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New documentary spotlights mobile home residents' fight against rent increases by out-of-state owners

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

A look at Iowa's connection to the wider trend of rent hikes in mobile home parks around the nation. And a festival that aims to raise money for Ukraine.

If Governor Kim Reynolds signs a bill currently on her desk, mobile home park residents would receive more notice ahead of rent increases or evictions. But residents who've been advocating for greater protections for three years say this bill doesn't include any of the policy changes they've asked for.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with documentarian Sara Terry about her film "A Decent Home," which chronicles the stories of mobile home residents across the nation that are experiencing rent hikes following the purchase of the parks their homes are in. We also hear from Candi Evans, a resident of a park in North Liberty, about what happened after Havenpark Communities, formerly Havenpark Capital, bought their park.

We also hear about "From Iowa with Love," a concert aimed at raising money for those impacted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Nataliya Boychenko Stone, who was born and raised in Ukraine, reflects on what this moment means for the future of her homeland. From Iowa with Love: Benefit Jam for Ukraine will start at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 24 at Des Moines Water Works Park, 2251 George Flagg Parkway in Des Moines.

Guests:

  • Katarina Sostaric, covers state government for IPR
  • Sara Terry, documentary filmmaker of "A Decent Home"
  • Candi Evans, co-foudner of Iowa Manufactured Home Residents’ Network; resident of Golfview Mobile Home Park in North Liberty
  • Nataliya Boychenko Stone, born and raised in Korsun’-Shevchenkivs’kyi in Ukraine; client executive of Holmes Murphy, a Waukee-based Independent insurance brokerage firm
  • Lee Rood, Reader's Watchdog columnist at the Des Moines Register
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Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River