Many of our readers have asked about one organization or another. Here is a brief summary of some of the advocates for mobilehome owners in California.
CES – Active
The Coalition for Economic Survival, although primarily an organization for apartment renters, is a friend of mobilehome owners. Located in Los Angeles, they were instrumental in defeating Propositions 190 and 198 which would have eliminated rent control in California.
CMRAA – Shut Down
California Mobilehome Resource and Action Association (CMRAA) closed their doors, effective January 2013. CMRAA was a strong state-wide organization located in San Jose. Their founder Dave Henessey was a strong leader; however he pass away in 2005 and the organization has been in decline ever since. We have no information about their membership or what exactly they did.
COMO-CAL – Shut Down
Formed in late 2004, COMO-CAL provided members with an informative newsletter and at one point low cost attorney services. It was founded on the belief that we have more laws than any other state and what is missing is enforcement of the laws.
COMO-CAL had about 1,500 members at it’s peak, so it was decided to close it’s door and opt for Mobilehome Magazine. The transition, late 2011, has been very successful. Mobilehome Magazine now reaches 25,000 households throughout California and has a good chance of expanding. Mobilehome Magazine is a free, monthly magazine that is now the #1 source of information for mobilehome owners. It is supported primarily by advertising and donations.
GSMOL – Active
From the website (gsmol.org) of GSMOL: Golden State Manufactured-home Owners League, Inc. (GSMOL) is a nonprofit homeowner advocacy organization, dedicated to protecting the rights and quality of life of manufactured home owners. GSMOL educates home owners on their rights, solves problems for manufactured home communities throughout California, and supports legislative efforts, including improving the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL).
GSMOL’s ongoing legislative program in Sacramento has been instrumental in passing hundreds of laws on the following topics since its founding in 1962: evictions, clubhouse use, use of recreational facilities, parking, pets, guests, occupancy restrictions, “For Sale” signs, home selling restrictions or limitations, rent increase notices, problem resolution within parks, and many other topics. Due mainly to the efforts of GSMOL, our manufactured home owners have one of the most extensive sets of protective laws in the nation.
There are other self-help organizations for manufactured home owners, but GSMOL is the oldest and largest organization working exclusively for the benefit and protection of manufactured home owners and park residents in California. No other manufactured home owner organization has the history of solving park problems and influence in Sacramento that we have.
Unfortunately GSMOL’s website doesn’t tell the whole story. GSMOL has been struggling the last 20+ years because of leadership issues and policies. As a consequence, they have experienced a huge membership loss from over 100,000 to perhaps 12,000 today and heir leadership has been ineffective at turning it around. Although they do not broadcast this fact, it is widely known, both in Sacramento and in the mobilehome community. Even park owners are keenly aware of it. For example, in a recent issue of the Dowdall Law newsletter – Park Watch newsletter, they write about GSMOL “being out of touch with their dwindling membership.” A weak GSMOL hurts us all.
Mobilehome owners need a strong GSMOL, especially in Sacramento. We at Mobilehome Magazine are very concerned about their loss of membership. We feel we can help get GSMOL back on track. Some residents have already joined GSMOL as a result of our magazine. We are happy to see that, but feel we could do much more if GSMOL would work with us. And we know that’s what you want!
You can contact GSMOL at: 6101 Ball Rd Suite 202, Cypress, CA 90630. Toll-free Phone: 1-800-888-1727, Phone: (714) 826-4071. Their membership is $25/year. Visit their website at http://www.gsmol.org/ to learn more.
MHOC – Active
Formed 09/17/2001, Merle Pitman is their contact at 180 Don Antonio Way, Ojai, CA. 93023. They provide low cost attorney consultations to their members. Membership is $10/year. They do not work with other advocates. Their service area is primarily Ventura County.
Tenants Together – Active
Another organization, located in San Francisco, is primarily for apartment renters. They have an extensive list of articles of interest to mobilehome owners. It can be seen at: http://tenantstogether.org/article.php?list=type&type=5.