Cape Gazette

Don't destroy symbiotic relationship

By Dorothy Boucher | Mar 17, 2013

Comments have been made to my recent letters about manufactured housing problems. I do not rant, I do not rave, but I do tell the truth, and I do tell it with "passion." Nevertheless, whether my passion is recognized, it remains until these issues are resolved.

People who are property rights advocates keep seeing this situation from a narrow point of view. It is a business deal; too bad if you don't like how it is turning out, you are stuck, is what they say. I say it is much more than business - it about people. Below is how I see it.

A symbiotic relationship in nature is defined as one where the a "host" and a "parasite" co-exist to the mutual benefit of both. This relationship is throughout nature and also enters in to the business world.  It is the relationship that has allowed millions of people to own their own homes while not owning the land they rest on.  For various reasons, some people do not wish to own land; perhaps it is too expensive for them or perhaps they are getting older and simply want to downsize their living arrangements.

It is a relationship that has continued to expand, in part due to it's affordability for much better affordable living conditions.  A manufactured home allows the homeowner a much more accommodating lifestyle, much more space than an apartment, a choice of neighbors, no more paper-thin walls to hear the neighbors who live next to you, no expensive condo fees over which you have little control and more of a community lifestyle where neighbors actually know each other. And it has worked for decades.

The landowners made excellent profits after the original infrastructure was put in and the homeowners understood that reasonable rent increases were to be expected and planned for as in any rental situation.  In this scenario, the homeowners are the "hosts" and the landowners are the "parasites," and sometimes, it is the parasite who may eventually kill the host.  This happens when the parasite gets too hungry, too greedy, and ends up destroying the very host that has fed it over time. When this perfectly harmonious relationship has its balance destroyed, both are doomed.

Manufactured homeowners and community landowners have survived all across this nation by maintaining the balance.  In Delaware, due to the land bubble blowup in 2005 and 2006, the balance has been disrupted. Inflated land values dropped and the "parasite" needed more to replace their economic losses so they raised their rents and continue to raise them and they are choking the "hosts," who have their own economic problems as costs for everything for them are also rising.

The relationship is in danger because we each need each other to continue to prosper and thrive. This is one of the last, non-government subsidized but still affordable housing solutions in existence today.  It is viable, it can survive, but only if the "host" and the "parasite" work together to resolve the problems.  It is not a one-sided problem, and remember it is a unique business arrangement because it is not just numbers in an accounting book, but people's homes, their shelters, their lives and their version of the American Dream.

I ask the legislators to remember that, and the community owners to realize that and make the effort to resolve the problems that may destroy this symbiotic relationship which will affect tens of thousands of homeowners who call Delaware home. Read the legislation brought before you, understand its purpose and the need to restore the balance and think.

The future of many peoples' lives is in your hands.

Dorothy Boucher

Comments (4)
Posted by: Barry Wayne Price | Mar 18, 2013 08:40

symbiosis |ˌsimbēˈōsis; -bī-|noun ( pl. -ses |-ˌsēz|) Biologyinteraction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both. Compare with antibiosis

Posted by: Pat Weyl | Mar 22, 2013 18:05

Go to the sites below for the truth:

DMHOA facebook-

The Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association Facebook-

Great info!

Posted by: dorothy(dixie) Boucher | Mar 23, 2013 18:29

The post regarding DMHOA page( a pack of lies) on facebook, is put out by a person who has a personal vendetta with DMHOA because of removal from the organization. Ignore it and ignore the person. Go to DMHOA website on the internet for the truth, not facebook.  The saddest part of "Freedom of Speech" is, when people abuse it. DMHOA is a good and honest organization which has done so much for Manufactured Homeowners in DE.  It stands on its' record of service and accomplishments. 

