UPDATE: THE PROTECT OUR HOMES ACT
Frank Wodley, CoMO-CAL President
The “Protect Our Homes Act (POHA)” is gaining support across the state and will probably be on the November 7, 2006 ballot. Just read the Protect Our Homes Coalition (POHC) news release on page 3. They submitted over one million signatures on May 15, 2006 and 800,000 verified voter signatures are required to qualify for the ballot. This means that the POHC have over 200,000 extra signatures; so even if 200,000 signatures are not verified, the initiative will qualify.
They write of “powerful forces aligned against us who are expected to run a well-financed campaign.” However, don’t believe everything you read – what mobilehome advocacy group in Californian has even meager funds to mount a campaign? Let’s face it, advocacy groups have a total membership of less than 10% of all mobilehome owners across the state.
In comparison, the POH Coalition has gathered much financial support. To date the POH Coalition has received $2,310,000 and still has cash reserves of $840,359.
Milt Burdick, zone C V.P. for GSMOL, reports that “The only way for RF0146(POHA) to outlaw rent control is if a park owner challenges the (existing) ordinance in a court of law and the court agrees with park owner that the ordinance violates the intent of RF0146. One other way is if City or County officials vote to rescind the ordinance, because of the fear of a legal battle.” GSMOL’s President Tim Sheahan also writes: “If the initiative becomes law, the abuse of those homeowners (without rent control today) is likely to escalate considering it has historically been largely due to the “threat” of adoption of rent protections that has motivated most park owners to not “push the envelope” of fairness too far, lest local government would likely intervene.”
About 65% of all mobile home owners in the state of California DO NOT have a rent control ordinance protecting them today. If what Tim Sheahan writes is correct, then those homeowners without rent control (approximately 400,000 spaces) are exposed even more to the whims of their landlords. I feel all mobilehome owners should actively work to defeat the POHA.
In an earlier VOICE, we reported the POHA could have devastating consequences – park owners could easily raise rents $200.00 or more across the state, costing you and I billions of dollars, both in additional rent and loss of equity.
CoMO-CAL will do as much as possible to alert mobilehome owners across the state, but we require your support of donations and time. Please help us help you and your friends and neighbors.