Tenants rights advocates in two Southern California cities missed the deadline to get rent control initiatives on the November ballot, although they still have a shot at the election cycle in 2020, city and elections officials said Friday, Aug. 3.
Santa Ana and Glendale became the fifth and sixth cities in the region to fail to get rent referendums before voters this fall. Initiative drives already failed in four other local cities: Long Beach, Pasadena, Inglewood and Pomona.
Once an overlooked sector in the housing market, manufactured or “mobile” home REITs have become one of Wall Street’s quietest moneymakers.
These communities, often referred to as trailer parks, have evolved beyond the negative stigma that plagued them in the past, with many resembling high-end gated neighborhoods today. The manufactured-home market is benefiting from high demand from residents in search of more affordable workforce housing options.
The City of Chino reached a $1.5 million settlement this month with a mobile home park owner who brought a lawsuit against the city, alleging the council’s actions caused a loss of income by delaying and interfering with plans to convert the park to resident ownership.
The lawsuit, which originally asked for $34 million, was filed in July 2010 by Chino MHC, owner of Lamplighter Chino Mobile Home Park, which is on the northwest corner of Philadelphia Street and Ramona Avenue.
Members of the City Council want the city to conduct more study and public outreach before deciding whether to pursue a rent stabilization ordinance that would affect Vineyard Valley Mobile Home Park.
The council told staff to arrange informational meetings at the park and delve into the various legal and technical questions that would be involved in crafting an ordinance to bring rent control to St. Helena’s only mobile home park.
For sale signs are cropping up throughout the Driftwood Mobile Home Park in Westminster since notices starting going out in late June announcing rent increases as high as $300 a month.
For many, that’s an increase of 30 percent to 40 percent, more than many longtime residents at this senior park of tidy, lushly landscaped mobile homes can afford. Many here protest they’re on fixed incomes and will have to move if the increases take effect.
Sacramento faces a serious affordable housing problem. The Bee editorial board calls on the mayor, city council, developers and SEIU-backed tenants’ organizations to set aside their differences and forge a compromise that takes aggressive action (“The mayor has a plan to fix the housing crisis. Now he needs help,” Editorials, July 16).
We agree. That’s why our coalition, Citizens for Affordable Housing, is committed to finding fair and common-sense answers.
SANTA CRUZ >> Expect this fall’s campaign over just cause eviction and rent control in the city of Santa Cruz to be expensive.
The measure would require relocation assistance for tenants evicted without just cause from single-family homes, accessory dwellings and condos as well as apartments built before February 1995 and limit rent increases in apartments built before that date.
Ballot arguments were due July 10 with the city clerk and rebuttals due Friday, with the first campaign finance report due July 31.
The owners of Willits Mobile Home Park and many park residents attended Wednesday’s City Council meeting to make their voices heard about raises in rent, alleged issues with the new management company Boa Vida, and a potential rent stabilization ordinance. There was standing room only at the meeting.
After much discussion, City Council decided not to move forward with implementing a rent stabilization ordinance.
SACRAMENTO — Proponents of a November ballot measure that would let California cities expand rent control say negotiations for a compromise have collapsed and that the issue will now be decided by voters.
The all-or-nothing effort to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act is likely to be one of the costliest fights of the fall election. State lawmakers had hoped to reach a deal in the Legislature that tenant and landlord groups could agree to, but that now seems “highly unlikely,” Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, said Friday.
California voters will decide in November whether to give cities and counties new freedom to expand the use of rent control after an initiative backed by tenant groups earned a spot Friday on this fall’s ballot.
The initiative would repeal a decades-old state law that prevents local governments from passing most new rent control laws.
Bet you didn’t know California has 517,173 mobile homes.
While I was reviewing Census Bureau data on housing, a curious data point popped up: Only three states had more mobile homes than California. But as the nation’s most populous state, it’s another affordable-housing metric where California trails the pack: pre-fabricated homes are a tiny share of our residential-living supply — 3.7 percent vs. 6.6 percent in the rest of the nation.
The crisis caused by the rising cost of housing in California has a solution: Build more housing.
