History & Preface:

The L.A. Task Force publishes a GUIDE regarding the rent stabilization ordinance here in Los Angeles.  The Rent Adjustment Commission oversees the Task Force.  RAC has requested that Task Force Members make recommendations to update the Guide.  The following email was sent to RAC on November 30, 2007.  If you would like a copy of the guide, it is available online at

http://www.lacity.org/LAHD/mobilehm.pdf

E-mail from Frank Wodley, MHPTF member:

I do not feel the underlined sections below represent the way the task force is run.  There is no full discussion of issues.  Many mobilehome owner participants are not subject matter experts, but are simply owners of mobilehomes.  The RAC does not ask information of potential task force members concerning issues in mobilehome parks; therefore has NO KNOWLEDGE of their qualifications.

The Mobile Home Park Task Force (MHPTF) is an advisory group established by the Rent Adjustment Commission (RAC) in order to provide a forum which allows full discussion of issues in mobilehome parks. The members of the Mobile Home Park Task Force are mobilehome owners, mobilehome park owners, and industry representatives who meet to discuss and resolve issues and provide advice and recommendations to the Rent Adjustment Commission (RAC). The members of the Task Force are volunteers who serve as subject matter experts in an advisory capacity to the Rent Adjustment Commission. Their role is to provide feedback to the RAC for changes in policies or procedures. The Task Force is also a place where members of the Task Force can discuss issues and provide referrals to appropriate agencies which can assist with problem resolution. Task Force members are not City staff. Issues to be referred to the Task Force or to the Rent Adjustment Commission should be forwarded through the Rent Adjustment Commission support staff, which coordinates the meetings and activities of the Task Force. The Task Force meetings are held to provide an open exchange of information between Task Force members and representatives of the City.

Other items, such as commonly asked questions  I believe these refer to apartment buildings and less to mobilehome parks.  Although this might be what the RSO in Los Angeles states, I feel the seven reasons in the MRL (798.56) are the ones that should apply. Relocation Assistance:  This again appears to really apply to apartment residents, and not to mobilehome owners.  Is there no conversion ordinance in the City of Los Angeles? Mobilehome owners can contact CoMO-CAL locally at 1-800-929-6061 to obtain a complimentary copy of the current Mobilehome Residency Law. Pilot Program:  Issues brought by owners of mobilehomes should be referred to CoMO-CAL, an advocacy group for mobilehome owners.  CMRAA has no representatives in L.A. County and GSMOL’s focus is on new legislation in Sacramento.  This is what we do – help owners with issues.  And we are local.  They can contact us through email at comocal@yahoo.com or calling 818-886-6479.  At the very least, we should be notified when there is an issue.

Submitted this November 30, 2007 by

Frank A. Wodley LAMHPTF Member & CoMO-CAL President

 

Further Comments about the MHPTF in Los Angeles by Frank Wodley

P.S.  Let me further state this task force, in my opinion, does little to help the owners of mobilehomes covered by the Los Angeles RSO.  The mobilehome owner participants DO NOT represent anyone in the City (except myself and perhaps Valerie Montoya of GSMOL).  And I believe I am the only one who does anything to disseminate information from task force meetings to mobilehome owners.  I have and will continue to write about task force meetings in our monthly newsletter.

The make up of the task force is really a joke.  The WMA representatives and park owner are professionals – this is their business, they are well versed on the laws and really are subject matter experts.  On the other hand, this task force does not allow representatives of mobilehome owners – as attorneys that might represent us.  Why not?  At least then their participation would level the playing field.  The current participants do not, in most cases, have any expertise in these issues.

I’ve made my thoughts known also about ‘no minutes or no recordings’ in meetings.  I’ve also asked that task force members be appraised what is presented to the RAC.  This hasn’t happened.

This task force could be making a difference in the lives of mobilehome owners.  It could be used to discuss real issues in mobilehome parks.  Of course these are not issues with the RSO, but what better forum.

In my opinion, this Task Force does not serve mobilehome owners.  6,600 spaces (approximately 15,000 residents) are covered by the Rent Stabilization Ordinance here in Los Angeles.  The L.A. Housing Department oversees the Ordinance through the Rent Adjustment Commission.  The Task Force was created about 20 years ago by RAC and the GUIDE was published to inform about the RSO.

I have been a Task Force member now for three years.  In that time it has become obvious that the Task Force and the Guide only serves the LA Housing Department and the park owners.  In fact LAHD often gloats that other municipalities across the country are envious of the GUIDE.  So much “smoke and mirrors.”

So what is wrong?  First of all, there is no “full discussion” of issues in our parks.  In fact quite the opposite.

There are NO MINUTES, no records of any task force meetings.  They do not want the meetings recorded.  Of course task force members can suggest agenda items, but RAC ultimately controls what is placed on the agenda for each meeting.

What about the ‘make up’ of the task force?  Who serve on it?  Let’s just focus on the mobilehome owners side of this task force.

In my opinion, the LAHD doesn’t want anyone who is a professional, like an attorney for an advocacy group. The LAHD doesn’t want advocates, like myself, who really represent mobilehome owners, who have studied issues in park and who report about the task force to others.  In fact the majority of task force members come and go, perhaps taking a note or two.  Ultimately they do not report to anyone, but simply participate when they want and then go home.

The LAHD does not even have a mailing list for the 6600 spaces covered by the RSO.  And although they claim the GUIDE is terrific, very few if any of these residents see or even know it exists.

So why is this happening?  Simple!  Mobilehome owners as a rule don’t care.  They don’t want to spend the time to be involved.  The park owners on the other hand do care.  This is their business!  Three talented, professional WMA people sit on this task force:  David Evans, Clint Lau, and Bill Scheinwirth.  These guys are smart and up to date on all issues.

What do I recommend?  Get your head out of the sand and take an active interest in groups like this task force.  After all it affects you!