January 30, 2007,  February 13, 2007

Stanislaus needs rent control now by RENE PACE Modesto

I purchased a used mobile home in Westgate Village in August 2005, and my space rent was $385. In April, my space rent went to $424, and this coming April my space rent will be $459. If rent increases this much every year, we as mobile home owners will not be able to live here. We won’t be able to sell either. Either way, we lose.

Stanislaus supervisors: Please put in now a rent control law. Just another bit of information. I moved here from Solano County and we had rent control there. The rents increased less than $5 per year, thanks to the supervisors there. It was for increases in water and garbage hikes, so it can be done.


Pace of reform is much too slow by B.J. ELLIOTT Modesto

I recently received a lease from Equity LifeStyle that, if I sign, will not benefit me because they can still raise my rent if they find a reason. If I don’t sign, they can raise my rent another 100 percent since I’ll be on a month-to-month agreement.

I would like to do some repairs, but I can’t because just paying the rent, monthly bills, and utilities takes up all my money. We wait and wait, but nothing happens. While I understand it takes time to do things, we continue to lose people and homes. I may have to look at walking away from my investment, but where do I go? There are no alternatives.

I commend our city and county for looking into this and trying to do something. However, we can’t continue at a snail’s pace.


Help keep seniors in mobile homes by PAULA BELL Modesto

I do not live in a mobile home park. But I am aware of the hard work certain citizens have been doing the past year to maintain them as low-income housing, especially for senior citizens.

Modesto has very little low-income housing. If the mobile home parks do not keep their rents controlled, it will cost all of us taxpayers when seniors lose their independence and have to go to nursing homes or assisted living facilities at taxpayer expense. This is happening now.

Stanislaus County Mobilehome Owners Advocates have tried to make the Modesto City Council and county supervisors aware of the urgent need for rent control. Rents are being increased and these residents are being forced from their homes.

The public needs to step up and let our City Council members and supervisors know that this cannot be ignored; they need to act on behalf of low-income residents.


Rents below which market rates? By WENDELL MARTIN Denair

At a recent meeting regarding rent control on mobile home parks (“County moving on rent controls,” Jan. 18, Page B-1), R. Douglas Johnson of the Western Manufactured (Continued on Page 11, middle)     (continued from Page 10, Hot Topic) Housing Communities Association said most of the county parks charge below-market rates. Was he referring to Bay Area markets? He also said that a rent ordinance would force these people to raise rents to market rates. I would like for him to please explain this publicly. Geri Nave of Pacific Diversified said she would have to stop subsidizing some     widows if rent controls take place. However, if her rents are reasonable, rent controls should not affect her prices.

If I thought it would be legally possible, I would urge the county to place a $100-a-month rent limit on  Equity LifeStyle Properties and possibly a little higher for a few others who have been charging unreasonable rents, in order to put them in the position similar to where they’ve put their renters — forced to sell at a very low price or give away their mobile parks. If some were forced to give away their parks, I would like to see ownership go to the renters. However, those who have been charging reasonable rents should have reasonable controls.