Several Highland mobile home residents asking for “rent stabilization” during the March 26 City Council meeting learned that should the city pass such an ordinance California law exempts their long-term mobile home leases from the rent control.

During the last City Council meeting, several Highland mobile home residents took the public comment opportunity to voice complaints about conditions and rising costs at their mobile home parks asking the council to consider placing a rent control ordinance on a future meeting agenda.

According to the mobile home residents, they have previously voiced their complaints to their perspective park managers but the issues persist and the rent continues to rise each year.

Aside from the rising rent, several of the speakers shared concerns over parking issues and public safety in the parks with one Jeffery Courts resident sharing that several cars have been stolen from his park and that he was threatened by a neighbor.

“My issue is the rent just keeps going up and up. It takes many people to pay rent space and the mortgage, and fees increase for any little thing,” said Silvia Trivano, a resident of Highland Mobile Home Estates. “My rent space goes up, the electrical and insurance goes up, and there are stipulations for park fees and late fees.”

According to Sonia Torres, manager for Highland Mobile Home Estates, the park is working to address the concerns of the residents and held a meeting with about a half-dozen residents earlier that day. She also shared that the park owners offer a rental assistance program.

Representatives from Manufactured Housing Educational Trust and Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting managers and owners in the operation of successful manufactured home communities, also attended that meeting and were present at the city council meeting.

According to Vickie Talley, executive director of the Manufactured Housing Educational Trust, the Green Bill of California Home Residency Law would preempt the city from imposing rent control on the mobile home parks because long-term leases are exempt from rent control.

Should the city pass a rent control ordinance, as requested by the mobile home residents, it would not apply to mobile home parks where they live.

“Even with a rent control ordinance rent increases every year, that’s the model. With this park, rent increased 3 percent last year while the CPI [consumer price index], a standard inflation index, last year was four percent,” said Julie Paulie of Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association. “They got a low increase, although it might not feel that way as utilities are going up.”

This 3 percent raise in rent was also below the rate stipulated in Highland Mobile Home Estates rate agreement, according to Talley.

“Many of these issues are common to many communities not just mobile home parks,” said Talley, about the residents’ other concerns, such as vagrants frequenting the neighborhood. “We are chipping away at those and many are being resolved.”

During the morning meeting they also helped clarify for residents which complaints and issues are to be addressed by the park managers and which issues residents should take to law enforcement.

City Council gave no instruction for city staff to place rent control on a future City Council meeting agenda.

(3) comments

concerned

It seems everyone is saying Rent Control for the residents in Highland will never be. Instead of what the solution for the problem can be. It was mentioned that the problems are being whittled away, yet the person that said that comment doesnt even live at the Highland Mobile Home Park. She is representing the owners of the Parks. Vickie Talley gets paid to help the owners with "problems" at the Mobile home parks, she does not live in a Mobile home community. Julie Paulie of Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association does not live in the community either yet both are representing the owners and were invited by the Mayor of Highland, who inherited her home from her parents upon their death. Not everyone is as blessed to be given a house and we work hard to keep what we have. There are several residents who moved in when the park first started and they had to get cable to watch tv because the owners no longer wanted antenas on their homes. So the residents were forced to take Spectrum at the time and therefore from that point on all residents are forced to pay for S

concerned

Mobile home owners would need to change the law in order to get rent control? It seems like there are a lot of people tell the residents NO but not giving many options. Julie Paulie of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association is representing the owners and helping with rent IF you qualified. Everyone qualified at the time because they took into account the mortgage on the home and rent and utilities and were told there hasn't been any charge for the upkeep for many years (pool resurfacing, kitchen remodeling, etc.) Yet they have made the community safe there are no entrance gates to detour vehicles
with people who are not residents from coming in during the middle of the night to dump their trash, or in the summer to go swimming in our pool, (they say they have monitors but its the office staff when they want to come out). There were 5 vehicles, a moped, several bicycles, cars broken into and the management never gave a heads up to its residents. The homeless come on foot and bicycles to visit certain homes at 2 am, 3 am, etc. and its a stop and go visit. We've had 5 vehicles, a moped, several bicycles, cars broken into, a police chase into our park, There are few cameras so many residents have put their own in. We need more speed bumps so the racing in the streets within the park will stop or at least slow th

concerned

Mobile home owners would need to change the law in order to get rent control? It seems like there are a lot of people w tell the residents NO but not giving many options. Julie Paulie of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association is representing the owners and helping with rent IF you qualified. Everyone qualified at the time because they took into account the mortgage on the home and rent and utilities and were told there hasn't been any charge for the upkeep for many years (pool resurfacing, kitchen remodeling, etc.) Yet they have made the community safe there are no entrance gates to detour vehicles
with people who are not residents from coming in during the middle of the night to dump their trash, or in the summer to go swimming in our pool, (they say they have monitors but its the office staff when they want to come out). There were 5 vehicles, a moped, several bicycles, cars broken into and the management never gave a heads up to its residents. The homeless come on foot and bicycles to visit certain homes at 2 am, 3 am, etc. and its a stop and go visit. There have been 5 vehicles stolen, one moped, several bicycles, people racing in the streets late at night because the speed bumps are worn down and there are few. Several residents have almost gotten hit. So are the owners waiting for a child to be killed or a resident walking their dogs to get hit before they do anything? Yes there are rules, every mobile home park has rules as do apartment complexes. But what the City Council who is supposed to help the residents in our city seems to overlook many of the residents on the west side and focus' on the East side of Highland. How can our Mayor think of going forward with the Harmony project when she refuses to help all residents. Oh yes money and the rich. Not taking into consideration the area they want the Harmony project could be as deadly as the Cit of Paradise. The reason I bring this up is to show our Mayor needs to be more open minded when someone brings a problem to the City Council meeting instead of running to the owners to resolve problems regarding rent control. Instead of directing the group to Vickie Talley, executive director of the Manufactured Housing Educational Trust, and Julie Paulie of Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association. Neither live in the community, do not have mobile homes, and are there to help the owners of the park. Our Mayor was lucky enough to inherit her home from her parents, not everyone is that fortunate. We work hard for our homes, we save, we try to get ahead and when we finally get our home we feel good.

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