People can debate where or what type of housing should be built, but there can be no doubt that more housing is needed. That’s why it’s so troubling that a measure headed for the November ballot would cause less housing to be built.
SACRAMENTO — “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city — except for bombing,” opined Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck. He’s right on target given that rent control destroys housing markets because it takes away the incentive to build new apartments, reduces the willingness of landlords to upgrade and maintain their properties, and encourages tenants to squat indefinitely in their below-market units.
The latest turn in the long-running legal feud over a Carson law limiting rent increases at mobile home parks went in the city’s favor with a court ruling that could bolster cities’ abilities to regulate real estate up and down California.
SANTA CRUZ — Many people in the Seabright neighborhood knew about the roiling local debate over rent control even before Zav Hershfield, petition in hand, knocked on their doors.
Canvassers for renter rights have been through parks, neighborhoods and local shopping centers since February in this coastal town, collecting signatures to place a city referendum on the November ballot limiting annual rent increases and make it harder to evict residents.
The Coalition for Responsible Housing shares the dismay of the Sacramento Bee editorial board about the continued failure to meaningfully address California’s housing crisis (“Compromise on housing or face rent control,” April 19).
California voters this year will likely decide whether cities across the state should have more power to enact stronger rent control.
Rent control proponents behind a proposed November ballot initiative that would allow cities and counties to pass strong rent control laws say they now have enough signatures to qualify the measure.
“People understand that rents are out of control, that’s why I think you’re seeing this initiative move forward,” said Damien Goodmon, director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s “Housing is a Human Right” campaign.
SACRAMENTO — A renters’ revolt in California could be heading to the November ballot as a campaign to lift decades-old restrictions on rent control reported Friday it had gathered more than enough signatures to qualify.
Organizers are planning rallies in Sacramento, Oakland and Los Angeles on Monday as they hand in the signatures, which must be counted and verified by election officials before the initiative makes it on the ballot.
After cropping up in the early 2000s, the debate around rent stabilitzation in mobile home parks has resurfaced in El Dorado County.
On Tuesday, at the request of District 3 Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the possibility of a rent stabilization ordinance, which would restrict the frequency of rent hikes and the amount per increase in mobile home parks within unincorporated areas of the county.
Attorneys working on behalf of local mobile home residents say they filed suit against the city of Mountain View late last week. They are requesting a court order to force city officials to include mobile homes under the city’s rent control program.
About 1,100 mobile homes are estimated to be in Mountain View. Most residents own their mobile homes but rent a space in a mobile home park. These space rents could be restricted under a rent control program.
Major changes to Mountain View’s rent control law could go before Mountain View voters this fall.
The political action group Measure V Too Costly filed paperwork on Friday, March 30, for a November ballot initiative that would heavily modify Mountain View’s rent control program. The proposal, dubbed the ”Mountain View Homeowner, Renter, and Taxpayer Protection Initiative,” seeks to curtail most limits on rent increases and create income eligibility requirements for tenants.
Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee could soon be headed back to the courtroom over a decision to exclude tenants at mobile home parks from the city’s rent control protections.
Earlier this month, an attorney representing two mobile home residents at Santiago Villa issued a demand letter urging the committee to reverse its decision not to extend rent control to Mountain View’s 1,100 mobile homes. If the committee refused, the residents would file a lawsuit to get the action rescinded, said attorney Armen Nercessian of the firm Fenwick & West.
Clipboards in hand, signature-gatherers are fanning out across four Southern California cities this month, turning up at supermarkets and metro stops and apartment complexes to pitch a measure for the November ballot that they say will be salvation for renters.
But for landlords, their pitch is blasphemy.
At issue is whether the cities of Long Beach, Inglewood, Glendale and Pasadena should join a tiny band of California cities that already have rent control and “just cause” eviction laws that prevent landlords from ousting tenants in good standing.
SACRAMENTO - Register Your Mobilehome California, a new state program that provides waivers for past-due registration fees and taxes for mobilehomes and manufactured homes, has saved homeowners more than $500,000 in its first year of operation.
