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Government Officials Investigate “Mobile Home Evictions,” CBS News Video, Manufactured Housing Report, Analysis

January 24th, 2019 Comments off

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I hope the city of San Jose will opt to protect vulnerable mobilehome park residents from preemptive evictions and not submit to the devious and greedy manipulations of the park owner. I live in San Juan Capistrano and our strong supportive city council opted to protect their MH residents (on a different issue, but relating to abuses of MH residents by Park owners). SJC City Council is a strong example of doing what is right to protect their residents and to preserve affordable housing,” said Carol Brinkman.

 

The city of San Jose is closely monitoring mobile home evictions after complaints came from residents saying they are getting pushed out for minor infractions,” said KPIX 5 out of San Jose, California.

Last summer, Karen Carpenter reportedly received an eviction notice from the Winchester Ranch manufactured home community (MHC) where she has lived for six years. The reasons cited by management?

Minor clutter, some old paint cans and some weeds,” Carpenter said.

 

Carpenter told the CBS News affiliate that she was ill last summer and didn’t get outside to work during her first “seven day notice.” But she pointed out in the video report to KPIX 5 where those items were, in her back yard, masked from the street.

I just can’t believe that I’m going to be possibly evicted over some weeds and old paint cans,” said Carpenter.

The community manager’s did not comment for the CBS affiliate’s mainstream media (MSM) report. But it was noted that Winchester Ranch is in the process of redeveloping into a large apartment complex, which will have “nearly 700 units.”

To Carpenter, her eviction notice for a relatively minor infraction is not a coincidence.

They are going to be developing the park, and the first phase is right where I am sitting. That’s my only guess as to why they are singling me out,” she said.

Carpenter hired an attorney and is fighting eviction.  The issue is getting attention at San Jose City Hall. In December 2018, the Housing Commission reportedly wrote a memo to the mayor Sam Liccardo and City Council, warning of possible preemptive evictions for minor infractions at mobile home parks in San Jose.

The memo stated there could be attempts to avoid provisions of the city’s MHC conversion ordinance, “which guarantees mobile home residents extra time, monetary compensation and other benefits if a park converts to another use,” said KPIX 5.

Carpenter doesn’t have a mobile home, based upon the visual evidence, it is a manufactured home.  But doesn’t episodes like this feed into negative stereotypes that are arguably harming residents and most industry professionals alike, not just in San Jose, but nationally?

The city’s investigation memo noted that the land San Jose manufactured home communities are built on have “become so valuable that it creates an incentive for park owners to convert the property into other more profitable uses.”  This is among the reasons that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued for a robust application of existing laws, such as enhanced preemption made law under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

It is also why MHARR – an independent producers association – has encouraged the creation of new post-production associations, so that new structures can advocate for what the Manufactured Housing Institute and their allies apparently won’t.

 

City Officials Vows to Monitor, Investigate

We are going to monitor any housing issue that is brought to our attention,” said Rachel VanderVeen, Deputy Director of the San Jose Housing Department. Housing officials say they don’t have any active cases of abuse of the mobile home conversion ordinance at this time.

Manufactured home industry professionals should understand that just as associations and industry firms may share cross talk, so too do public officials. So an event in San Jose should not be considered as an isolated concern.

Meanwhile, Carpenter will have her day in court. “If I lose, I will have to move out within 5 days,” said Carpenter.  The CBS affiliate closed their report by saying, “She doesn’t have firm plans on where to go if that happens and she is afraid of becoming homeless.”  Is that the image of insecurity that will draw potentially millions of prospects to manufactured home communities and retail ceners?

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This episode may not represent the majority of the industry’s independent or corporate owners.  But just as the Millie Francis – Our Lady of Guadalupe art controversy is rocking ROCs, and communities – so too will this story and others like it have ripple effects that will impact not only those who spark the report, but also those who happen to share the same profession.  That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ## © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Manufactured Home Community Residents Receive Helping Hand

April 17th, 2017 Comments off
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A home in the Golden Wheel community. Credit: Redfin.

In California, the recent floods have wreaked havoc throughout the state, causing issues for businesses and homeowners alike.

Manufactured home communities throughout the state were affected as well.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, residents of the Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park were hit hard. Resident Lam Tran, a part-time teacher who is caring for her disabled husband, was in a particularly bad spot and wasn’t sure how she was going to get their home fixed, as muddy flood waters ruined the stairs and the front yard.

It was so scary,” said Tran. “I just worried. I was worried for the flood, and the worry didn’t go away.”

Other residents had similar stories, and were not sure what was next.

Until last week.

Golden Wheel Mobile Home Park was among the first communities to benefit from charitable efforts of the Silicon Valley chapter of Rebuilding Together and Bank of America, designed to help the poorest city residents who were flooded out with the costly repair work needed to restore their homes.

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Flood damage in the community. Credit: Santa Cruz Sentinel.

We’re helping people who don’t have the ability to do the work themselves, or can’t afford to pay someone to do it for them,” said Beverley Jackson of Rebuilding Together.

We’ve got 40 homes lined up in this park [sic] that we’re going to fix. Mobile homes [sic] are the last affordable housing there is in Silicon Valley.”

Thirty-nine buildings throughout the city of San Jose remain so damaged from floods, that they were unfit for habitation. That number is down from more than 1,300 in February.

