5 Tips for Safe Holiday Celebrations at Manufactured Housing Communities

With the festivities just around the corner, property managers need to take all the precautions to make sure residents stay safe during the holiday season.
Image by Lucy Chibimundo via Pixabay

The holiday season is fast approaching, but this year’s celebrations will be quite different. With COVID-19 cases still rising, the CDC has issued guidelines to help people navigate this period as safely as possible. These include encouraging small gatherings, maintaining social distancing and keeping travel to a minimum. Regardless of risk, many people are considering having family over, especially after having experienced the effects of pandemic fatigue and prolonged isolation.

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Some 22 million people are living in manufactured homes, which are considered one of the most affordable housing options. Since the onset of the pandemic, property management companies have been working to find the best strategies to help residents navigate this period safely—and this has become paramount in age-restricted communities, where residents are in higher-risk categories but also eager to have family over.

While challenging, this could be an opportunity for both property management companies and residents to think outside the box and reimagine traditions. By combining technology and experimentation, property managers can guide residents on how to enjoy the holidays without taking unnecessary risks. We put together a list of tips and tricks property managers could implement at their communities for safe holiday celebrations. 

  • Weather permitting, encourage residents to hold their celebrations outside. Since most manufactured homes have yards, people can safely interact with guests seated six feet apart. And if the weather gets cold, a small campfire or blankets can make visitors feel more comfortable.
  • If outdoor celebrations are not a viable option, encourage residents to keep windows open to improve ventilation and seat guests at separate tables to maintain social distancing. 
  • Organize a community Secret Santa, with the name picking held online and the gifts distributed by members of the management team that will make sure all presents are disinfected. This activity can help connect residents who don’t know each other very well and also provide some social interaction to people whose loved ones might not be able to visit.
  • Hold a pumpkin carving or Christmas home decorating contest. Or even go a bit more unconventional and organize a socially distant pet parade. These events can lift the residents’ morale and help get the community into the holiday spirit while keeping participants at a safe distance. Incentivize residential participation with easy-to-follow rules, set a budget and a deadline, and don’t forget to let the residents know what the prizes are.
  • Last but not least, property managers should keep in mind that over-communication is better than skimpy or no communication at all during challenging times. Help residents stay informed about local, state and national safety guidelines through comprehensive community emails and always be available to handle concerns and feedback.