Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has introduced Assembly Bill 705, a measure to increase protections for mobile home owners facing displacement. AB 705 will ensure that if a mobile home park is approved to be converted or closed, the displaced homeowners will receive compensation to allow them to relocate into adequate replacement housing in other mobile home parks.
“Mobile home parks are often the last affordable housing option that California seniors and families have. When park owners decide to close or convert their parks, we need to make sure there are protections in place to ease the financial burden of relocation,” said Stone.
Mobile home parks are an important source of affordable housing and it is estimated that the state has approximately 7,000 mobile home parks, which provide a home for over 700,000 Californians. In mobile home parks, people own their mobile homes but not the land beneath it. Additionally, despite their name, mobile homes are often difficult to relocate and the cost of moving a mobile home from one park to another can be substantial. And, even when a mobile home can be moved, it can be difficult for owners to find open spaces at other parks.
Though existing law requires the preservation of affordable housing in mobile home parks, its enforcement mechanisms are vague, which often results in the permanent loss of housing for low-income mobile home park residents. AB 705 seeks to clarify and strengthen the protections given to mobile home owners who face displacement due to park closures and conversions.
Michelle Smith, State President of GSMOL states, “Affordability is the basis of mobile home living. The Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League, Inc. (GSMOL) is proud to work with Assemblyman Mark Stone, a champion of people living modestly. When manufactured park owners, who are also the landlords, decide to close a mobile home park to make more money on the land, AB 705 would ensure local governments are provided the information needed to make thoughtful and humane decisions. And, when homeowners are forced to relocate as result of the park closure, the bill protects affordability through proper mitigation by the park owner.”
The California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation said, “We are pleased to work with Assemblymember Stone on this critical set of solutions to help protect vulnerable homeowners. It’s time for the state to act to protect seniors, veterans and families who risk losing their homes.”
Despite California’s increasing population during the last two decades, data from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) indicate that more than 15,000 mobile home spaces were lost during that timeframe.
For more information: https://a29.asmdc.org
Photos Credit: Lori Landino