Posted by: Pat Weyl | Mar 23, 2013 22:23

You really don't know how to be truthful do you Dixie?  When I put my request in writing to see the books and records Mr. Speraw tried to rescind my membership, all of this in emails.  Would you like copies?  The By-Laws at the time did not allow him to do that.  But since then the DMHOA Board (you) have changed the By-Laws to avoid anyone seeing the books and now can pick and choose their members.  But this raises a legal issue when it comes to the DMHOA Board (you) collecting $10,000 in taxpayer money in the Grant in Aid program and picking and choosing taxpayer membership. In addition it offers more possible legal issues to have DMHOA listed in Chapter 70 when they turn taxpayers away as members.  I think so much corruption over the years has been blatant and it needs revealed.  I think not only has the misuse applied to DMHOA funds, but it extends further. A complaint was filed with the AG office about Mr. Speraw and his same type of actions as President of his HOA? But unfortunately I was advised by the AG office they could not prosecute for criminal charges because of the statute of limitations.  After finding out the truth and writing many articles, I have even gotten calls from customers Ed Speraw had in his construction business.  I can’t help with those complaints but have referred these folks to the AG office.  Since there was an email years ago that instructed our HOA incorrectly about our dues, our community membership is paid up for years.  So as President of our HOA I can still attend meetings.  I should do that to publically ask for an appointment to review the books and records since DMHOA Board (you) collect taxpayer money.  DMHOA has ignored my 18 certified letters and many phone calls requesting an appointment, as any taxpayer can do. So I have forwarded the new copies of my requests along with my old ones and updated the Delaware Assembly. I will make it a point to ask in a public meeting going forward, as one recommendation by a Senator’s reply.

It’s not my Facebook site, like I said I wish I thought of it.  But I was called to add articles and will continue to give them posts for their site.  I have a lot of info and recorded meetings.  DMHOA started out good but after a few years egos took over and the people involved lost their way.  Clear abuse was witnessed by many and when called on it Mr. Speraw made personal threats.  DMHOA (you) lost 7 Board members because of lack of transparency and the DMHOA Board (you) are still hiding the books and collecting taxpayer money! I stop drinking the Kool-Aid when Ed Speraw and Fred Neil advised members not to go to Leg Hall, that meetings were private. I have that recorded from many meetings.  Not answering questions about expenses was my first sign something was wrong.  The second is when we were told in many many meeting things “Ed and Fred” (of the Ed Speraw and Fred Neil show) were working on was private.  When I was going to attend the Leg Hall meeting to hear about the tree bill, I got a call that Ed Speraw said the meeting was private.  When I called Senator Ennis he said it was my Leg Hall and I could come anytime!  When I attended the tree bill in Leg Hall, I learned from many people there that DMHOA is not a good organization and so many things many of us witnessed are not only illegal but reeks of what I think is corruption at its best.  From that day on what I was told at Leg Hall opened my eyes.

The DMHOA Board (you) speak of the people in manufactured housing being tens of thousands and have even stated in articles 80,000 people in Delaware.  DMHOA has no stats for manufactured housing and takes no votes from members or communities on issues at hand.  The DMHOA Board (you) just take the money.  It’s not hard to collect the data on how many residents are in manufactured housing on leased land.  Go to the County buildings.  There are approximately 22,000 in Delaware.  In addition the DMHOA Board (you) make it sounds like you have thousands of members when you know you have less than 200 members.  The lies stated by DMHOA Board (you) will be revealed every time.

I think the DMHOA Board (you) has taken advantage of many people and I will make it my mission to reveal the truth.  It’s not hard Dixie, anyone can do a FOIA request and collect the application for the Grant in Aid money and see all of the lies submitted with the DMHOA application.   The training alone stated in the paperwork has never been done!  DMHOA has lost their credibility at Leg Hall.  The truth has been revealed to our Representatives and Senators.  DMHOA does not represent manufactured housing.  You’re a group of people who I think have operated a nonprofit in a corrupt manner and I will reveal your actions. What was in the paper last week, DMHOA has a checkered past?  You still reflect your angry and bitter traits in every article you write.  Call it whatever you want, but it is my mission to reveal the truth about DMHOA. 


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