Donald DeVore’s Story
My name is Donald R. DeVore. Thirty years ago I started fighting for the property rights of those who own and live in manufactured housing. My goal all of these years was to see that the owners of manufactured housing would have equal rights and protections under the law that all other homeowners and property owners have.
From 1980-1986, I was the State Director of the Rocky Mountain Mobile Home Owners League in Colorado. Due to our efforts, Colorado was the first state to classify, regulate, assess, and tax manufactured housing as real property from 1980-1986. We also got a state law passed that prohibited cities and counties from imposing restrictive zoning against modern manufactured housing. One reason we accomplished so much is that all homeowner associations in our state supported us and worked together.
In the early 1980’s, I had a wonderful working relationship with Ralph Hoppe and others who founded and ran the Golden State Mobile Home Owners League (GSMOL). Every time we got legislation passed in Colorado, we would share our accomplishments with GSMOL and other statewide organizations. Back then, statewide organizations who represented homeowners who owned manufactured housing worked together for the betterment of homeowners nationwide.
One problem we have today is that some organizations are not working together for the betterment of homeowners nationwide. Many organizations have alienated themselves from each other and lost their focus on their true mission. Some are being led by folks who are in it for the money, and the power they think they have. It is kind of like electing public officials to represent us, and they turn into our masters instead and their organizations are not a democratic anymore.
The Rights of Mobilehome Owners
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce ANY law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
So, it is my opinion, based on the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, that any Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Law, and other laws that regulate the owners of manufactured housing are illegal and unconstitutional. These laws that classify the owners of manufactured housing as a distinct, separate class of citizens based on them owning and living in manufactured homes is illegal and unconstitutional. These laws do not offer equal rights and protection under the laws that ALL other property owners have.
For 30 years the landlords thorough their own organizations have fought to protect their property rights, and the privilege of controlling the property rights of the home owners and property they do not own. This is made possible by all parties concerned using the wrong premise of law concerning manufactured housing on leased land. Under state Real Estate Land-Lease Laws, all property on leased land are regulated by this law except for manufactured housing. You have mountain cabins, all types of buildings, and even conventional housing developments sitting on leased or rented land that are regulated by Real Estate Land-lease Laws.
I will say this once again. Until manufactured housing on leased or rented land is regulated by Real Estate Land-lease Laws, the owners of manufactured housing will NEVER achieve full property rights and equal protection under state laws. That is how simple it is to solve the problems you have faced for more than 30 years now. Placing manufactured housing on leased or rented land under Real Estate Land-lease Laws will fix the problem permanently. The owners of manufactured housing should be treated the same as all other property owners. Any other actions are a waste of time and money.
Mobile Home Wars
My book is called “Mobile Home Wars” and covers 28 years of history and legislative activity concerning manufactured housing. This book is for homeowners so they can get the information they need about the laws and issues that regulate them nationwide. I am happy that Mobilehome Magazine is giving you an opportunity to read my book. I would hope that Californians would support this organization and join their effort to obtain the same rights and protection under the laws for all Californians who own and live in manufactured housing. God Bless, Donald R. DeVore
Editor’s Note: Donald DeVore is a long time friend of mobilehome owners and a friend of COMO-CAL and MHMag. He is now elderly, living in a rest home in Texas, but he wants his advocacy to continue through his book “Mobile Home Wars.” Donald’s 63 page book “Mobile Home Wars” is available by email (PDF Copy Only) through Mobilehome Magazine for $10. Perhaps if enough read it, there would be a movement to change the laws. Donald would be so happy if that ever happened. God Bless you Donald!