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Resident curated mobile home owners news and information for residents of Mobile Home Parks owned by Kort & Scott (KS) companies. The MHPHOA also provides news coverage for Mobile Home Parks not owned by KS companies.

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RE: Washington / Hurst & Son LLC

Wed, Aug 30, 2023 – In late 2021, Port Orchard-based mobile home management company, Hurst & Son LLC, acquired Leisure Manor in a string of pandemic-era purchases – and since then, its tenants have faced steep rent increases, threatening them with economic eviction, along with new alleged problems with upkeep and maintenance that did not exist before.

Hurst & Son’s growing presence in Washington state reflects a broader pattern in which investors increasingly purchase and centralize such communities, making one of the last reliable options for lower-income housing less and less affordable. Lawmakers opened the door this year to expanding resident-led ownerships of park communities, but other proposals to regulate the industry and cap rising rents stalled.

Leisure Manor has since become an example of how mobile park residents can band together with other communities to push back and defend their homes.

RE: Petaluma, California / Harmony Communities / Three Pillar Communities

Wed, Aug 30, 2023 – Staring down eviction and homelessness, Sonoma County mobile home residents are speaking up.

A tight-knit crowd of more than 50 people gathered this week, filling up a quiet corner of Littlewoods Mobile Villa in southeast Petaluma.

The all-ages, 78-unit mobile home park is home to mostly low-income Latino families. Many are longtime residents, like Martín Contreras.

The park’s owners have threatened to close, citing the cost of maintenance, and Petaluma’s new mobile home rent stabilization rules.

In response, residents have joined together as Littlewoods Neighbors United; focused on keeping negotiations, and the park, open, Contreras said.

RE: Petaluma, California / Little Woods Mobile Villa / Youngstown Mobile Home Park / Three Pillar Communities

Thu, Aug 10, 2023 – Residents at a North Bay mobile home park say their landlord is retaliating against them for helping get new rent control ordinances passed in Petaluma. The tenants – all senior citizens – say they are terrified they could end up out on the streets.

The story begins in 2020 when the Youngstown Mobile Home Park was sold to new owners. Despite being a rent-controlled property, residents soon got a notice of rent increases of up to 40 percent.

They fought the rent hike in arbitration and won, and then resident Jodi Johnson began lobbying for new city ordinances that would strengthen the rules around rent control. To her amazement, they won again and the ordinances were passed.

But Johnson said shortly thereafter, the notices began coming. First there was an advisory that the park might change its seniors-only status. Then residents got a letter saying the park could close altogether, with a consultant going door to door to inquire about the real estate value of each home. Finally, the real bombshell hit.

On Wednesday morning, in the mail, came a 200-page – 200 page! – notice of rent increase. Depending where your ground rent was, anywhere from 109% to 159%," said Johnson

Maglenty got his packet saying his rent would be raised from $1,300 to nearly $2,300 per month. The 81-year-old just moved in two years ago and said he has received a constant stream of threatening letters.

KPIX contacted the property owners’ lawyer late Monday afternoon. Larissa Branes said the park is a private business, not receiving any government funds and the owners consider the rent control law to be unconstitutional.

In a statement, Branes said: Petaluma’s mobile home rent control ordinance cannot act as an unconstitutional taking of private property, because all property owners in the U.S. are constitutionally entitled to earn a fair and reasonable return on the capital they invested to buy their property.

RE: Petaluma, California / Little Woods Mobile Villa / Youngstown Mobile Home Park / Three Pillar Communities

Wed, Jul 19, 2023 – Attempts by city leaders to bring Petaluma’s mobile home tenant protections in line with other Sonoma County cities has led to an extreme side effect, as two of the city’s largest mobile home parks are now threatening to shut down completely, potentially resulting in hundreds of local residents without homes.

