I also came across this article lat week and my eyes immediately gravitated to the picture of those mobile homes. WHY? Because I used to own this park. No, I'm not Tobin. We bought the park from Tobin after the city essentially forced the owner to sell the park.
I had long heard of the 'reporter' who lived in the park to write about the park but always wondered who that was or when the his book/article would come out. Now I know
I can tell you that his article was a VERY one sided. Yes, Tobin did do many things that were poor management procedures, most notably poor tenant screening processes. However, I can tell you that this park was far from the armpit that the writer describes.
In fact, I had so many people tell me that this park was well more affordable than the low-income apartments (many subsidized) where they came from. The total cost of living was cheaper and quality of living much better. Many of these tenants could not afford the higher end parks in the area...and there is nothing wrong with that.
In 3+ years owning that park we spend over $250k in various capital improvements. We saw the 'good' tenants improve their homes (painting, gardening, vinyl siding). We even had a program where tenants had a food and clothing share, using part of our office. I recall one instance where one family could not find their 2 yr old daughter. Over half the park went all around the neighborhood looking for her (we later found her sleeping underneath their couch). This was not behavior I would get in my own SFR neighborhood.
I can probably respond to every sentence in this article because I know this park first hand. While I understand his intent and believe we as park owners have a duty to improve affordable housing standards, he absolutely forgot to look at this topic from all angles, which is poor journalism IMO.
Sorry for the rant. I am going to buy his book now...cant wait to read the rest of it.