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Program targets growing problem of (40,000) abandoned mobile homes
Herald Sun .com ^ | 1/04/04

Posted on 01/05/2004 4:46:58 PM PST by Libloather

Program targets growing problem of abandoned mobile homes
The Associated Press
Jan 4, 2004 : 10:14 pm ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Local officials have asked the mobile home industry to help devise ways to remove abandoned single-wides, a growing eyesore they say can hurt efforts to attract jobs.

The N.C. Association of County Commissioners estimates that 40,000 derelict mobile homes lurk in the state's woods and fields. Unlike old tobacco barns that also dot rural North Carolina, single-wides lack rustic charm.

"This is an economic development issue," said Paul Meyer, assistant general counsel for the N.C. Association of County Commissioners. "If a county brings in a prospective employer and they see essentially abandoned homes strewn about, it doesn't make a very good impression."

The glut of empty trailers stems in part from the popularity of mobile homes, which account for nearly one in five North Carolina households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

There are an estimated 2,000 uninhabitable mobile homes in Harnett County alone, said Planning Director George Jackson.

Jackson said that even if people had some place to take them, many are so deteriorated that they're no longer road-worthy.

Estimates of the number of abandoned homes may be too high, said Brad Lovin, director of government affairs for the industry trade group. Lovin thinks many of the homes that get counted are actually occupied.

"Homes that some people would call uninhabitable, people are living in there," he said. "That's just the sad state of rural North Carolina."

Harnett, along with Onslow and Burke counties, was chosen for a test cleanup program put together by the commissioners association and the N.C. Manufactured Housing Institute, a trade group.

This winter, the counties will pay contractors to collect and dismantle a small number of mobile homes and recycle whatever parts they can.

The industry helped with the cleanup program, Meyer said, in part to stave off legislation that would tax manufactured housing dealers to help counties pay to dispose of mobile homes.

Also, for an industry that now prides itself on selling homes that appear stick-built, with pitched roofs and front porches, the old metal boxes are an embarrassment.

"That's not what we're building today," Lovin said. "If we can help clean up these older homes, it will help our image."

Meyer said the county commissioners association will decide after the test program whether to back a disposal fee or other legislation.

The program is modest; the industry put up $15,000, matched with $30,000 from the counties. But both sides hope it will be enough to learn how to handle the homes, including hauling and disposal costs, and how counties should take title to them.

Harnett officials have targeted more than a dozen derelict trailers along N.C. 87 between Sanford and Fayetteville, where they would like to see more development.

Unsure who owns the homes, they sent letters to 210 property owners along the road in early December offering to remove the homes at no cost. They had three takers as of the deadline last Wednesday and plan to go door-to-door to solicit more.

John Roberts doesn't want to part with the single-wide in front of his home on N.C. 87, even though it has been empty for three years. Roberts said he keeps it just in case a family member wants to live in it.

He also fears that if he removes it, he might have a hard time getting a permit to put a home there in the future.

"I think we need to hold on to that spot," said Roberts, 43.

A few counties have come up with their own programs for old mobile homes. Scotland County uses a junked-car law to order people to remove empty mobile homes, which are often titled like cars. The county also accepts trailers at a landfill, where workers cut them apart and separate the recyclable steel and aluminum.

Brunswick County collects and dismantles old mobile homes for free, using existing staff and equipment. The coastal county has recycled more than 500 mobile homes since 2000.

"The easy way out is to just put them out of the way and leave them," Harnett County's Jackson said. "And when you have thousands of people doing that, then that becomes a problem."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: 000; 40; abandoned; environment; growing; homes; mobile; problem; program; propertyrights; targets
...legislation that would tax manufactured housing dealers to help counties pay to dispose of mobile homes.

Why? They didn't abandon anything...

1 posted on 01/05/2004 4:47:00 PM PST by Libloather
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2 posted on 01/05/2004 4:47:44 PM PST by Support Free Republic (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!)
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To: Libloather
They sound like good tornado decoys to me. Just put them all in an uninhabited area in tornado country, and they'll attract every twister around.
3 posted on 01/05/2004 4:49:36 PM PST by michaelt
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To: Libloather
"They looked a lot better as beer cans"....Jimmy Buffett
4 posted on 01/05/2004 4:51:46 PM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: Libloather
I think I know the guy who has all 40,000 on his four acre property.

Why would anyone join a HOA? [/sarcasm]
5 posted on 01/05/2004 4:53:33 PM PST by 11th Earl of Mar
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To: Libloather
OH MY GOD the Mobil Homeless of America
6 posted on 01/05/2004 4:55:10 PM PST by ThreePuttinDude (1 infected cow a panic makes)
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To: Libloather
We were driving up to Duluth, MN over the holidays and passed 3 doublewides on I-35 near Cloquet, and I said to my wife, "I didn't know Hillary was Duluth Dukes fan."
7 posted on 01/05/2004 5:00:54 PM PST by OrioleFan
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To: Libloather
God Hates Mobile Homes
8 posted on 01/05/2004 5:03:56 PM PST by Warhammer ("Where are you going?" "I'm going to pick a fight" -- Braveheart)
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To: Libloather
If there's 40,000 in NC then there's 140,000 in SC!