Owners of both Little Woods Mobile Villa, a 78-unit all-ages mobile home park at 1821 Lakeville Hwy., and Youngstown, a 102-unit all-seniors mobile home park at 911 N. McDowell Blvd., have notified residents of their potential plans to close the parks and convert them to other uses.

Little Woods Mobile Villa is managed by Harmony Communities and owned by Little Woods Mobile Villa LLC, which according to state business records lists Nick Ubaldi as the LLC’s agent as of December 2022. The principal address for the owner is listed as Harmony Communities’ Stockton address.

Meanwhile, residents of Youngstown received a similar letter dated July 7 from WGP Property Management that announced the owners were also considering closing the park, and had retained a firm to assist in the process.

Both notices of potential closure came after the city vowed to update its cap on annual rent increases for mobile home parks. Council members already have approved amendments to the city’s Mobile Home Park Space Rent Stabilization program, which was originally established in 1993 and capped annual rent increases at 6% or 100% of the Consumer Price Index, whichever was lower – but which now caps annual rent increases 4% or 70% of the CPI, whichever is lower.

RE: Petaluma, California / CA MHP Rent Stabilization Ordinances

Wed, Jun 7, 2023 – Petaluma leaders had not revisited the city’s mobile home rent stabilization ordinance since it was first established in 1994. But on Monday night, City Council members agreed that changes to the ordinance were needed to ease financial burdens on those living in mobile home parks.

Under the current ordinance, annual rent increases may not exceed either 6% of the base rent or 100% of the local consumer price index, whichever is less. But the majority of council members on Monday agreed to lower those numbers, so that increases may not exceed 4% of the base rent or 70% of the CPI, whichever is less. The change aligns with the ordinance that Santa Rosa has in place.

In May 2022, the City Council vowed to amend the city’s mobile home rent regulations as part of its top 10 citywide priorities for this year, and council members are now expected to cast an official vote on such amendments at their June 19 meeting. The changes could go into effect as early as August.

RE: Stockton, California / Stockton Park Village / California Department of Housing and Community Development

Sat, Aug 26, 2023 – Residents of Stockton Park Village, a mobile home park in Stockton, California, have been living in dire conditions for years, grappling with sewage leaks, overflowing trash, and inadequate infrastructure. The park’s issues have brought attention to the challenges faced by mobile home park residents across California and have exposed gaps in the state’s oversight and enforcement of regulations.

Bobby Riley, an 87-year-old retired construction worker, moved to Stockton Park Village seeking a peaceful retirement. However, what was supposed to be a haven turned into a nightmare as the park’s owners, Howard and Anne Fairbanks, seemingly abandoned the property, leading to squatters, illegal dumping, and worsening living conditions.

Residents have reported pools of putrid brown liquid that they’ve had to wade through, as well as sewage backup that seeped into trailers, creating an unbearable stench. Despite numerous complaints and efforts from the state housing department, the issues persisted, leaving residents to endure filth and hazardous conditions for over four years.

The case of Stockton Park Village exemplifies the challenges faced by mobile home park residents in California. The state’s housing department, which oversees health and safety in such parks, often handles complaints separately, creating a fragmented approach that allows owners to fix individual citations while leaving larger problems unaddressed. The state’s enforcement powers include suspending owners’ ability to collect rent, which has been used multiple times in this case, but it can’t directly help residents.

California’s mobile home parks provide refuge for around 1.6 million residents, many of whom are older and economically vulnerable. The affordability crisis in the state has made these parks an essential housing option for those who might otherwise struggle to find affordable homes. However, the deteriorating conditions in many parks highlight the urgent need for better regulation and oversight.

State law requires parkwide inspections every 20 years, relying on residents to file complaints. However, a recent state audit revealed that only 45% of parks had been inspected in the past decade, and only half of those inspections were comprehensive. This lax oversight has left many residents living in substandard conditions, and experts believe the number of parks in disrepair could be much higher than officially reported due to their old age and inadequate maintenance.

