Buffalo, NY: Maribeth Sheedy

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My name is Maribeth Sheedy. I live in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, in the Village of Akron. I am a resident of the Akron Mobile Home Park, now known as Akron Estates. I have lived in this community for 12 years with my husband Shawn and my 18-year-old son Jacob.

Sunrise Capital Investors (SCI) purchased our community in November. As soon as this happened, our nightmare started. We received a new lease stating that our lot rent (monthly rent we pay for the land our homes sit on) will go up from $290 to $425 per month starting April 1st. On top of this, we have been threatened with eviction if we decide not to sign it.

We’ve also seen the maintenance of our community fall through the cracks. Akron, like many upstate New York towns, receives a lot of snow during the winter months. SCI has done a terrible job keeping pathways clear, which has made many of the residents' slip and fall.

We all mostly live on a fixed income in which case; if we succumb to the rent increase, we won't be able to eat or pay any bills. This increase will mean that 118 tenants in our park will pay $5100 a year for nothing other than the land their home sits on. Homeowners will be forced out of their own homes eventually.

Due to the lack of inventory of affordable homes, we would have a hard time finding something close to where we call home to live. We also would not have enough time to sell our house and find a new place to live if they choose to throw us out on April 1st.

We need real tenant and manufactured homeowner rights. We currently have very little protection. Without sufficient protections in place, many have had their economic and retirement security left in tatters, and even worse, many of us soon could end up homeless because of this.

We need you to invest in housing quality and expand rent control protections so that our communities will no longer be preyed upon by unscrupulous and immoral real estate investors.

Maribeth Sheedy

The Village of Akron in Buffalo, New York