Besides the savings in fees and taxes, homeowners who have taken advantage of the program will also see additional benefits. They are now properly positioned to legally sell or transfer their property, apply for fire and flood insurance, and receive financial assistance and rebates from utility providers.
Delaine Eastin is the only major candidate for California governor to unequivocally support a potential November ballot measure that would allow stronger local rent control laws across the state.
Eastin, a Democrat and former state schools chief, said she supports the outright repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which prevents rent control ordinances from applying to housing built after 1995, as well as single-family homes, duplexes and condos.
Residents from the Wagon Wheel and Valley Oaks mobile home parks are mobilizing to address the Willits City Council tonight, asking city officials to adopt a rent stabilization ordinance after an out of the area property management company’s acquisition of the properties led to rent increases and reported intimidation tactics against the elderly and low income tenants last summer.
Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee on Monday night reaffirmed its opposition to expanding the city’s rent control program to include mobile homes. As a result, mobile home residents warned that they would seek legal action against the city to overturn the decision.
SACRAMENTO — A ballot initiative to lift California’s statewide restrictions on rent control has hit a key milestone, with 25 percent of the signatures it needs to qualify for the November ballot, the California Secretary of State’s office confirmed.
Organizers vowed to take their fight directly to the voters after a bill to repeal the restrictions died in its first committee hearing this year at a raucous January meeting attended by over 1,000 people on both sides of the contentious issue.
In what they called another step to prevent evictions and homelessness, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to draft an ordinance that, if passed, will control rents from rising at mobile home parks.
The fire-ravaged Journey’s End mobile home park will not reopen, but its owner is seeking to partner with a developer to build an apartment complex on the north Santa Rosa property, residents learned this weekend.
The family that owns the 13.5-acre site at Mendocino Avenue and Fountaingrove Parkway is working with nonprofit Burbank Housing to explore the feasibility of redeveloping the property into a mixture of affordable and market-rate apartments, Burbank chief executive officer Larry Florin said Sunday.
It has been a liberal dream for decades to undo parts or all of Proposition 13, the seminal California initiative limiting the property tax rate.
Is that fight finally coming to the ballot box this fall? A coalition of civil rights and community organizations is expected to begin collecting signatures later this month for a measure to tax commercial properties at market value while leaving in place the Proposition 13 protections for homeowners, a concept known as “split roll.”
After garnering more than 100,000 signatures within the last month, the initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — a 1995 state law that limits the scope of local rent control ordinances — is likely to appear on November’s ballot.
The Costa-Hawkins Act prohibits cities from establishing rent control on certain units, including single-family dwellings, condominiums and housing built after 1995. It also has a “vacancy decontrol” provision that allows rent to increase after a tenant moves out.
Rent control policies could actually be making income inequality worse in gentrifying cities such as San Francisco, a new paper from Stanford University researchers argues.
The working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research says the laws intended to protect certain tenants from rent hikes ended up spiking prices through many other parts of San Francisco. This follows other studies that have shown similar consequences for rent control in cities including Los Angeles, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Abuses of the California Environmental Quality Act are aggravating the state’s housing crisis, according to a recent study by Los Angeles lawyers Holland & Knight.
With more than half of renters and over a third of homeowners with mortgages in California cost-burdened by housing — spending more than 30 percent of household incomes on housing — and many forced to commute long distances to work in order to live in affordable housing, California’s housing crisis has made life difficult even for those with well-paying, professional jobs.
California state law bans local governments from imposing rent control on any new apartment construction. The law — the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — defines new construction as dwellings with certificates of occupancy issued after Feb. 1, 1995.
Costa-Hawkins also prohibits regulating rents on single-family dwellings and individually owned condominiums and townhouses
Moves to repeal this law have appeared on two fronts: one in the State Assembly, the other as an initiative to place the appeal on the November 2018 ballot.
Bay Area cities are coming to realize what Ramirez already knows — parking tickets won’t solve the problem of finding a place to live. From Oakland to San Jose, officials are struggling to cope with a growing influx of RV dwellers seeking a safe, permanent place for the only homes they can afford.