If you take that out through the SE then there's 680,000!!
(Does not include Texas which has that number alone.)
9 posted on 01/05/2004 5:10:40 PM PST by TaMoDee
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To: michaelt
Set fire to them. Aluminum burns really well, once you get it hot enough.
10 posted on 01/05/2004 5:13:09 PM PST by expatpat
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To: Libloather
John Roberts doesn't want to part with the single-wide in front of his home on N.C. 87, even though it has been empty for three years. Roberts said he keeps it just in case a family member wants to live in it.

He also fears that if he removes it, he might have a hard time getting a permit to put a home there in the future.

"I think we need to hold on to that spot," said Roberts, 43.

This pretty much sums it up. A lot of these "abandoned mobile homes" are not abandoned at all, because they still have value to someone. My family has one that we have made into a really nice hunting camp. I know other people who live in them.

A lot of this is simply snobbery on the part of elites who look down on anyone who has different values and priorities, or who doesn't want to play their status games.

11 posted on 01/05/2004 5:16:17 PM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain
Shoot, here in CA, abandoned mobile homes are recycled into meth labs.
12 posted on 01/05/2004 5:23:34 PM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: Libloather
Do what they do in NYC with the used up subway cars - - Dump them in the ocean to make nice reefs for the fishes
13 posted on 01/05/2004 5:23:56 PM PST by qam1 (@Generation X Ping list - Freep me to be added and see my home page for details)
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To: 11th Earl of Mar
If he has about twenty-five non-rinning pickup trucks scattered among the MO-bile homes, this guy lives about four miles from me!
14 posted on 01/05/2004 5:24:28 PM PST by annyokie (One good thing about being wrong is the joy it brings to others.)
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To: Libloather
James Carville knows what to do in a trailer park, perhaps he knows what to do with them after they're abandoned.
15 posted on 01/05/2004 5:26:07 PM PST by BigWaveBetty
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To: annyokie
I ain't never had me a "wive" this pretty...





Got me a good huntin dawg tho...
16 posted on 01/05/2004 5:31:44 PM PST by Dallas59
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To: PistolPaknMama
Ping!
17 posted on 01/05/2004 5:39:05 PM PST by basil
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To: marktwain
look down on anyone who has different values and priorities

I think so. Plenty of people around here who live in single-wides have expensive cars sitting out front, and good-sized pieces of land. They just don't care to spend money on the house - their right if they own the property.

There are just a few trailers that are obviously derelict, windows broken and roofs off, etc. Doesn't bother me - if the area gets "exclusive," they won't want us living here :-)!

18 posted on 01/05/2004 6:13:55 PM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Libloather
Maybe it is a sign of better economic times.

The Kin folk are trading up for new double wides and can't find anyone to take the old single wides.

19 posted on 01/05/2004 6:16:52 PM PST by HP8753 (Some companies should be happy with four sigma)
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To: Libloather
Lovin thinks many of the homes that get counted are actually occupied. "Homes that some people would call uninhabitable, people are living in there," he said. "That's just the sad state of rural North Carolina."

I bet that's true.

I can't count how many times I've seen a shack that I thought was long abandoned only to learn later that people were living there

20 posted on 01/05/2004 7:20:08 PM PST by WackyKat
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To: Libloather
1000 matchbooks, problem solved.
21 posted on 01/05/2004 7:42:23 PM PST by kylaka (The Clintons are the democRATS crack cocaine)
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To: marktwain
It's interesting in some of the colonias here --- they get pretty creative with old mobile homes --- they'll hook them together in an "L" shape or "T" shape --- or hook them end to end, put them side by side and add a homemade building in between to connect them. They'll take an old mobile home and little by little add on various rooms. They get some interesting floor plans that way --- and imagine how nice it is in someways to end up with 3000 sq feet of living space that cost maybe $5000 to $6000 cash.
22 posted on 01/05/2004 8:31:27 PM PST by FITZ
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To: Libloather
Man, I remember when I was doin' a sailor's girl (she was hot but trailer-trashy) many years ago who lived in a trailer. He was out to sea, but I kept hearin' car doors slam, and I knew the only way out was thru the window over the bed....
23 posted on 01/06/2004 12:13:05 AM PST by ATCNavyRetiree
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To: marktwain
People who live on little half acre plots think everyone else must cast aside anything that is not immediately useful. We had a dogged out trailor on our land for years, always knowing it the proper use would arise one day. We built a lake and now the frame is a nice dock. Another one is a ATV bridge.
24 posted on 01/06/2004 12:21:59 AM PST by flying Elvis
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To: Libloather
To paraphrase, "And the sign said, white trash, need not apply, so I put in some teeth....and I said, imagine that, me working for yoooooooo"
25 posted on 01/06/2004 12:25:05 AM PST by I_dmc
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To: Tax-chick
I live in a trailor.

On 200 acres of my own land with several lakes, two pet elk, 25 exotic dear, 5 donkeys, a dog, and most importantly, no neighbors!

26 posted on 01/06/2004 12:25:30 AM PST by flying Elvis
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To: flying Elvis
Sounds nice ... if we had half an acre, it would seem like a hugh place!
27 posted on 01/06/2004 3:57:40 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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