No Good Deed Goes Un-Noticed

There are stories littering the news about “Terrible, Horrible, Money Hungry Park Owners”. Although there may be some owners out there who seem to not be living up to their responsibilities 99.9% of them are, and there are many who are going above and beyond. Their good deeds have been done with no desire for recognition or a pat on the back, but we think it is time to bring them to light. To show everyone the truth about park owners we have created a new column where we will be featuring the stories of Park Owners who have gone above and beyond to make life a little easier for those living in their parks.


“There is a woman in our community who is in her 70’s and has lived in the park for well over 40 years. We all know that she does not have a lot of money and her home has been slowly deteriorating. Our park owner along with Fleetwood homes and Maple Ridge Homes, have all pitched in to fix-up her home. She now walks around smiling because she knows that her home will remain standing and beautiful”

“I was recently diagnosed with cancer, started chemo and require a feeding tube. I make very little money and the extra I do have is going toward my treatments. The park owner paid to have my home and carpets cleaned so when I returned I would be coming home to a clean and sanitary environment. I cannot thank her enough”

These stories were both submitted by people who have requested to remain anonymous. If you have a story to share please feel free to send it into us via mail, or e-mail ( We could all use a little more positivity!

Utilities Are Charged To Mobile Home Park Residents At The Same Rate as Other Home Owners

Each mobile home community is unique. Of the over 5,000 mobile home parks in the state, more than half are under 50 spaces. Generally, the smaller parks are older and have fewer amenities than larger, newer communities with clubhouses, pools, and landscape areas. However, one thing is the same in the parks, they are all “little cities” where the owner of the park owns and maintains the utility systems, streets, building improvements and landscaping.

The mobile home owners who rent spaces in the park are provided some of these services as part of the monthly rent charge and others they pay for depending on usage. In some parks the utilities are included in the rent. In others, some of the utilities are included in the rent and some are not, while in others no utilities are included and are all billed directly to the home owner.

When evaluating utility costs as a home owner renting a space, or “lot”, in a mobile home park, the following services would be considered as “utility” or “extra costs”. They are typically billed directly to the resident based on usage BUT in some instances, may be included in the rent. If they are included in the rent the park owner is billed according the residents usage.

  • electricity
  • water
  • gas
  • sewer
  • cable TV
  • trash pick up

When a resident is charged for any of the above utilities, they are charged only for the actual usage and are billed at the rate published by the serving utility company or, in the case of sewer and trash fees, the rate charged by the special district or franchise trash hauler. There are no extra charges added to the rates.

The use of electricity seems to be a common area of disagreement especially given the increasing costs of electricity. Electricity is sub metered to the mobile home and the mobile home owner is billed based on the actual amount of electricity used within a given period of time. The electrical rates are posted by the mobile home park owner/management for the residents to see. For current electric rates in Orange County according to Southern California Edison click here or visit their website.

The cost of electricity will vary depending on the weather, the number of days in the billing period, the insulation in home, and of course the actual usage by the mobile home owner. For instance, a single wide mobile home with one occupant who goes to work all day long will likely have a much smaller utility bill than the neighbor with the same size mobile home who is home all day with family of four. Typically when you are home the air conditioner is set to cool to a lower temperature, or the heater to a warmer temperature, and the TV or computer is used for longer periods of time. Each of these increases the utility usage, and in turn the bill.

There is a common misconception that mobile home park owners are making money from the utility systems. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fees charged are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. If a Mobile Home Park Owner is found in violation they can face consequences.

It is important to remember that the park owner has to maintain the entire utility system. The maintenance fee’s are never included in the utility rates charged but are usually included as part of a rent increase.

Special Note: There are programs to lower your utility costs.

CARE Program Provides Utility Discounts to Low Income Mobile Home Owners

The Utility Companies participate in the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program. This program provides lower rates to low income and disabled Californians including those living in mobile home parks.

Mobile home park owners/managers distribute applications for the CARE program to the residents of their parks annually. Attached for reference are applications from Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company.

For more information on the Care Program you can go to their website

Creating a plentiful garden – More Than Just Flowers

Imagine waking up in the morning and going outside to your beautiful garden. Picking lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, all for today’s lunch; how convenient that you no longer have to rush to the grocery store for a quick and healthy meal, and talk about saving money!

Creating a garden in your small yard, on your patio or even a small herb garden in your kitchen is easy and could save you hundreds of dollars in food costs every year. Your garden could even earn you a little money if you sell your fresh produce to your neighbors when your garden really starts to flourish.

The first step is determining what you want to grow. Better Homes and Gardens Suggests the following vegetables as MUST HAVES: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Lettuce, Sweet Peppers and Peas. These are great plans for first time gardeners.

Once you have selected your plants it is time to choose a location. This will depend on the sunlight needs of the plants you have chosen to grow as well as how much space you have. Most of the plants suggested above grow easily in raised beds that you can keep on your patio. Beans are a vining plant and usually need a little more space.

The final step is planting your garden. You can choose to buy seedlings or grow everything on your own. If you choose the second option purchase a bag of seed and in an old egg carton place the seeds and soil. Once the plants have sprouted remove them from the egg carton and plant them in your desired garden location. NOTE: Plant carrots directly into your garden, they are roots and will not withstand a transplant.

Then enjoy your garden!

For more tips and tricks visit