Far removed from the oft-reported subject of housing prices in major cities, reporters Michael Casey and Carolyn Thompson combined national reporting and analysis with strong on-the-ground journalism for a unique story exposing how institutional investors are buying up mobile home parks, then raising rents to recoup their investments.
Sparked by a tip from housing advocates, Boston correspondent Casey identified a mobile home park in upstate New York that had been targeted repeatedly for rent increases by its corporate owners. Coupled with that was a failure of the company to maintain the park and address a long list of concerns from the mostly low-income and older residents.
Buffalo, New York, correspondent Thompson visited the park with freelance photographer Lauren Petracca to document the problems faced by residents. Casey then worked his housing sources to illustrate how this was not an isolated problem but part of a larger trend that has hit parks across the country. After drafting the story, the housing team turned to Samantha Shotzbarger to prepare a presentation that brought the text and photos to life.
The piece received strong play across the country and was among AP’s top stories for reader engagement on the day it ran.