Low Income Housing Help – Section 8

The Federal government offers various housing assistance programs to help individuals and families find affordable housing. The Section 8 program, also known as Housing Choice Voucher program, is one such program that provides rent assistance to qualified renters.

The requirement to qualify is straight-forward and is determined by your local Public Housing Authority. In general, it depends on your total annual income, size of your family and how long you’ve been living in the United States.

You can apply for Section 8 vouchers at any Public Housing Authority office in any county or city in your state of residence.

Make sure to check with Park Management to see if they accept Section 8 vouchers in your park. This program can help you if you are struggling to make ends meet. To apply online click here.


Proper Maintenance and Preparedness can Prevent Fires in your Mobile Home.

Every year hundreds of mobile homes are destroyed by fires that might have otherwise been prevented. Proper maintenance of heating, cooking and electrical systems is the key to warding off those destructive flames. You must also make sure that your home is properly outfitted to warn you if a fire was to break out and that you have the tools to help prevent the fire from spreading.

  • Fire extinguishers. Keep one fire extinguisher in the kitchen and another near the furnace. Make sure they’re multi-purpose, dry-chemical extinguishers, suitable for class A, B and C fires. Teach all family members how to operate them. Small home fire extinguishers operate for only five to ten seconds, so be sure of your aim.
  • Smoke detectors. Mobile homes built since 1976 come equipped with smoke detectors. If your home doesn’t have smoke detectors, you need one high on the wall or ceiling adjacent to bedroom areas. Place another in the kitchen. Check your smoke detectors once a month by pressing the test button. Replace the battery in each smoke detector at least once a year. Never remove the battery except when replacing it. If your smoke detector is a photo unit, replace the bulbs every three years. Keep the grill of the detector free of dirt by dusting and vacuuming it regularly.

If your home’s smoke detectors are powered by electricity, add at least one detector that’s battery powered in case of power outages.

  • Be careful not to overload electrical circuits. Lights that flicker or dim indicate trouble that must be corrected. When replacing fuses, install only recommended fuses. Use fuses and breakers that are the proper size for the wire. A ground monitor is a valuable tool for locating any shorts or other problems in the electrical system. If you are inexperienced in working with electricity, don’t try to correct electrical problems yourself. Call a qualified electrician.
  • Don’t overextend an electrical outlet with extension cords. Replace frayed or broken electrical cords. Make sure all appliances are properly installed. Buy electrical appliances and equipment approved by a certified testing laboratory. Never run cords under rugs. Keep dust from accumulating on televisions, electrical equipment and appliances.

Note these additional tips

  • Store flammable liquids in approved containers outside the mobile home.
  • Never place combustible material under your mobile home – that includes bales of hay or straw.
  • Check for worn spots on any heat tape that covers water pipes.
  • Keep your yard tidy and free of debris.
  • Keep baking soda near your stove to extinguish grease fires.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never use an extension cord on a permanent basis and avoid running them under rugs.
  • Never leave home with the clothes dryer running. Clean dryer vents frequently and clean lint screens after each load to keep the airway clear.
  • Make regular safety checks of your mobile home’s major systems. Check for cleanliness, proper functioning and loose connections.
  • Never block doors or windows with furniture or other large objects.
  • Supplemental heating units like electrical space heaters, fireplaces, kerosene heaters and wood stoves can be dangerous. Be sure each device is approved for use in a home. Turn them off before you leave or go to sleep.

Need help paying your utility bills? CARE/FERA might be the answer for you.

The California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) program offers a discount of at least 20% off your electric bill, for low-income qualified customers.  To enroll by mail Click Here and download the form.

If CARE is not right for you, and you are a family of three or more you might qualify for FERA, Family Electric Rate Assistance program. They function much the same way.

You must meet the monthly income requirements to qualify. See the chart below. You may also visit Southern California Edison’s website for more information.

