Spotting Scams – What is spoofing?

Spoofing is a technique where scammers “spoof” or falsify their identifying information to make you think it is coming from a trusted source. More advanced scammers can even make their caller ID show up on your phone as a known contact, like a family member. Other common techniques involve sending emails with official-looking logos for valid businesses, but the user’s email address will be from a personal account (ex. user@hotmail.com) instead of from an official business account for the organization they claim to represent.

Tax Day Extended to May 17, 2021

Did April 15th pass by without you filing your 2020 income taxes? You still have time! Both the IRS and California Franchise Tax Board have extended the tax deadline for 2020 federal and state income tax returns. The deadline, previously April 15th, has been extended to May 17, 2021 to allow additional time for those who may need it due to COVID-19. This extension applies only to individual income taxes. For more information, visit irs.gov or ftb.ca.gov.

You can get vaccinated!

Since the release of the first COVID vaccines, availability has been limited to tiered groups based on risk level, age, and location. Now, all those in California who can receive the vaccine are eligible.

When?
As of April 15, 2021 every Californian age 16 and up is eligible to be vaccinated.

Where?
At this time, most vaccine locations in Orange County and Inland Empire require an appointment. Appointment availability will vary by date and location. You can schedule an appointment through myturn.ca.gov, or directly through many individual vaccination locations. To find vaccination locations near you, check vaccinefinder.org.

How much does it cost?
Nothing! The federal government is providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to all people living in the United States, even those without healthcare.

To stay up to date with the latest information about COVID vaccines, visit cdc.gov.

California Residents Can Get Help to Pay or Reduce Energy Costs

As the weather changes, you probably see your energy bill changing too. If you’re one of many low-income California households struggling to cover energy costs, you may be eligible for assistance.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and provides energy assistance to qualified individuals. Eligible low-income persons can receive financial assistance to offset the costs of heating and/or cooling, and/or have their homes weatherized to make them more energy efficient. To qualify for this program, you must be a resident of the state of California, need financial assistance for home energy costs, and have an annual household income (before taxes) that is below 60 percent of the State Median Income.

To apply, call toll free 1-866-675-6623 or find the energy service provider in your community on the California Community Services & Development site – www.csd.ca.gov.

For more information about this program, visit www.csd.ca.gov/Pages/Assistance-PayingMyEnergyBills.aspx.

This article was previously published in our monthly newsletter, California Mobile Home News. If you would like access to more helpful information like this on a monthly basis, as well as additional resources for mobile home owners, contact us about becoming a MHET member!

Save Money by Shopping for the Best Medicare Coverage

Your current Medicare plan may not be the best for your needs. Each year, from January 1 to March 31, Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period allows you to select a different option for your annual coverage. To learn more about the different plan options, visit www.medicare.gov/plan-compare or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users call 1-877-486-2048.

This tip was previously published in our monthly newsletter, California Mobile Home News. If you would like access to more helpful information like this on a monthly basis, as well as additional resources for mobile home owners, contact us about becoming a MHET member!

Valentine’s in the Time of COVID

With Valentine’s Day coming, many of our thoughts turn to loved ones and how best to remind them we care. On top of the usual considerations this time of year, it seems like almost everyone could use an extra pick-me-up as we continue slogging through COVID precautions. Consider reaching out to all kinds of loved ones for Valentine’s Day, even with something as simple as call or a card. However you celebrate, know that you also have our heartfelt wishes for health, happiness, and love of all kinds in your life this year!

You May Be Eligible for Energy Assistance Based on Medical Needs

If you require electricity to power your medical equipment or have a medical condition that requires your home maintain a specific temperature, you may be eligible for assistance with your energy bill under the Medical Baseline program. Eligible medical conditions include a compromised immune system, Multiple Sclerosis, or paraplegia. Eligible medical equipment includes breather machines (IPPB), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), motorized wheelchairs, and respirators. If you have any of the above conditions, require electronic medical equipment, or think you may have a similar condition or device requirements, check with your utility provider to find out if you qualify for their Medical Baseline program.

SCE customers can find more information at www.sce.com/residential/assistance/medical-baseline or by calling 1-800-655-4555.

For SDGE customers, check www.sdge.com/residential/pay-bill/get-payment-bill-assistance/health-senior-support/qualifiying-based-medical-need or call 1-866-463-0070.

This article was previously published in our monthly newsletter, California Mobile Home News. If you would like access to more helpful information like this on a monthly basis, as well as additional resources for mobile home owners, contact us about becoming a MHET member!

Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours

During the holidays, love and compassion for others is what is always on our mind. It is a time to cherish family and to enjoy friends. It is when we share time together, whether it is around a family dinner table, over the phone via FaceTime, or on a meeting app to visit family and friends near and far.

As we enjoy another wonderful and loving holiday season, we are also facing spikes in COVID cases here at home and around the world. The frustration continues and there has never been a better time to show compassion by thinking of others as well as ourselves. That is why it is important to continue wearing a mask that covers our mouth and nose when we are around others in a public setting and practice regular sanitation of hands and surfaces.

We wish you a very safe, healthy, and wonderful holiday season! Happy New Year and here’s to a healthy future!

Constraints On Manufactured Housing Impact Production Numbers

In August 2020, data from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) showed a decline in production of HUD Code manufactured homes for the third year in a row. This year’s decrease is likely linked to COVID-19 health concerns and lockdowns. However, while other areas of the housing industry have shown a rebound, manufactured housing production faces challenges due to zoning restrictions and consumer financing constraints. Though September 2020 production reports did show an increase over those from September 2019, the cumulative production at the end of September 2020 is down 1% compared to the same period in 2019.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

As we move into Thanksgiving, many of us find ourselves contemplating the holiday in an entirely new way, reexamining our traditions in the light of COVID-19 restrictions and concerns. Numerous challenges over the past several months have helped highlight many things we took for granted in our day to day lives. The year’s trials and continuing struggles can make it difficult to feel gratitude in time for this day of Thanksgiving. With this in mind, we’ve selected some quotes to aid in contemplation of the meaning of the day. It is our hope that some of these quotes bring you more light and thoughtfulness, and maybe make this strange year feel a bit warmer and more hopeful. From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

“We can always find something to be thankful for, no matter what may be the burden of our wants, or the special subject of our petitions.” – Albert Barnes

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle

“When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup.” – Sam Lefkowitz

“Drink and be thankful to the host! What seems insignificant when you have it, is important when you need it.” – Franz Grillparzer

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” – Eileen Caddy

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – Maya Angelou

“We must find the time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy

“The more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” – Randy Pausch

“Forever on Thanksgiving Day, the heart will find the pathway home.” – Wilbur D. Nesbit

“Give thanks not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life. Appreciate and never take for granted all that you have.” – Catherine Pulsifer

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash