Manufactured Home Parks (MHPs) and Floating Home Marinas (FHMs) that have good internal communication systems tend to be stronger communities.  Residents are more likely to know each other, be up to date on information, understand their rights, and be better able to help each other in times of crisis.

Why is this important?  Residents are at the mercy of their landlords and managers. We never know when a park or marina might be coming up for sale, or even coming up for closure.  A facility with residents who know and care about each other is more likely to have an active tenants’ association.  That’s important so you can have the strength of numbers.  And we’re seeing more climate crises affect MHPs and FHMs, whether it’s fire or other disasters. It’s important that residents are connected and communicating to create a healthy community and be ready in times of crisis.

There are several options for communication. An intranet group (email group) can serve as an excellent communication system.  It’s a private, secure online system that allows residents to send and receive emails, share resources and post relevant information.  At Wingspread Mobile Home Park, residents are enthusiastic about their new intranet system.  It’s a great way to get to know neighbors, share resources and ask for help.

Maybe you’re sick of emails!  Maybe you would rather stick to yourself.  But most park and marina residents do want to know what’s going on in their community!  They benefit from sharing resources (plumbers, electricians, handy people, doctors, free community help, etc.).  Some folks like to sell, swap or give away household items.  And sometimes residents just need help.

Parks and marinas have established a variety of communication methods:

  • regular newsletters
  • a private Facebook group
  • a community website
  • a telephone tree
  • a private park or marina directory with names, space/slip numbers, phone and email contacts – this is typically printed and shared with a “No Spam or Advertising” on it.
  • a tenants association or “company” bulletin board

The beauty of an online system is that it:

  • can be easily administered and updated
  • one email can reach everyone who chooses to participate
  • it’s so easy to use that folks start communicating more and getting to know each other
  • it can be used for tenants associations and resident committees to communicate activities

Many parks and marinas have newsletters, which is also an important communication system.  It can take a lot work, however, and by itself may not build the connections that will truly build your park or marina into a vibrant and resilient community.  Brainstorm ideas!  You might even have more fun!

Author:  Cynthia Dettman, OSTA Board Member