Tag Archives: Manufactured housing Oregon

Is turning manufactured housing parks into resident-owned cooperatives a key to preserving Oregon’s stock of affordable housing?

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

To hear Travis Blythe and Dan Fountain talk about the Vida Lea Mobile Lodge, you’d think it is the most beautiful place in Oregon, if not planet Earth.

“It’s in the mountains,” says Blythe, 67. “This park is still in the tall pines, and it’s still on good well water, instead of city water. It’s above the fog level of the valley, but it’s far enough down where it’s below any heavy snows. It’s one of the prettiest parks around.”

Vida Lea is located just off the McKenzie River Highway between Eugene and the Willamette National Forest. A single lane road curves up a small hill with single and double-wide manufactured homes on each side of the street, nestled into the trees. Residents can walk down the hill and across the street to the MacKenzie River and a nearby park.

But Vida Lea has deteriorated in the past few years to the point that it “just drops my jaw,” says Fountain, 59, who has lived in the park for eight years.

The road is cracked and needs repaving. A windstorm from last March felled a number of trees that stuffed the culverts and blocked drainage. Its septic system is close to failing. Fountain also says blackberry bushes have slowly grown throughout the park, becoming an eye sore in an otherwise beautiful area. Continue reading