Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mobile Home Park Economic Eviction


Op/Ed: Mobile Home Owners Need Help

A Santa Cruz County Mobile Home/Manufactured Commissioner advocates for homeowner protections.


Lauri Beamish

6:22am on Monday, November 7, 2011

First let me say that I am so sorry for anyone else going through this, an example of "bullying" at it's finest. Capitola didn't spend 2 million to defend it's rent control. Over 10 yrs. the City spent approx. what amounts to $70,000. per year. The residents paid approx. $400,000. over a 6 yr. period, and in the end it still wasn't enough. Some of us will definitely be attending from Capitola to show our support and do whatever we can to help keep more from going through what we are now at the hands of the heartless park owners.

Op/Ed: Mobile Home Owners Need Help


Op/Ed: Mobile Home Owners Need Help

A Santa Cruz County Mobile Home/Manufactured Commissioner advocates for homeowner protections.

&nbps;1 Comment

By William Neighbors

Mobile/manufactured homeowner disputes and mobile home park issues are on the rise in Santa Cruz County.

I have had several phone calls from mobile home residents in Watsonville regarding Capitola’s rent control. Watsonville's Mobile Home Rent Control was enacted by the voters, not like Capitola where it was an ordinance and the city council had unilateral control to repeal rent control. Watsonville mobile home residents pay a very small amount for rent control, about $1 per month. This is not a lot of money for legal fees.

The city of Watsonville and the residents have to fight park owners who want
higher profits, so they repeatedly challenge rent control laws. Capitola spent over $2 million in legal fees on rent control.

So, what do we need to do? First we need to build a legal fund so when something happens to us we are ready to take it on. Park owners are challenging rent control laws in three mobile home parks right now that are creating legal fees for the city. I have spoken to two attorneys who represent park residents and they say the same thing: we must build a legal fund.

The county is proposing raising the yearly fee to help with their legal expenses defending rent control. It will be implemented in January 2012 for county residents, only not homes in the city limits.

I think we need to pass a city ordinance to collect a small amount from each mobile home owner per month to build this legal fund. I know these are hard times and people don't like fees or taxes, but we are facing litigation in two parks challenging rent control where park owners are proposing to dramatically double
monthly rents in addition to eliminating existing services in Watsonville.

We need to stop this from continuing throughout Watsonville and believe me it will continue just like it has in Capitola.

Owners of mobile homes and manufactured homes have a lot invested in their homes. Let’s all work together and solve these problems that are occurring. It is up to us, the homeowners, to protect our investments. Everyone should get together at their park association meetings and talk about it. I would be happy to attend your meeting.

William Neighbors is a mobile home owner in Watsonville and a commissioner on the Santa Cruz County Mobile Home/Manufactured Commission.

NOTE: A discussion of rent control and tenant rights will be held at Capitola City Hall on Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. It is open to all mobile home owners.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What is in the BEST INTEREST of California Manufactured Home Owners?

"What are the problems -- what are the best answers for manufactured home owners, in California's (or any other state) so-called Mobile Home Parks, aka Manufactured Home Communities?

[What are the most important threats to our housing?]
(1) Monthly out-of-pocket housing cost.
(2) Financing options to us and the next buyer.
(3) Estate planning.....Reverse Mortgage capability.

[What solves #1-3 above?]
(1) Eliminate ground rent and the increase due to cost of living -- an absolute must!!
(2) Own something that is financable. Note: Unless you own the land under your home, it is considered the same as a 'used car'!!...and is financed as such, if at all, in today's times.

[What solves the above?]
(1) Own the land under your home.
[How to own the land under your home]
(1) Buy the entire facility.

[Ok -- let's stop for a moment!!]
Resident advocacy organizations, large and small, local and statewide, have agendas that range from 'harassment' to 'rent control'/'de-control'.

[Ok -- Be honest!!]
(a) Would any of those agendas do away with Cost of Living? Answer: No, No, No.
(b) Would any one of those agendas put the ownership of your lot in your name? Answer: No, No, No.
(c) Would 'harassment', 'rent control'/'de-control become a non-issue if you owned your lot? Answer: YES, YES, YES.

Ok -- Please understand, those of you in an agenda group that may feel challenged, this information is to educate everyone so that we are all on the same transparent page as to where each of us may want to go.

If one wishes to pursue other issues, whatever they may be, you are certainly free to do so with organized groups.
Sooo- let's move on to: "What are the Resident's tools with which to purchase?? A Very Good Question.

[Tools to Purchase]
(1) We're California voters.
(2) Federal and State decisions (law) supporting "Affordable Housing".
(3) Quick method, i.e., 90-120 days.
(4) Cost to each Homeowner = about same or maybe less than existing rent - but no more increases.

