9 checked county records and learned that the park’s new owner has
the same corporate address as Smith Management LLC, which is part of Alden
Global Capital, a hedge fund well known for buying distressed properties and
The company owns at least 20 other mobile home businesses in the state.
Neither Big Oaks MHP LLC nor Smith Management LLC returned Action 9′s phone
“To force somebody to pay extra rent or force them out of their home, I
think, is wrong,” she said. “God didn’t put us on this Earth to go through
There are no rent control protections. Higher rent drives down resale value,
and moving a mobile home can cost more than $10,000.
Big Oaks MHP LLC did offer to buy homes from owners who cannot afford the