The challenges in Stockton Park Village highlight the dilemma California faces: the choice between shutting down problematic parks, potentially displacing vulnerable residents, or using enforcement powers sparingly while health and safety concerns persist. The current system, while having some enforcement measures, falls short of ensuring adequate living conditions for mobile home park residents.

While the state’s housing department maintains that the system is working according to plan, advocates and experts argue that the slow pace of inspections and enforcement leaves residents suffering for extended periods. The broader issue of mobile home park neglect brings attention to the need for comprehensive reform and more robust regulation to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable residents across the state.

RE: Novato, California / Marin Valley Mobile Country Club / HCA Management Company LLC

Wed, Aug 23, 2023 – The Novato City Council decided early Wednesday to decline a $30 million offer to purchase Marin Valley Mobile Country Club, the city-owned mobile home park.

The decision, which followed an emotional public meeting that started Tuesday evening, concluded two months of closed-door discussions between the city and the proposed buyer, HCA Property Management Inc. The company, which is owned by Novato resident Dean Moser and operates 17 mobile home communities on the West Coast, offered to buy the 63-acre complex in June.

Moser’s offer came shortly after a Marin County Civil Grand Jury report was released concerning the city’s ongoing financial problems, including a projected $2.6 million budget deficit this year.

The report said neighborhood’s rental payments have been insufficient to cover expenses and maintenance, placing an increasing financial burden on the city. Neighborhood residents have pushed back on the accuracy of the report.

RE: Sonoma County, California / CA MHP Rent Stabilization Ordinances

Wed, Aug 23, 2023 – The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved a temporary moratorium on rent increases in mobile home parks in unincorporated areas on Monday.

The ordinance takes effect immediately and will remain in place until February 2024. The ordinance does not apply to mobile home parks inside the county’s nine cities.

Supporters of the ordinance say it will preserve housing for vulnerable populations. Around 67 mobile home parks are in unincorporated areas of the Sonoma County.

The Board of Supervisors will consider updating an existing ordinance that regulates rent increases in mobile home parks in unincorporated areas.

RE: Sonoma County, California / CA MHP Rent Stabilization Ordinances

Thu, Aug 17, 2023 – During its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will consider an urgency ordinance placing a temporary moratorium on rent increases in mobile home park spaces in unincorporated areas.

The temporary freeze on rent increases is designed to preserve housing for vulnerable populations while the Board of Supervisors considers updating an existing ordinance that regulates rent increases in mobile home parks in unincorporated areas.

If approved, the ordinance would take effect immediately and will remain in effect until the board adopts an ordinance amending the existing regulations, or through February 29, 2024, whichever is earlier. It would not apply to mobile home parks in the county’s nine cities.

The Board of Supervisors is considering updating an existing ordinance that caps annual rent increases at 100 percent of the Consumer Price Index or 6 percent, whichever is less. At the board’s Aug. 15 meeting, supervisors directed staff to draft an urgency ordinance placing a temporary moratorium on rent increases while it considers permanent changes.

Evictions following rent increases is one of the primary causes of homelessness in Sonoma County, according to a staff report presented to the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 15. A significant number of mobile home tenants in unincorporated areas are on fixed incomes with little capacity to absorb anything beyond a modest rent increase.

RE: Thermal, California / Oasis Mobile Home Park / Scott Lawson / Lopez to Lawson Inc

Mon, Aug 14, 2023 – The Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filed a civil complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California today against the operators of Oasis Mobile Home Park, located in the Eastern Coachella Valley in Southern California. The complaint alleges that the Administrator of the Estate of Scott Lawson and a corporation called Lopez to Lawson, Inc. failed to properly maintain and operate Oasis’ primary drinking water well, treatment and distribution systems and wastewater system, and failed to perform corrective measures to protect the health of those who consume the drinking water. Today’s legal action seeks a judicial order that will require Oasis Mobile Home Park to address the imminent and substantial endangerment conditions related to the drinking and wastewater systems, comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act and pay a civil penalty.