[Explanation of Tools]
(1) As California voters, collectively, Residents/Mobile Home Owners number about 450,000+.
(2) The U.S. Supreme Court down to our State Legislative Counsel provide long time support of Cities and Counties absolute right to move land from the Investor to the Homeowner.
(3) Read the material provided by the State for Mobile Home Owners on "How to Purchase your Park". Note: The exemption under the Business and Profession Code allows a 'fast track'. It is known as the
"Mitchell Method:, named after the author and supporting firm that brought it into use.
(4) Costs, looked into and approved by the State Dept. of Corporations, are compared to existing housing
costs before the permit is issued to proceed with the purchase.

[Use of Tools to Purchase]
(1) (a) As a voter group, the Mayor and Council must listen if they want to stay in office.
(b) The State and Federal Agencies - i.e., Auditor's Office, Attorney General, IRS, etc. - do not respond to individuals. They want the most 'bang' for their time and effort; thus, a group presentation is far more
(2) The "Law" is very clear. As "Affordable Housing", the Law of the U.S., down to the State and Local levels- --we are supported.
(3) Our research found a 'Team' that:
(a) can create a Planned Unit Development (a form of Subdivision) so that you have a Deed to your home and land in 90-120 days+.
(b) From that, normal single family financing is available -- for example, today in the 4%+ area.
(c) Cost of Living of ground rent is eliminated!!
(d) If necessary, through another "Mitchell Method" law change, a third party can step into the escrow, and close ---- all cash --- in the necessary time period.
(4) [Costs]: Using the home and lot as security for a loan to cover the purchase of the land, the total cost is composed of (i) loan payment, (ii) HOA Fee. This is the measuring device the "Mitchell Method" uses --- and the State supports. The total cost of (i) and (ii) is probably less than your current rent.

Sitting on your duff waiting for the harassment and de-control efforts to solve the purchase effort is like the self-denial group who was the last one off the Titanic and into the water.

If your park is already owned by a City or a 501-c-3, stay tuned and we will get something started right away.

We've just heard that the IRS would look favorably on a sale transaction that would be equal to nothing more than paying off the Principal of the Bond. In other words, since the Resident Home Owners were the ones paying, the increased value or equity belongs to them -- not the City, not the 501-c-3.

In closing --- some other interesting information ---the State is investigating the workings of a Redevelopment/City Mobile Home Park purchase using Bonds!

A doomsday scenario for mobile home owners: Rent DeControl

A scenario for January 2013: The other day, I was evicted from my mobile home because rent control was eliminated and my rent space was raised without limit. Decontrol was implemented, so no one would buy my home because of the high rent.

So last night, I stayed with friends whose home was in foreclosure. The home next door was burned down. We don't know the cause of the fire, because the one Fire Department we have was on another call. Two people were badly burned and the privatized ambulance service that was to respond was not familiar with our location in Oceanside. We tried to call the staff of only eight sheriffs we have to patrol our city, and they were elsewhere.

So this morning, I went to the only library we have and I was told I had to buy a cup of coffee from the concession stand to be able to read a book. But since I live in the city of "Kern" (formerly known as the city of Oceanside in California), I have to believe that Jerry Kern, Jack Feller and Gary Felien had my best interests at heart.

Your true believer and homeless advocate.

DeeDee Dana


The VERY BEST way to help Manufactured Home Park Owners/Mobilehome Park Residents

Although the economic times are indeed tough, they bring solutions. In the case of MHP’s, the Residents have a need, but, so do the City and the Park owners. All are centered on Financing. Interestingly, the Cities benefit from the Residents buying, thus, a win-win-win. Here is how it works – along with some supporting law

[Financing = Cornerstone of Happiness]

(1) Until 2003, Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae would buy loans on homes on leased ground [Ex. # 1]. Since then, VA, FHA, HUD, and banks are looking at a lease situation as a – No Deal.

(2) #1 above means that without land, Resident Homeowners are forced to deal in the ‘Predatory Loan Market’, i.e., own the land = 4 ½% interest+ vs. leased = up to 15% interest+.

(3) For comparison:

(a) own the land - loan payments on a $60,000 loan, 4 ½% - 30 yrs. = $305.00/mo.

(b) leased land – loan payments on a $60,000 loan, 15% - 12 yrs. = $923.00/mo.

[Ground rent/Rent control/Housing Cost]

(1) There is a built-in cost conflict with Home ownership divided between Home and Land.

(2) U.S. Supreme Court decisions support “Preserving Affordable Housing”.

