On Wednesday April 27th there was a LA Housing Department—Mobile Home Park Task Force (MHPTF) meeting in Van Nuys. The purpose of the MHPTF is to “provide a forum which allows full discussion of issues in mobilehome parks. The members of the MHPTF are mobilehome owners, mobilehome park owners, and industry representatives who meet to discuss and resolve issues and provide advice and recommendations to the Rent Adjustment Commission (RAC). The MHPTF also provides referrals to appropriate agencies which can assist with problem resolution.”
Mobilehome owners on the MHPTF represent approximately 6,600 mobilehome owners in the City of LA, living in about 62 parks. RAC is the agency which governs the Rent Control Ordinance for the City of Los Angeles, i.e. the ones who enforce rent control. One important focus is on rent increases—automatic annual rent increases (3.0% for the last 11 years). They also make decisions on Passthroughs for capital improvements and rehabilitation work. You will recall Northridge MHP currently is facing a rent increase of about $29.00 per month per space for 72 months. Their hearing will be held on June 2nd in downtown LA. We will report the outcome of this meeting in the July Newsletter.
The following are observations by Frank Wodley (CoMO-LAC President and new Task Force Member)
There are several problems with this task force. First, very few mobilehome owners know the Task Force even exists. Some might have the “Mobilehome Park Reference Guide -Rent Stabilization Ordinance” which is put out by the LA Housing Department. The “Guide” is only now, after 5 years, being revised and made current. If you have a computer, go to http://www.lacity.org/lahd, click on mobilehome parks under renters in the left column, then click on “mobilehome park reference guide.” This will allow you to save the old version of the “Guide”. The new version will be out in a month or so. The “New Guide” lists 10 MHPTF members; however it does not indicate whether they represent mobilehome owners or park owners. Also there is no contact information, so how would you contact your representative if you have a question or need assistance. For your information, today there are actually six mobilehome owners representing your interests on this Task Force. They are: Don Brown, Monterey MHP, Pasadena; Tom Conroy, Tahitian MHP, Pacific Palisades; Anthony Sansone, Canoga Mobile Estates, Canoga Park; Marion Steveson, Indian Hills Village, Chatsworth; Joe Posito, Alternate, Indian Hills Village, Chatsworth; and Frank Wodley, Chatsworth Mobilehome Park, Chatsworth. Four of the six representatives are CoMO-LAC members. CoMO-LAC will strive to unite your representatives so they may better serve you.
Secondly, the MHPTF long ago chose a WMA District Representative, David Evans, as the special liaison for “difficult mobilehome park issues.” This meant that if you called the Housing Department with a simple question about the RSO, they might answer it; however if you had a “difficult problem,” they would refer you to David Evans, the park owner’s representative. He represents the park owners and looks out for their interests! I think you should be in touch with your representatives, not a representative of the park owners! Tell your representatives what you think. They need to know. I feel we need a Task Force that represents our interests!
Finally, if you live in the City of Los Angeles, chances are you come under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. Annual rent increases are 3.0% (unless the park pays your electric and gas—most do not). I have seen rent increases larger than 3% and if you are in this group, you must file a complaint with the LA Housing Department. If you have a computer, you can fill out a complaint form on the internet. If you do not have a computer, call me and I’ll send you a complaint form. This way I know about your problem and we can work together. Let’s stop these violations of the ordinance – it is your money! LET’S WORK TOGETHER FOR JUSTICE.