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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.
Only 13 percent of San Francisco households can afford to pay the nearly $7,000 a month in housing costs for a median-priced home here, according to recent analysis by Paragon Realty. “By definition, half the homes sold in any given county were at prices below the median sales price, i.e. there were numerous homes that were more affordable than the median prices used in this analysis,” said the report. “However, any way one slices it, the Bay Area has one of the most expensive— if not the most expensive—and least affordable housing markets in the country.”
BY JIM MILLER AND ANSHU SIRIPURAPUAUGUST 18, 2016 2:29 PM
Attempts to craft an end-of-session affordable housing package are “dead” for the year, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said Thursday, saying there continues to be intense opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to relax local land-use rules in return for $400 million for housing projects.
By: Michael Hiltzik - Contact ReporterAugust 12, 2016, 8:40am
Kate Vershov Downing is a lawyer working for a Silicon Valley technology firm, married to a software engineer. But even with two good jobs in the household, she’s been driven out of the Palo Alto housing market, where the home she rents with another couple costs $6,200 in monthly rent and would cost $2.7 million to buy.
By Will Houston, Eureka Times-StandardPOSTED: 08/09/16, 10:51 PM PDT
“This rent control creates an initiative that will punish us for being compassionate, for having our rents so low, for being considerate,” he said. “This is really going to affect the future of our park.”
The Jisser family, who owns the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, want to close the facility. But as a condition of closing, the city of Palo Alto requires the family to pay $8 million to the 400 or so residents who would be displaced.
The idea of rent control is simple and very appealing to renters. Your rent can never go up as long as you stay in the same rental property. But, this government price control program actually hurts the very people it is intended to help (like many liberal policies).
The money, city officials say, is to ease the city’s affordable housing crisis, which through official policies has triggered a median home price of “a blistering $2.46 million,” far above the $448,000 for the state and $180,000 for the nation.
By Gennady Sheyner / Palo Alto WeeklyUploaded: Sat, Jun 25, 2016, 3:14 pm
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has voted to join with the county Housing Authority and Palo Alto to issue an ultimatum to the owners of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park: Sell your property to us, or we’ll take it by eminent domain. The threat is a moral, legal and political offense.
By Jonathan Lansner, Staff WriterPOSTED: 06/25/16, 9:31 PM PDT
The region’s housing crunch is steep, by any economic measure. A database of housing affordability statistics created by The Associated Press shows Southern California’s two main metropolitan regions – Los Angeles/Orange counties and the Inland Empire – consistently rank among the U.S. markets that most stretch the household budgets of both homeowners and renters. Data were census figures through 2014, the latest available.
Rent control ordinances essentially all impose some type of limit on rent increases for all or some subset of rental units in a local area and also often include requirements for new buildings to include some minimum percentage of “affordable” units meaning ones rented for less than the owner could get in a free market. They are motivated by the idea that rents are too high because landlords are greedy. That, however, is not the true cause of the problem.
By Scott Herhold,, Bay Area News GroupPOSTED: 06/17/16, 10:46 PM PDT
After Supervisor Joe Simitian announced Wednesday that the county’s Housing Authority would join the fight to preserve the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park as a refuge for the working class in Palo Alto, a reporter asked him what it meant. Enough big words. What was his spin?
By Sheila Dey, Executive Director, Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association.JUNE 20, 2016
The Sacramento Bee recently profiled mobile home owners who are taking advantage of a “loop-hole” to reduce their tax liability on beach front homes in Malibu, worth millions of dollars. Needless to say, the Los Angeles County tax assessor wants more property taxes, and the law is on the side of property owners.
By Nathan Donato-Weinstein Real Estate Reporter Silicon Valley Business JournalJun 16, 2016, 5:11am PDT
The tool could be used if the Jisser family — which owns the 4.5-acre property and has been trying to close it since 2012 — doesn’t accept a new offer to buy the park funded by Santa Clara County, the city of Palo Alto and the county’s Housing Authority, officials said Wednesday. That’s because the county and city have now joined forces with the Housing Authority, which has eminent domain power and signaled it’s agreeable to using it.
A wise man once said that the best way to get out of a hole is to “stop digging.” Today California is short 1.5 million affordable homes for families struggling to make ends meet, and the hole is growing bigger each year.
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to provide more low-cost housing through an initiative that could unite liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. As he outlined last month in his updated budget proposal, the plan would reduce costs to homeowners and renters by increasing the housing supply through reductions in the state’s labyrinthine construction-permit process.
For years, Gov. Jerry Brown has resisted efforts to spend more money to build affordable housing. As part of his revised budget released Friday, Brown announced what he said was a better solution: making it easier to build homes for low-income residents. In a new package of legislation, Brown is proposing to streamline the permitting process for developers building affordable homes.
A federal court jury on Thursday ordered the city of Carson to pay $3.3 million in damages to a mobile home park owner for violating his constitutional rights when it repeatedly rejected proposed rent increases at his park.
California’s affordable housing stock is not keeping up with its population growth.
“It all boils down to this,” Thornberg said. “Taxes and regulations are a problem for state businesses, but it’s not what defines California. In the end, this California growth story is a lack-of-housing story.”
California is in the midst of a severe and growing housing crisis, and the Legislative leadership in Sacramento appears to not have the faintest understanding about the causes and possible real solutions to the problem.
Sheila Dey, Executive Director of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association.April 3, 2016
WMA’s executive director, Sheila Dey writes, “Instead of addressing the root cause, some policymakers are championing rent control, despite the fact that it has never effectively preserved or expanded affordable housing stocks.”
A new statewide, Constitutional Amendment Ballot Initiative has received a Title and Summary by the Attorney General and the proponents are out collecting signatures necessary to qualify it for the 2016 General Election Ballot. This measure enacts a surcharge from 2017-18 through 2036-37 on most properties in the state valued (for tax purposes) at above $3 million. This surcharge would raise between $6 billion and $7 billion in new revenues in 2017-18, with revenue amounts in future years generally expected to grow over time (in nominal terms).
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