In August 2019, EPA issued an emergency order to Scott Lawson, the owner and operator of the Park, for providing drinking water that contained impermissibly high levels of arsenic as provided by the Safe Drinking Water Act and its implementing regulations. In September 2020, EPA issued a second emergency order for failure to comply with arsenic levels after Oasis switched to a backup well that continued to provide water with prohibitively high arsenic levels. The 2020 Order required the respondents to provide consumers with alternative drinking water, fix its treatment system, reduce arsenic levels in the drinking water distribution system, and monitor the water for contamination. After the death of Scott Lawson in May 2021, EPA issued another emergency order against the defendants named in the complaint, largely mirroring the requirements of the 2020 emergency order. In April 2023, EPA conducted sampling of the drinking water system and found arsenic still present, thereby determining that the problems with arsenic and the drinking water system remain unabated. As a result, EPA issued an amended order that requires the defendants to address issues with the drinking water storage tanks.

In addition to the drinking water system compliance failures, Oasis has failed to properly operate and maintain a wastewater system that complies with the Safe Drinking Water Act and its implementing regulations. The chronic issues related to the design and operation of Oasis’s wastewater system have created an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and the environment because contaminants, such as E. Coli and other disease-causing organisms, are likely to threaten groundwater sources and enter the drinking water system.

EPA’s February 2021 and May 2022 wastewater inspections found the Park lacked a dedicated wastewater operator and a septic maintenance and pumping program for approximately 90 septic tanks located there. EPA also observed evidence of sewage overflows and wastewater line breaks. EPA visited Oasis in May 2023 and observed that the wastewater system issues remain unabated.

RE: California Mobile/Manufactured Home Parks

Sat, Aug 12, 2023 – If you are planning on purchasing a home in one of California’s 5,231 mobile/manufactured home and RV parks, here are your basic options in order of Best to Worst Case Scenarios.

  1. Option 1 – Buy the Home, Buy the Land/Lot (HOA Fee), Resident Owned Community (ROC)
  2. Option 2 – Buy the Home, Lease the Land/Lot (Space Rent), Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), Private
  3. Option 3 – Buy the Home, Lease the Land/Lot (Space Rent), RSO, Corporate
  4. Option 4 – Buy the Home, Lease the Land/Lot (Space Rent), No RSO, Private
  5. Option 5 – Buy the Home, Lease the Land/Lot (Space Rent), No RSO, Corporate

Note: Labels: Private = Privately Owned, Corporate = Corporate Owned

RE: California

Thu, Aug 10, 2023 – This table of Mobile Home Parks, RV Parks, and Manufactured Home Communities for Sale in California is a work in progress as of Thursday, August 10, 2023. Data is being updated regularly.

This is a partial listing and covers the sold period 2021-01-01 to 2023-08-01. This is NOT a complete list of mobile home parks for sale in California. Many sales of mobile home parks are usually done via Pocket Listings (aka Off-Market Listings, Exclusive Listings), they are not marketed via public channels.

RE: Fullerton, California / Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park / Nicholas Family Trust

Mon, Aug 7, 2023 – Will Rancho Fullerton Mobilehome Park manager Andrea West and park owner Susan James Denton rescind their 60-Day Termination Notice now that the Kims have completed a brand new list of violations?

As seen in the before and after photos, the Kims have removed the arbor over the front door because the endangered birds nesting there have flown off. That item was the only remaining item not remedied before the park took the couple to court on June 15 for alleged violations. Removal of the arbor was delayed at the court hearing by Judge Cramin due to a California Fish & Wildlife order to wait until the nesting birds had vacated the nest.

No one knows if the Kims’ time-stamped photos showing no other violations were ever seen by the judge, who relied instead on non-time-stamped photos taken during construction months before and submitted as recent by park attorney Gregory Beam.