“We’ve never seen it like this,” said Tom Myers, executive director of Community Services Agency of Mountain View, where the city averages more than three complaints a day about RV communities. “We have to be prepared that this will be the new normal for us. It’s a crisis.”
Proponents of making a dramatic change to California’s landmark Proposition 13 property tax restrictions took their first step to getting a measure on the November 2018 statewide ballot Friday.
The change would allow the state to charge higher property tax rates on commercial and industrial properties, an effort known as “split roll” because existing tax protections on homes would remain in place.
Barely a year old, Mountain View’s experiment with rent control has already faced a withering gauntlet of controversy and legal scuffles. Now it’s being primed for a dramatic expansion.
On Dec. 4, the city’s Rental Housing Commission is scheduled to consider expanding the Mountain View’s restrictions covering apartment rents to encompass the city’s six mobile home parks. The proposal could bring an estimated 1,100 more homes under the aegis of the city’s new tenant protections.
More than 500,000 California families find their path to affordable home ownership through the purchase of a mobile home or manufactured home, but an estimated one-third lack proper title and registration – putting each of those homeowners at risk.
In an effort to encourage all mobile and manufactured homeowners to secure proper title, the state is offering a limited-time program that waives many back fees and taxes.
When you take a right turn off Higuera Street and onto South Street in San Luis Obispo, you’ll quickly come upon the Village Mobile Home Park. What used to be dotted with dozens of 1950s mobile homes and trailers is now being transformed into energy-efficient manufactured homes, mobile homes, and one tiny home.
For $1,100 a month, the 190 square foot house, which is classified as a recreational vehicle, will give a tenant pretty much everything an apartment could, with the addition of a yard and two parking spaces. The only catch, it’s much smaller.
In an effort to try to keep people from being evicted from their homes, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to look into restoring an expired ordinance that could control rising rents at mobile home parks.
The motion, authored by supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl will ask county departments to examine the feasibility of such an ordinance, which could affect 102 mobile home parks in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. A report is due back in 60 days.
Los Angeles County officials say rising rents and low vacancy rates aren’t limited to rental apartments— the affordability crisis is now hitting the region’s mobile home parks.
In response, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors will consider initial steps for regulating mobile home plot payments at their meeting Tuesday. A proposal by Supervisor Janet Hahn would instruct the county’s planning department to draft a rent control ordinance for mobile home parks that fall on unincorporated land.
Nearly 21,000 families in the four-county Sacramento region, and about a half-million across California, live in homes that are theoretically mobile.
For many, buying a home that’s up on blocks is one of the last opportunities for single-family homeownership in a state with some of the highest housing costs in the nation.
“If you can buy outright, it’s an affordable option,” said Michelle Hutson, who owns her double-wide mobile home in south Sacramento but rents the land beneath it for less than an apartment might cost.
The subject of reinstating Vallejo’s accidentally repealed mobile home rent control ordinance is expected to come up for discussion at the upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday, and it can’t come soon enough for many park residents.
“It has been brought to our attention that mobile home rents are continually going up,” said a letter from the Coalition to the Vallejo Mayor and council. Two local mobile home parks have reportedly raised rents, and one, “sent out a letter on Sept. 30, raising their rents a third time this year alone,” it says.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday to prevent landlords from threatening immigrant tenants with deportation, measures he said were part of broader efforts by his administration “to bolster resources and support for the immigrant community.”
One proposal by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would bar landlords from disclosing information about immigration status in order to intimidate, harass or evict tenants without following proper procedures. It also would allow immigrant tenants to file civil claims against their landlords if they do.
Owning residential investment property is always a tricky balancing act. You must offer competitive rents based on the free market. If you price too high, your customer goes elsewhere, and if you price too low, you’ll lose money.
Either way, a misstep is costly and dangerous. Even when done right, the reward is typically smaller than most people would expect. It’s not a business for the faint of heart.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–People who purchased a mobilehome or manufactured home but didn’t receive the necessary title to the property now have a chance to properly register their homes with the new Fee and Tax Waiver Program – and avoid paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in state and local taxes, fees and penalties.
More than half of California voters say the state’s housing affordability crisis is so bad that they’ve considered moving, and 60 percent of the electorate supports rent control, according to a new statewide poll.
The findings from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies reflect broad concerns Californians have over the soaring cost of living. Amid an unprecedented housing shortage, rents have skyrocketed and tenants have faced mass evictions, especially in desirable areas.
Despite all the housing-related proposals in Sacramento, lawmakers have apparently yet to learn that more government involvement, making housing more expensive and less profitable, is never going to solve the state’s housing affordability problems.
Discussions of housing oftentimes tend to focus on single-family developments or other types of housing for purchase, and neglect rental properties, which is unfortunate, since rentals make up nearly half of the housing stock in California.
Half the state’s households struggle to afford the roof over their heads. Homeownership—once a staple of the California dream—is at its lowest rate since World War II. Nearly 70 percent of poor Californians see the majority of their paychecks go immediately to escalating rents.
The California Energy Commission is bankrolling a plan to bring renewable energy to a mobile home park near Bakersfield, California. The money will allow for the installation of solar panels and a battery storage system. The idea is to make the technology available to communities that otherwise could not afford it.
During the last week of March, Apple reached a record market value of $754 billion, Google tweaked a policy to protect its $22-billion-a-quarter advertising business and Yahoo inched toward closing a $4.83-billion sale. Meanwhile, Judy Pavlick drove around her Sunnyvale, Calif., mobile home park collecting plastic bottles and empty drink cans to save her future.
By: The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial BoardApril 4, 2017
The headlines about California’s housing crisis just keep coming, and the news is always grim. Last week, Bankrate.com reported the Golden State was the worst in the nation for first-time homebuyers, with the lowest percentage of homes available for sale and mortgage costs nearly double the U.S. average. Bankrate’s analysis pointed out that high rents compounded California’s home-affordability problem by making it difficult for families to save up for down-payments.
Owners of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto and the Housing Authority of Santa Clara County continue to negotiate three months after the housing agency submitted a $36 million written offer in December to buy the property.
By: ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER EDITORIAL BOARDMarch 15, 2017
Without changes in public attitudes toward homebuilding, it will be difficult for California to pull itself from its housing crisis. That’s the takeaway message from a new report from California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office titled, “Do Communities Adequately Plan for Housing?”
OAKLAND — A nearly two-year effort to strike a balance between unincorporated Alameda County mobile home park owners and renters may be coming to an end soon after county supervisors lowered the allowed annual rent increases at mobile home parks, but removed some restrictions on when rents could be raised.
Only private and nonprofit housing developers can borrow and leverage the many billions of dollars in housing investment California needs, but they need regulatory streamlining and other structural reforms to make it work. That’s the harsh reality.
Measure V was a voter initiative drafted by a group of mobile home park residents. Blanck said the county reviewed the initiative and found that it complied with current laws. The measure only regulates rent increases at mobile home parks with ten or more spaces in unincorporated areas, of which there are more than 40 in the county.
Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced a bill on Jan. 17 which makes several notable changes to the Mobilehome Residency Law, allowing two guests to stay with a homeowner in her/his mobilehome, without additional fees being imposed by the mobilehome park management.
The issue of rent control — which was given new life in the Bay Area this past November with resident-backed ballot measures in five cities — is expected to come before Milpitas’ elected officials this year, if newly elected Mayor Richard Tran has anything to say about it.
By KERRY JACKSON / Contributing writerPublished: Dec. 31, 2016 Updated: 7:58 p.m.
Type “California housing crisis” into a web search engine and the results come gushing out. Dozens of stories from just the past year highlight a crunch that’s “way past a problem,” a “middle-class” disaster, “drowning renters” and “California’s most pressing challenge.” We’re living through a complete turnaround from the 1970s boom, when one new housing unit was built for less than every two newcomers.
By JOHN PHILLIPS / Staff columnistDec. 22, 2016 Updated Dec. 23, 2016 7:59 a.m.