Maximum Household Income
Effective From June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013

Number of Persons
in Household

Total Combined Annual Income




up to $22,340 Not Eligible


up to $30,260 Not Eligible


up to $38,180 $38,181 – $47,725


up to $46,100 $46,101 – $57,625


up to $54,020 $54,021 – $67,525


up to $61,940 $61,941 – $77,425


up to $69,860 $69,861 – $87,325


up to $77,780 $77,781 – $97,225

Each additional person

$7,920 $ 7,920 – $ 9,900

Beware of Internet Sales and Out-of-State Sellers!


HCD has released a Consumer Alert to all mobile home residents and those looking to purchase a mobile home. Consumers interested in purchasing manufactured homes should use extreme caution when considering a manufactured home ordered over the Internet or from an out-of-state seller.

California law requires manufactured home salespersons, dealers, and manufacturers doing business in California to be licensed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). If a person or company solicits for purchasers of manufactured homes in California by letters, telephone calls, or other direct advertising or communications, that seller is violating the law because only licensed dealers and salespersons may advertise or solicit in California.

There are a number of people trying to sell mobile homes for “cheap” but the homes are located out of state. The HCD warns that these prices often do not include the “California Use Tax” that is placed on goods purchased outside of California and then moved into the state. There are also a number of features that California requires each mobile home to have that other states might not necessarily require, but if you purchase the home and move it into the state you are responsible for installing these features, which can often be costly.

The buyer must also take into account the cost of moving the home from its current location out of state to the park in which they have chosen to place their home.

Do not be fooled by the low price of a home. Make sure that the seller has a permit to sell the home in California and do your research on what features the home offers versus what California State Law requires.

If solicited by an Internet or out-of-state solicitor, ask for proof of California licensing. Use HCD’s website at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/ol/ol_lic_query_cover.html or call HCD’s Occupational Licensing Program at (916) 323-9803

Click Here for the full Alert or visit the HCD website at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/mhp/index.html

Chula Vista Asks Mobile Home Owners To Pay Yearly Fee for Rent Control

In June 2012, the City of Chula Vista told its mobile home park residents that they would need to pay a $60 fee each year to the City to help cover the costs of administering the City’s rent control ordinance, which average about $95,000 a year.  .  . According to city officials this cost could fluctuate yearly based on the previous years participation by mobile home owners. Further, according to the City, if the individual mobile home owners opt to not pay the annual fee they will no longer have the right to petition to the City’s rent review commission and will be subject to whatever rent increases are imposed on them.

Other cities throughout the state are also taking a close look at the cost of rent control.  Recently the City of Watsonville passed a law stating that they would be collecting a $5 a month fee ($60 a year) from Mobile Home owners in order to keep the rent control in place.

Looking to Move into a Mobile Home or Manufactured Housing Community? Know the differences.


There are different types of mobile home parks and manufactured housing communities, as outlined below. As a person looking to move into a community it is important to know the difference and to know what kind of community would work best for you.

Rental/Land Lease Communities:
This is the most common type of mobile home park/manufactured housing community. The owner of the land and mobile home park rent out a site at the park to the owner of a mobile home/manufactured home. The mobile home owner pays rent for the site and all of the amenities and services offered. These Parks are private communities, with the Park owning and maintaining the entire infrastructure including the streets and utility systems.

Cooperative Communities
Some former mobile home park tenants have organized to purchase the park in which they live.  Most of these types of park purchases are on a cooperative basis where each mobile home owner buys a share in the cooperative.  When a mobile home owner in a park that converts to a cooperative does not want to “buy-in” they remain a renter and rent their space from the cooperative.

Subdivided Mobile Home Park
There is increased interest in subdividing parks so that residents can purchase their individual lot. The process to subdivide an existing park requires the filing of a subdivision map. This type of park tends to function much like a condominium complex, where each resident is responsible for their own unit but they all contribute to maintain the common areas of the park.

Private Land/Subdivisions
Mobile homes/manufactured homes can be placed on private land.