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New Law Allows City To Build Tiny Homes For Homeless

October 13th, 2016 Comments off
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Downtown San Jose. Credit: Wikipedia.

San Jose, California will become the first city in the state to create tiny homes for the homeless by bypassing the state’s building codes.

According to the Bay Area News Group, city housing officials and advocates for the homeless call the new legislation a “game-changer” in the fight to solve one of the Silicon Valley’s most intractable problems.

The law, authored by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, of San Jose as Assembly Bill 2176, was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown on Sept. 27 and goes into effect in January 2017. It is due to sunset in five years.

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CA Governor Jerry Brown. Credit: Wikipedia.

It was huge for the governor to sign this because it’s outside-the-box and no one else has done it,Campos said.Other big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles will be looking at what we do here. We had to do something because what we were doing wasn’t working.”

The law allows San Jose to temporarily suspend state building, safety and health codes for the purpose of building “unconventional” housing structures, including everything from wood-framed sheds to tiny homes.

The city will adopt its own regulations, the law says, based on some minimum standards, the Bay Area News Group reports.

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Assemblywoman Nora Campos. Credit: Wikipedia.

The law requires the city to first declare a “shelter crisis” — which it did last December — and to use city-owned or city-leased land for the tiny homes.

The homes must be insulated, have weatherproof roofing, lighting and electrical outlets, according to the bill.

While its unclear how many of the homeless will benefit from the law, the response from them has been positive.

Anything is better than life on the streets,” said San Jose resident Monica Fuentes. A former accountant, she ended up outdoors after a divorce and brain tumor — and now she moves from one downtown park to another, transporting her belongings in a small plastic cart.

You can’t live your life out here without having your stuff stolen,” said Fuentes, 47, who has been homeless for three years.

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Champion Homebuilders Tiny Park Model. Credit: Champion Homebuilders, Marketwire.

This law really is the first of its kind,” said Ray Bramson, San Jose’s homeless response manager. Bramson also said that the homes are a “temporary stopping point” until San Jose builds more than 500 new affordable housing apartments in the next five years. The temporary homes would include on-site supportive services.

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Ray Branson. Credit: Twitter.

It will allow us to create bridge housing opportunities — a stable place people can live and stay while they’re waiting to be placed in a permanent home,” said Bramson. ##

(Editor’s Note: The Daily Business News has also followed the Tiny Home movement closely, with our most recent story here.)

(Image credts are as shown.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

 

 

 

 

California Utilities Upgrading Service to Manufactured Home Residents

November 19th, 2015 Comments off

electric_meter_fotoseach_2_comFollowing the San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion in California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to improve safety of the lightly regulated natural gas and propane distribution piping systems at manufactured home communities (MHC), of which there are 5,000 in the state housing one million people.

The first conversion of Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) was completed at Mt. Slover Trailer Village in Colton, CA as part of a pilot program begun last year by the California Public Utilities Commission. The MHCs are having their master-metered gas and/or electric systems converted to direct utility service under the pilot program, as naturalgasintel informs MHProNews.

A CPCU spokesperson said there are no immediate safety hazards at MHCs due to master-metered systems, but the program intends to improve the safety and reliability of utilities going to MHC residents, and provide individual billing. “[The conversion] also provides customers greater access to services, money-saving rebates and energy-saving programs,” said Jimmie Cho, SoCalGas senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity.

The California Alternative Rates for Energy program and no-cost weatherization service offers a 20 percent discount through the utility energy savings assistance program to income-qualifying customers, according to Cho.

The CPCU said the aim of the initiative is to provide “safe, reliable and fairly priced delivery of natural gas and/or electricity service to residents of mobile home parks. ##

(Photo credit: fotosearch–electric meter)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Giving LLC Residents a Voice

September 27th, 2013 Comments off

Following a story we last posted Sept. 11, 2013 regarding a California measure that would give land lease community (LLC) residents and local jurisdictions a voice when community owners seek to redevelop the real estate, MHProNews has learned Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation into law. While local government has no actual power to prevent the conversion of the property even if a majority of community residents do not approve, SB 510 will avert costly litigation that has plagued dozens of cities because the law of property rights has not been clear. Sponsored by Rep. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett says, “This bill protects affordable housing, protects local governments and taxpayers, and brings closure to many years of litigation over this issue.” As noozhawk.com says, there are approximately 5,000 lLLCs in California comprised of one million residents.

(Photo credit: nbcsandiego.com–manufactured homes in Calif.)

Conversion Bill Now only Needs Governor’s Signature

September 11th, 2013 Comments off

Following up on a story MHProNews posted Sept. 6, 2013 regarding a measure in the California Assembly that would permit local government to disprove of the conversion of a manufactured housing community (MHC), kcoy.com reports the Senate passed SB 510 21-14. Sponsored by Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), if a majority of the MHC residents disagree with the decision to either convert the property or sell the individual sites, the local jurisdiction could oppose the decision but could not overturn it. The bill only needs the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown to become law. Noting the measure will give input to residents as to the disposition of their community, it was supported by several local governments and manufactured homeowners associations. There are an estimated 5,000 MHCs in California with 1,000,000 residents.

(Photo credit: santeepatch–MHC Santee, Calif.)

New MHC Nearly Ready in Southern California

October 4th, 2012 Comments off

Forty-one new manufactured homes have been installed in Mecca, California in the Mountain View Estates community to replace aging factory-built homes that were damaged/destroyed in a 5.5 inch downpour Sept. 11, 2012, according to what mydesert tells MHProNews. The rains ripped apart some of the Duroville MHC homes in Mecca, CA, resulting in the issue being taken up by Federal Judge David T. Bristow, who said, “It seems that it may take Mother Nature to do what the hollow efforts of the parties involved have not been able to do, which is close Duroville.” The community has been in receivership since the U.S. Attorney’s Office tried to shutter it in 2007, but a federal judge ordered it to remain open until the residents find a safe place to stay. Many of the 1,200 to 1,500 residents still living in Duroville’s 190 homes are seasonal workers who come for the harvest. Since the state has not ruled it an disaster area, it’s not eligible for FEMA assistance, but Riverside County has been working on Mountain View Estates since 2008. Thirty-four of the new homes were bought with state redevelopment monies before Gov. Jerry Brown did away with redevelopment districts. The other seven were purchased by a developer. Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said the new homes will be ready for occupancy mid-to-late November.

(Photo credit: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun–Mountain View Estates in Mecca, CA)