As a lifelong resident of California, I grew up believing wholeheartedly in the California dream — the idea that one day, my friends and I would be able to own our slice of paradise right here in the Golden State. Little did I know that because of the sky-high cost of housing, the only real estate most of us can afford are the Styrofoam missions we glued together in the fourth grade.
by Sue Dremann / Palo Alto WeeklyUploaded: Tue, Dec 20, 2016, 8:55 pm
Buena Vista Mobile Home Park residents received a hopeful pre-holiday present from the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara on Tuesday when its board of directors unanimously agreed to seek acquisition of the mobile-home park during a closed session meeting.
by Kevin Forestieri / Mountain View VoiceUploaded: Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 3:31 pm
A coalition of elected leaders from all nine Bay Area counties agreed to an ambitious new vision for regional growth in the coming decades, calling for a more balanced mix of jobs and housing that curbs displacement, explosive cost-of-living increases and long hours stuck in traffic jams.
Pending state certification, the passage of Measure V has some advocates looking to expand its limits on annual mobile home rent increases to the county’s incorporated cities, while mobile home park owners have expressed uncertainty and concern.
Initial reports from the Humboldt County Elections Office showed voters in Humboldt County on Tuesday approved Measure V by a 9 percent margin to enact rent control at mobile home parks in unincorporated parts of the county, regulating rental increases for spaces at mobile home parks.
Affordable housing is one of the most important issues facing Sonoma County employers, workers, leaders and citizens. With our great weather, easy access to recreation and other quality lifestyle amenities, Sonoma County is a highly desirable place to live and has been for some time, yet it is not an easy place to afford to live.
A prominent Measure V supporter who had been at the forefront of the campaign confirmed on Monday that she had sent an email earlier this year offering to drop out of the movement to establish rent control at mobile home parks in unincorporated Humboldt County in exchange for the purchase of a $100,000 double-wide by her park’s owners.
When first asked by the Union whether she had written an email that smacked of extortion, the former head of the Yes on Measure V campaign flatly denied doing so, stating, “No! No! No! I don’t know how else to say that word – wait; nien, nay, non, nyet.”
This seminar will focus on changes to the Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL), as well as other changes in state law and regulations, and how these changes will affect community operations in 2017.
We will also review portions of the MRL. Six units of MCM credit can be earned upon a passing grade on the exam administered at the end of the seminar. Seminar hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lunch is included. All details can be found on our website at www.wma.org. Register now!
In an effort to educate public policymakers on how mobilehome parks operate and how the misapplication of rent control has contributed to California’s housing crisis, the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA) has launched a statewide public education campaign.
In an effort to educate public policymakers on how mobilehome parks operate and how the misapplication of rent control has contributed to California’s housing crisis, the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA) has launched a statewide public education campaign.
By: The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial BoardSeptember 23, 2016, 6:00am
The biggest problem facing California is housing affordability. Rent and home prices are so high that middle-income and low-income households alike often struggle to pay for shelter. In metro Los Angeles, one-fourth of households spends at least half their income on housing. As understood by Gov. Jerry Brown and anyone familiar with how free markets work, the best, most decisive and longest-lasting solution to this problem is to add housing stock.
To be honest, I had some negative reactions myself when I first considered Rancho Benicia. I thought about my friends in Moraga, Walnut Creek, San Francisco and Idaho and felt some misgivings about what they’d say. Good friends of mine, who had lived near me in the condo, moved to Rancho Benicia last year. They worked with an interior designer, and had the entire inside redone in their style. It’s lovely. They refer to their place as a “tindominimum.”
Rents in California are 50 percent above the national average. The cost of a new home is 2.5 times what it is elsewhere in the U.S. And the chances of being “house poor” are significantly higher here than in any other state in the country.
(StatePoint) As the Boomer population ages and retires, massive shifts in the housing market are to be expected. One current popular trend with these older Americans is manufactured housing in land-lease communities, where homes are placed on leased land and the overall price of the home is lower than other types of homes. And many of these communities offer senior-friendly amenities.
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