Judge Cramin will have the chance to realize the park officials have misled him about the condition of the property, question the enormous attorney fees, and reverse his original order for the couple to fix violations that had already been remedied – at the next hearing coming up at the end of August.

Rancho Fullerton management’s harassment of elderly homeowners is not new. For example, Cathy Borowiec, who sold the Kims their home in May 2022, took the park to court for wrongful eviction and harassment and won her case in October 2021. She said the park had tried unsuccessfully to pressure her to sell the mobile home to them. This is not a new tactic as those in Rancho La Paz can attest.

RE: Fullerton, California / Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park / Nicholas Family Trust

Mon, Jul 24, 2023 – Attorney Gregory Beam of Gregory Beam & Associates sent park homeowners Sam and Wha Kim a bill for over $12,000 (twelve thousand) related to work he says he did in preparing materials to sue the elderly couple on behalf of Rancho Fullerton Mobilehome Estates located on Valencia in Fullerton. In addition, the couple also received a 60-Day Notice to Terminate. The couple are weighing their options though the threatening letter asks the court for an additional $1,300 if they attempt to fight to stay.

The couple, who have never missed a monthly payment on their space, are well-liked by neighbors, and Mr. Kim serves as the community’s HOA vice president. They live on their combined Social Security retirement income and are now in a very difficult situation with 60 days to sell their mobile home and move, plus a $12,000 bill. Added to this is the problem that mobile homes are notoriously non-mobile and very expensive to move, presuming there was anywhere to move them. If the couple were to find a buyer on such short notice, the new homeowner would have to be pre-approved by the park management, who could say no – which would force the couple to sell directly to the park at a very low price.

The 20-page bill from Attorney Beam, dated July 14, 2023, comes a week after the couple received the 60-day notice and a month after Judge Corey Cramin granted an injunction demanding construction materials on the property be removed. It is apparent that the Kim’s time-stamped photos showing that those things had already been done were not seen by the Judge, who appears to have made his decision based on Attorney Beam’s submitted photos taken during the park-approved construction of an enclosed porch to their home.

RE: Fullerton, California / Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park / Nicholas Family Trust

Sat, Jul 15, 2023 – There has been nothing but trouble for a local elderly couple since they retired and bought a mobile home at Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park in May 2022, signing an over 36-page lease for the space in English (though their first language is Korean). The couple have been good citizens, have always paid their space rent on time, and have made friends at the park where Mr. Kim serves as the Vice President of the Homeowners Association.

In June 2022, Mr. Kim, wanting to give his wife a lovely enclosed sunroom, applied for a building permit that the park manager also signed. Due to a fixed income and because he had extensive construction experience, Mr. Kim, even at age 78, set upon building it himself. He set up his tools and brought in the necessary construction materials. Two months into the project, park manager Andrea West was frequently heard shouting that Mr. Kim was in violation as she took pictures of the construction site.

Feeling rushed to get the job done and stop the harassment, Mr. Kim accidentally severed a finger which caused the completion of the addition to be delayed. But, not even a doctor’s note prohibiting Mr. Kim from continuing the project for several months in order for him to heal paused the harassment of the elderly couple, who received a 7-day Notice of Violation in early September from Park attorney Gregory Beam. The notice demanded the construction materials stored on the side of the property be removed immediately. A second 7-day Notice sent two months later specified that all construction materials be removed and that construction details be completed within the seven days.

Multiple park residents, contacted by the Observer, speculated that the park management and a local realtor have conspired to force homeowners to sell their mobile homes to the park at low prices. For example, Kathy Borowich, the previous lessee of the space where Kim currently leases, stated that management had tried to evict her and had relentlessly harassed her in hopes that she would sell her mobile home to them. Borowich instead went to court, winning her wrongful eviction and harassment case against the park in October 2021. She subsequently moved out and sold the home to the Kims and said Park Manager Ms. West was unhappy.

Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park is owned by the Nicholas Family Trust, whose beneficiary is Susan (James) Denton.