(3) #2 above is well covered by a Legislative Counsel Opinion. [Ex. #2]

(4) Using #1-3 above, the waste and uselessness of voters’ money for any legal action is clear --- Buy the Land. Please note the many examples where millions have been spent on attorney fees in a ‘battle’, when the battle and the war have already been won – see0 #2 & 3 above.

[How to Buy the Land under your Home – History]

(1) [Note]: Before we go any further, it is understood that there are several ways for Resident Homeowners to acquire ownership of the land under their homes. For lending purposes, control is not the same as ownership, i.e., co-op, condo, etc.

(2) The age, size, layout, location, condition of utilities, and amenities all have a substantial influence on what is the best path to take to ownership.

(3) An extreme example of one end of #2 above would be a 1960 20-unit trailer park owned collectively as a co-op. The other end would be a 1976 350-unit 5 star park – see (D) following.

(4) Even though a true trailer park had small, pull-behind units with wheels still attached and the tow hitch still in place, and might have been considered “Affordable Housing”, it is certainly not what today's manufactured homes are...definitely NOT mobile!

(5) There is no question that in the beginning of this industry it was understood by landowner and trailer owner – the give and take of the marketplace. In fact, it was a useful, co-beneficial situation.

(6) When things slowly morphed into a problem situation was when enhancement of the pull-behind trailer to the ‘single-wide’, which in turn went on up to the double and triple wide units. By the nature of this improvement, the installation became permanent and the die was cast – Rent Control was a substitute for mobility.

(7) The above bit of history is helpful in keeping a ‘Big Picture’ aspect in lining up the ‘Intent of the Legislature” that will show a consistency from bill to bill as the State gets more and more involved. Also Opinion of AG. [Ex. #3].

(8) The ‘Intent of the Legislature’ and State Agencies was, and is, to comply with Federal Law, the betterment, support, and protection of ‘Affordable Housing’. This is further represented by HCD and State construction guidelines that came out in 1971. Interestingly, the HUD construction guidelines that came out in 1976 were a copy-cat of the 1971 California Law.

(9) One last observation regarding Home and Land. Regardless of its beauty to the eye of one and not to another; regardless of the fact it long ago lost the ‘Mobile Home’ aspect, it is still considered “Affordable Housing”. The law of the land, starting at the U.S. Supreme Court level (“Preserve Affordable Housing”) is recognized in statement, or, implied in all the California bills dealing with this area. A few examples:

(a) B&P Code 11010.8 (b) Revenue &Tax Code 62.2 (c) Health & Safety Codes 18555, 50780, 33449 regarding holding. [Ex. #4 to #8]

(D Soooo – [How to buy the Land to “Preserve Affordable Housing”]

[Note]: Based upon the History above, the following will outline a Park Purchase:

(1) Using the code sections in C (9) above, the Resident Homeowners can subdivide, finance, and close escrow in 90-120 days.

Note: These code sections all have common purposes:

(a) To Preserve Affordable Housing.

(b) To be fast, proficient, and less costly.

(c) To qualify for the best financing.

(2) One of the largest parks in the State, “The Groves” with 535 spaces in Irvine – closed escrow in 90 days, all cash, in the manner described above.


The practice of a City floating a Bond issue to cover:

(1) Overpaying the value of the park,

(2) Funding substantial accounts not necessary in normal ownership,

(3) Imposing annual increases in the ground rent.

(4) Withholding ownership of the lot under their home, forcing a Predatory Lending situation on the Residents.

(5) Increasing the monthly housing cost immediately to cover the 150% to 190% Loan to Value of the Bond.

(6) Add insult to injury – the Residents are solely responsible for the Bond payments and operation funds for the park.


Every item in 1-6 Summation above is an established fact.

Any one of those items would be totally out of step with helping Resident Homeowners. But there are 6, strongly impacted by # 3 & 4. Being held captive in a City or 501-c-3 situation is not the American Way, not the “intent of the Legislature”, and, as well-stated by an Appellate Judge (Craig vs. City of Poway, “33334.2 Legislative history – ‘improve’ means to make available less expensive or make already inexpensive less expensive.” [Ex. #9]

There are thousands of MHP Resident Homeowners in this situation (City or 501-c3). This is so easy. There are no “Investors/Landowners, i.e., WMA. The City must support, and thus earn Resident Voter approval. The City will be in compliance with the State mandated plan.

The City or 501-c-3 entity will be carrying out their duties in compliance with IRS and State rules, confirmed with IRS.

The Residents will enjoy for the first time an elimination of the ever-increasing housing cost of ground rent. The Residents will now be able to sell and buy their homes in the normal finance market.

The State will enjoy Cities and Counties complying with the rules --- no cost to anyone!!!

This is a joyous win-win-win-win situation for all…comments on (C) (9) a, b, c are welcome.