Mobile Home Park Subdivisions

This year the State Senate signed into law SB 510, which allows (it does not require), a survey of the park residents to be taken into consideration when approving or disapproving the conversion of a park to fee ownership through a subdivision. This means that the government is allowed but not required to take into consideration, the majority feeling amongst the residents in the park, regarding the conversion to fee ownership.

The idea of a mobile home park subdivision is confusing and scary to many residents. Without an “owner”, who will operate the park? Will I be forced to buy the land under my home? Will I be evicted if I cannot or am unwilling to buy my land? All of these questions are valid and reasonable. They are also fairly easy to answer when one looks at past park conversions/subdivisions in the state.

Before a subdivision happens most parks create a co-op, or home owners association that will have the responsibility of running the community. The association is made up of homeowners living in the park.  Residents who purchase their lot become members of the new HOA (Homeowners Association) and those who do not purchase their lots continue to rent their lots from the HOA.

Homeowners pay an association fee to help manage and maintain the community.  It is generally considerably lower than the monthly rent.  Homeowners Associations and the dues they require are present in many stick built housing communities.  Most park residents like this idea because the people managing their rents are their neighbors and fellow community members.  Change is not easy but it is also not always bad.

The bottom line is that it when a mobile home park subdivides it provides the residents with the opportunity to control their own destiny by owning the land they are living on instead of renting the land.  It is a win-win for everyone.

FREE Tax Preparation

Senator Lou Correa and State Controller John Chiang together with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program are offering one day of free tax preparation for those whose annual household income is less than $52,000.

Where: Horizon Cross Cultural Center, 3707 West Garden Grove Blvd, Orange, CA 92866

When: Thursday, March 13, 2014. 1PM-5PM

Click Here to download the flyer explaining what to bring. For further questions contact Lou Correa’s office at 714-58-4400

Affordable Housing and Rising Rents

Sometimes it seems as though affordable housing is hard to find and rents seem to be on the rise.  Of course, the term “affordable” is subjective to begin with and it is easy to point the finger at the “greedy landlord”, but what is truly behind the lack of affordable housing and what is affordable housing?

First there is government regulated affordable housing, which limits the price of the housing (sale price or rent) and the income of the people who purchase or rent the “affordable” unit.  There are cost and income controls on these units.  Government may build these units and private developers may build them in exchange for various incentives.  In California every city that had a redevelopment agency had to set aside funds to build affordable housing for low-income buyers and renters.

Other types of housing that are generally referred to as affordable are privately owned properties that are not regulated by government.  Apartments in some areas generally fall into the “affordable” housing category because they do not cost as much as a site built homes in the area and because there are no requirements to put down a deposit and to qualify for a home loan – i.e. apartments are more “affordable”.

Overall, there are some general reasons why there seems to be a lack of real affordable housing (requiring restrictions on costs and incomes) to rent and to purchase.  As an example:

  1. Lending for affordable housing is scarce. Most lending institutions will not provide funding for such projects, this means developers must turn to private investors who with the current economic state are holding onto their pockets very tightly.
  2. The permitting process is long and clouded. Not only must they pass all required inspections, Affordable housing projects must move through a public input process before permits can be granted.
  3. Zoning restrictions may also impede affordable housing development. Many areas are zoned for other uses and it takes time and a lot of maneuvering through red tape in order for land to be re-zoned.
  4. Some cities have an affordable housing budget but it is not being utilized. San Francisco will have an estimated $20.6 million in affordable housing fees as of June 30, 2013. That is enough to finance up to 4,000 affordable housing units. Only 106 have been completed, 70 are under construction.

Vacant Rental Unit Scam

These scammers are targeting Bank owned mobilehome repos and vacant homes in your mobilehome community and are attempting to “rent” these homes to people in your area.

Here is how it is working. The scammer’s drive around your community and identify any vacant homes. They then place a “For Rent” yard sign not far from the community with a telephone number. When the potential resident contacts the scammers they give the residents the address and tell them to go take a look and are instructed that if they like it to call the scammers back. At which time they will arrange to “sign contracts” and collect the security deposit. They then meet the potential “renters” at an offsite location and collect the deposit. The “renter” is then told they can move in whenever and that the key will be delivered to them. Any attempt to contact the scammers after this point results in a text message letting the “renter” know they are stuck somewhere and that the key will be mailed. This of course never happens.

This scam has occurred in mobilehome communities in Chino, Ontario and Riverside. Please make sure your managers are aware of this scam and have them keep an eye out for two men who have used the names Samuel Fuentes (619)399-8477 and Jesse/Jesus Mendoza (760) 406-1617. They are driving either a 2010 blue Saturn SUV or Black Bronco. Please notify the Police immediately if you see these cars or any other suspicious activity in your park.