RE: Fullerton, California / Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park / Nicholas Family Trust

Mon, Jun 26, 2023 – Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park, owned by the Nicholas Family, has sued an elderly couple. The senior couple, the Kims, will have to pay the lawyer fees and also have been threatened with eviction. So how did this happen, and what could have been done differently?

The Kims moved to Fullerton on May 26, 2022, to escape the Texas heat. They retired to the 55+ community of Rancho Fullerton (no, not the infamous Rancho La Paz with its predatory owner John Saunders – this is a different senior mobile home park on the southwest side of town). The Kims purchased their mobile home and never failed to pay the park’s $950 monthly space rent. The couple are American citizens, but their first language is Korean.

Mr. Kim applied on June 7, 2022, for a building permit to expand his home’s California Room (also known as an enclosed porch) and add stairs front and back. He obtained the permit from the Department of Housing and Community Development (the State agency that oversees mobile home regulations). Rancho Fullerton park operator Andrea West signed the application on June 9, 2022. The permit showed an expiration date of December 6, 2022. It was a big project, but having the required skills, Mr. Kim, at 76 years old and living on a fixed income, proceeded with the construction plans, cutting costs by doing the work himself. As you can imagine, progress was slow, but he was meeting his inspection deadlines.

As with all construction projects, equipment, supplies, and demolition debris waiting to be removed were stored in the yard. Unfortunately, the park operator apparently expected that the construction would be faster and less messy and, in September 2022, enlisted the park’s lawyer to send the Kims notification that they had seven days to clear the yard of all the construction debris, including saw horses, plywood, wooden beams, shingles, paint, building supplies, etc.

RE: Durango, Colorado / Harmony Communities / Resident Owned Communities

Fri, Aug 4, 2023 – On a quiet day this spring, Alejandra Chavez walked into her office at Westside Mobile Home Park in Durango, Colorado. Residents were gathered in the community space, discussing their plans for the park’s future, some leaning on the kitchen’s baby-blue counters while others sat in plastic lawn chairs. A year ago, this building was owned by a New York corporation and was off-limits to residents. But now, residents use the space for yoga, child care and community events. That afternoon, there were piñatas in the corner, left over from a recent birthday party.

Not long ago, 63 families at Westside faced the threat of displacement. In early 2022, the park’s owner announced plans to sell the park to Harmony Communities, a California-based corporation with a reputation for raising mobile home rents by up to 50% and imposing strict rules. Wary of being at the mercy of institutional investors, Chavez and her neighbors organized to make a counteroffer and take control of their community.

After months of fundraising and working with the Denver-based nonprofit Elevation Community Land Trust, Westside made a successful offer and formed a housing co-operative. Now owned jointly by its residents and Elevation, the park operates as a community land trust, which removes land from the real estate market and transforms it into community-owned property. Two decades after she first arrived in Durango, Chavez, a DACA recipient, is now the park’s property manager and the co-op’s vice president.

RE: Huntington Beach, California

Wed, Aug 2, 2023 – During a contentious Huntington Beach City Council meeting Tuesday, several citizen-led committees and commissions were restructured, consolidated or dissolved at the recommendation of an ad hoc committee primarily composed of the same conservative majority council members who approved the changes.

As a result of the decision – which, in nearly all of nine separate votes taken resulted in the same 4-3 partisan split, with Democrats opposed – the city’s Human Relations Committee, Mobile Home Advisory Board and Jet Noise Commission will cease operations after a combined 61 years of operation.

Mayor Tony Strickland sat on the three council-member committee with Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark and Councilman Pat Burns. The trio developed the recommendations after three closed door meetings with City Manager Al Zelinka and acting Asst. City Manager Travis Hopkins.

Strickland told residents the dismantling of the committees did not mean their attendant issues could not be addressed by other means, such as citizens forming nonprofit organizations or gathering around a cause and lobbying local lawmakers.