LET’S DEFEAT PROPOSITION 90 – TOGETHER!

RENT CONTROL & THE MRL (CIVIL CODE) COULD BE LOST IF THIS INITIATIVE PASSES

As of June 26th, the Secretary of State for California announced the Initiative (SA2005RF01460) called the “Protect Our Homes Initiative” has qualified for the November 7, 2006 ballot as Proposition 90This is very serious.     Proponents are telling us that this proposition won’t eliminate existing rent control and that it deals primarily with Eminent Domain, i.e. the governments right to take private property.  But don’t be fooled.  It WILL NOT protect our homes.  Quite the contrary, we could lose our rent control and even the Mobilehome Residency Law.  We have NO doubt that it will deal a devastating blow to mobile home owners. Mr. Jim Holmes, attorney for CoMO-CAL and Maurice Priest of GSMOL, both agree that this is a very dangerous initiative. (Read what they say—join and go to our “members only” section at comocal.org.)      We feel our rents could increase $200 or more.       Here in Los Angeles, rents in non-rent controlled areas are often double what they are under rent control.  WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR RENT DOUBLED?  And it’s not just the increased rents.  Your mobile home would, overnight, be worth thousands of dollars less.

EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LIVE UNDER RENT CONTROL NOW, THIS IS VERY SERIOUS

The consequences to you may even be more serious.  Your landlord may see this as an opportunity to “push the   envelope harder.”  This could result in larger rent increases more often—we simply can not afford to allow this PROPOSITION to become law.

It is time to act.  We only have four months to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  We all need to work hard to defeat  Prop 90.   So what we suggest?

  • VOTE on November 7th and VOTE NO on this Proposition. If you can’t make it to the polls to vote, please consider appling for permanent Absentee voter status.
  • Join our family. Membership in CoMO-CAL is only $15 for  12 months or $40 for 36 months.  You receive monthly issues of THE VOICE, advice when you need it, attorney referrals, ALERTS, and much more.  When you join, you will be helping yourself as well as other mobile home owners across the State of California.  Be part of the SOLUTION, not part of the PROBLEM.  Let’s unite together.
  • E-mail ALL your contacts in California. Most are probably voters.  Tell them to VOTE NO on prop 90.   And ask them to e-mail all their contacts in California.  This doesn’t take much time, but it could be very effective!
  • Get the word out. Show this flier to your friends, neighbors, and relatives. All voters should VOTE NO on Proposition 90.  Don’t make the mistake—a yes vote will eliminate Eminent Domain, but at what cost to mobile home owners!  We could lose rent control, the MRL, our homes, and our lives!  What else can they take?

BACKGROUND—RENT CONTROL IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

The State of California is the last bastion of rent control in the country.  We have some form of rent control (actually rent stabilization) in roughly 100 cities and 7 counties.  Here in Los Angeles, for instance, we have a rent stabilization ordinance (RSO) which allows increases from 3% to 8% depending on the Consumer Price Index.  Over the last 11 years this has resulted in increases of 3% (although the CPI was often around 1%).  For the year beginning July 1, 2006, the increase will be 4%.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE LOSE RENT CONTROL?  HOW ARE RENTS AFFECTED?

The consequences could be chaotic.   Just look at a few examples.  Rents in parks just a few miles from my park in Chatsworth are more than double ($1200.00 vs. $550).  Our friends in Royal Palms in Oxnard just received a $77.00 rent increase and the park owner wants another 50%.  The park owned by Sam Zell in Santa Cruz received a $4000.00 rent increase (effective when the residents move) when the City of Santa Cruz could no longer afford to fight.  Blue Star in Sylmar is also under the gun with rent increases of $129.00/month.  In addition new tenants must pay $850.00/month.  This is about $400.00 higher than their average rent today.

What does this all mean?  Simply that if you are now under rent control and rent control is lost statewide, your rents could increase 50% or more.  Can you really afford that?  We can’t!

WHAT ABOUT THE LOSS OF EQUITY (VALUE OF OUR HOMES)?

Remember Clay Harrison’s “Sellers Guide?”  It stated that you lose $1000.00 in equity for every $10.00 of rent increase.  Those residents in Santa Cruz now have NO EQUITY.  If they want to sell their home, they won’t get anything because there is NO MARKET for a home on a $5000.00/month space.  Blue Star residents face a loss of about $13,000.00, meaning some have will have lost all their equity also.  Increases across the state could be in the range of $200.00-$800.00 or higher.

CONSEQUENCES OF HIGHER RENTS

Many mobile home owners simply will no longer be able to afford the higher rents, especially those on fixed incomes who are  just making it today.  What are they to do?  Combined with a serious loss of equity (your home is also worth less, perhaps thousands of dollars less), the result could be devastating.  They likely would be homeless!  Simple as that.  Others who are able to sell might be forced to rent an apartment.  BUT this loss of rent control means HIGHER apartment rents.  Think about it, what would you do?

FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

There are about 700,000 spaces statewide, in about 5000 mobile home parks.  We estimate there are over 200,000 spaces under rent control.  Let’s just take the average rent increase as a consequence of losing rent control, say $200.00/month.

DON’T LET THEM TAKE AWAY OUR RENT CONTROL

WHAT IF YOUR RENT INCREASED $200 PER MONTH?

If just 30% of rents were raised $200/month, mobilehome owners would be paying a staggering $40,000,000 more a month!  That’s right.  FORTY MILLION DOLLARS A MONTH.

WE SIMPLY CAN NOT AFFORD TO LET THIS HAPPEN

REMEMBER IT’S NOT JUST HIGHER RENT!  IT’S ALSO LOSS OF EQUITY.

How much equity could be lost.  If space rents averaged $200.00 higher (a conservative estimate), the value of each mobile home would decrease approximately $20,000.00 (based on $1000/$10 a month increase)  Figuring about 30% of the about 700,000 spaces are affected, the total loss of equity would be $4,000,000,000.  That’s FOUR BILLION DOLLARS!  Just like that.  FOUR BILLION DOLLARS!  IT IS UNBELIEVEABLE!

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?  WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Read this flyer carefully.  We are not kidding about this.  We are homeowners just like you – our only goal is to UNITE so we have a chance to defeat this and other actions that would have a negative impact on our lives in mobilehome parks.

We are a non-profit organization.  Membership dues pay for this flyer, the monthly newsletter, and operating costs for the corporation.  Please join us.  It is only $15.00/year – a bargain!  If you don’t join, and your neighbors and friends take the same approach, we will never have a voice, we will never have any power to fight for our rights.  It is important that YOU join our statewide family.

Please alert your friends and neighbors to this threat.  We do not have funds to send this information to every mobilehome owner in the state of California.  Perhaps one out of ten in your park are receiving this flyer.  Please get the word out.  Let everyone know there is an organization that cares about their welfare and their investment.  You would be doing yourself and your neighbors a favor!

Of course, please VOTE IN NOVEMBER.  And VOTE NO for this initiative which claims to just abolish eminent domain.  But don’t believe those who would have you believe that it does nothing with rent control, because it does.  And Tell your friends and neighbors.  They will be affected also.  They should want to know what could happen very soon.

WHAT IS CoMO-CAL DOING?

We are sending out flyers across the state to as many mobilehome parks as possible.  The postage and printing costs money.  We are asking for all to at least join us, send in a check for $15.00 and join for one year.  We provide many services and your dues allow us to have a voice and make a difference.

We want to organize volunteers—to help with mailings, phoning, etc.  Please help us and volunteer.  Call Frank Wodley @ 800-929-6061 or other contacts found in this flyer.  We thank you!

All VOTERS SHOULD KNOW THE TRUTH.  E-mail all your friends in California.   Tell them to Vote NO on Prop 90.  And have them email their friends.  Together we can defeat Prop 90.  Write to your newspapers, TV stations or other media. 

VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 90

THE ANDERSON INITIATIVE IN A NUTSHELL

The following is what you will see on the petitions.  Proponents are out right now gathering signatures.  598,105 are required for the initiative to be placed on the November 2006 ballot.

  1. (SA2005RF0146)

Government Acquisition, Regulation of Private Property. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Summary Date: 02/16/06 Circulation Deadline: 07/17/06 Signatures Required: 598,105

Proponent: Anita S. Anderson

Bars state and local governments from condemning or damaging private property to promote other private projects, uses. Limits government’s authority to adopt certain land use, housing, consumer, environmental and workplace laws and regulations, except when necessary to preserve public health or safety. Voids unpublished eminent domain court decisions. Defines “just compensation.” Government must occupy condemned property or lease property for public use. Condemned private property must be offered for resale to prior owner or owner’s heir at current fair market value if government abandons condemnation’s objective. Exempts certain governmental actions. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Unknown, but potentially significant major future costs for state and local governments to pay damages and/or modify regulatory or other policies to conform to the measure’s provisions. Unknown, potentially major changes in governmental costs to acquire property for public purposes. (SA2005RF0146.)
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Section 3 (b) 8 of the initiative reads as follows:

Except when taken to protect public health and safety, “damage” to private property includes government actions that result in substantial economic loss to private property. Examples of substantial economic loss include, but are not limited to, the down zoning of private property, the elimination of any access to private property, and limitations on the use of private air space. “Government action” shall mean any statute, charter provision, ordinance, resolution, law, rule or regulation.
We feel, and other advocacy organizations agree, that this is a serious challenge to rent control across the state of California.

JOIN CoMO-CAL

TOGETHER LET’S DEFEAT THIS INITIATIVE