Rent Control in Jeopardy!! Legislative Support URGENT!!

Senate Bill 900 introduced by Senator Corbett and Assembly Bill 1542 introduced by Assembly Member Evans needs the support of ALL mobile home park residents whether or not your city or county has a  mobilehome park (MHP) rent control ordinance. Reasons – to ensure that local rent control ordinances don’t become null and void and to preserve authority to permit such ordinances to become law in the    future.

BACKGROUND

 Within the past few years, a series of events have given rise to a statewide wave of applications by mobilehome park owners to convert their parks to so-called resident-owned condominiums or subdivisions, which enables park owners to eliminate local rent control with the completion of a largely ministerial subdivision application and the sale of a single space.

Government Code Section 66247.5 was originally intended to support the long-term affordability of mobilehomes by encouraging the sale of parks to the residents. Unfortunately, the language of this section, combined with an appeals court case have together created a loophole whereby park owners have a simple and convenient avenue to do away with local rent control.

The Code and the case together establish that local governments cannot condition or deny mobilehome park subdivisions, and that once a single lot is sold, the rent on any space occupied by households above lower income levels rises to market rates over four years. Fundamentally, if one person buys their lot it should not cause other residents, who may have made the decision to move to the park because of the local rent control protection, to lose their local rent control protection.

In 2002 AB 930 (Keeley) was passed which allowed local governments to require park owners, as part of the Subdivision Map Act process, to provide the city or county with a “survey of support” to assure conversions were “bona fide.” Because the language is not clear, there are differing views on whether a city or county can deny a park condominium conversion if the survey shows little or no resident support for the conversion.

SB 900 (Corbett) and AB 1542 (Evans) have been introduced to address this threat to mobilehome park residents and counties’ stocks of affordable housing. These identical bills would repeal the section of the Government Code that allows park owner-initiated subdivisions, thus protecting mobilehome park residents and the stock of affordable housing.

Individual mobilehome park residents and homeowners and local groups such as park associations, coalitions and or chapters of CoMo-Cal. CMRAA ( California Mobilehome Resource and Action Assn.) and GSMOL should request their city councils or county board of supervisors pass resolutions similar to the following one passed unanimously by the Tuolumne County (TC) Board of Supervisors  April 24, 2007.

RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF TUOLUMNE

SUPPORTING CHANGES TO STATE LAW TO PROTECT MOBILEHOME PARK RESIDENTS AND ENCOURAGING THEIR ADOPTION AND URGING OTHER LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO SUPPORT THESE CHANGES

Whereas, mobilehome park residents rely upon the County of Tuolumne’s Mobilehome Park Rent Control Ordinance to protect the affordability of their homes, and;

Whereas, Tuolumne County’s mobilehome parks comprise an important component of the county’s stock of affordable housing, and;

Whereas, the continuation of local rent control is necessary to protect mobilehome park residents and the stock of affordable housing, and;

Whereas, Section 66427.5 of the California Government Code eliminates rent control for persons above lower income levels when a mobile home park owner subdivides the park, and;

Whereas, in the California Appeals Court case of EI Dorado vs. Palm Springs the appeals court recognized that Section 66427.5 would enable a Park Owner to enact a sham subdivision that results in the elimination of rent control in the park for persons above lower income levels, and;

Whereas, subsequent amendments of this section did not eliminate this threat to mobilehome residents and affordable housing despite the express intent of the legislature to do so.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the’ Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors encourages the revision of 66427.5 of the California Government Code and other sections as necessary to assure that park residents are not involuntarily removed from local rent control or otherwise economically impacted if parks are subdivided or otherwise converted, and encourages approval of these revisions by the California Legislature, and further resolves to encourage all California local governments to support this action.

If a resolution has been passed-great. Regardless, contact your Assembly person and State Senator to urge them to support SB 900 (Corbett) and AB 1542 (Evans). Those bills are two of the most important mobilehome legislation being considered in 2007 by the legislature.

The Homeowners’ Coalition Mobilehome Parks of TC (HCMP-TC) President, Rosemary Tomai, presented data to TC officials who understood the need for supporting these bills in order  to preserve local MHP rent control to keep parks as affordable housing.

Article by Marvin Rezac, member HCMP-TC and its representative on the Congress of California Seniors (CCS) Legislative Committee. CCS, State-Wide Organization, supports mobilehome, consumer, health care, nursing home, common interest developments as well as other legislation benefiting all age groups.