Property owners have to take certain actions like have a damage survey done, and the city is here to help get the property moved out of yellow-tag status,” said San Jose spokeswoman Cheryl Wessling.

But we need the property owners to work with us.”

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A resident wades through flood waters. Credit: Pinterest.

Jackson says that those receiving help from her organization are all low-income homeowners who didn’t have flood insurance.

Golden Wheel community manager Erin McGuire says that about 150 of the 221 units in the community suffered some sort of damage.

A lot of people were able to just let it dry out underneath, many people did what repairs they needed themselves,” said McGuire.

But some were pretty bad.”

In an interesting twist, Wessling says that many owners of flood-damaged property do not live in the area, and have not responded to attempts to contact them.

Surprising, given the Silicon Valley real estate market.

You would think they would want them anything but sitting vacant in disrepair,” said Wessling.

For more on the California floods, and their impact on manufactured home communities in the state, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Battle Rages over Repurposing of California Manufactured Home Communities

September 15th, 2015 Comments off

winchester_ranch__san_jose_calif__lipo_ching__bay_area_news_group__creditFollowing a story MHProNews posted Feb. 27, 2014 regarding Winchester Ranch manufactured home community (MHC) in San Jose, California, the battle over some of the most expensive land in the country that sits under MHCs in Silicon Valley continues to burn brightly, much like the fires consuming parts of northern California.

San Jose has the most manufactured-home communities in the state, 58 communities with nearly 11,000 home sites. Of the 150 residents of Winchester who occupy the 111 MH, 106 are above 60 years of age, some in their 80s and 90s, who pay $833 to $1,000 a month, including Barbara Cali, who co-found the community with her husband in 1976.

Home builder PulteGroup has agreed to purchase the community, and intends to erect market rate and affordable apartments as well as a hotel, but as bloomberg reports, the deal has not closed. One of the sticking points: the San Jose City Council is set to vote on a six-month moratorium, as MHProNews reported Aug. 13, 2015, that would prevent the closing of Winchester and all the other MHCs in the city until lawmakers can determine a path to walk between senior affordable housing and accelerating growth.

To compensate residents, Pulte is considering offering $140,000 to over $200,000 each, adding about $15 million to development costs, which it would offset by an outside group buying a portion of the 16 acres for the hotel.

In the 1980s the state tried to discourage MHC owners from booting residents, but the force of economics has been very tempting in this area where the median listing price of a single-family home in August reached $878,000, the country’s second-highest, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

If Pulte’s deal goes through, residents may be pressed to find affordable housing, as a one-bedroom apartment requires an annual income of $109,000, and income-restricted housing developments have long waiting lists. Santa Clara county—which includes San Jose—has 19,000 manufactured housing home sites, but only 78 listings, with an average price of $197,000.

Many municipalities up and down the coast trying to protect MHCs from redevelopment have become embroiled in expensive legal battles. While housing-rights advocates have tried to prevent conversions, many believe there are more efficient methods to provide affordable housing.

Another option would be for local governments to assist MHC residents in obtaining financing for them to become resident-owned communities. ##

(Photo credit: Bay Area News Group/Lipo Ching–Winchester Ranch manufactured home community in San Jose, CA)

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

San Jose wants a Six Month Moratorium on Re-purposing of Manufactured Home Communities

August 13th, 2015 Comments off

buena_visat_mobile_home_park_paloalto_ca__nbcbay_areaFollowing a story MHProNews posted Aug. 8, 2015 regarding San Jose, California’s attempt to forestall the re-purposing of the city’s 59 land lease communities, mercurynews reports the San Jose City Council directed staff to develop an ordinance within two weeks that would prevent the city from processing any paperwork to close a manufactured home community for the next six months.

The goal is to update a 1986 ordinance dealing with community closures—which has not been used since it was written—in order to better preserve existing communities. Eric Brandenburg and Bill Baron with MHC owner Brandenburg, Stedler and Moore say they support a moratorium but suggest support for a program to help property owners who want to upgrade their communities. Critics caution that could lead to higher rents for residents. ##

(Photo credit: nbcbayarea–Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, Palo Alto, California)

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

San Jose, California Seeks to Forestall Conversion of Land Lease Communities

August 8th, 2015 Comments off

MHC santee ca  utsandiego john gastaldo  creditMHProNews has learned from sanjose.granicus that the cityof San Jose, California has 59 land lease communities comprised of 10,836 manufactured and mobile homes housing approximately 35,000 residents. Many of the residents are elderly and some are disabled, sometimes both. San Jose has the highest concentration MH and MH households of any jurisdiction in the state. Rents are regulated by the city’s Mobilehome Rent Control Ordinance because many of the home sites are occupied by low income residents.

Realizing that a conversion to another use of these communities could displace many individuals who could not afford housing elsewhere, especially given rising housing costs, the city seeks to strengthen its 30 year-old manufactured home community (MHC) conversion ordinance to forestall what it envisions could be a human catastrophe if one or several of the communities were suddenly converted. As such, the city is also including in the conversion ordinance how and when residents are notified and what type of assistance will be provided to help people relocate, especially given that many of the homes are too old to be moved.

The overriding concern and goal of the San Jose government is seemingly to preserve the existence of these communities for as long as possible. A public hearing will be held Tue., August 11, at 1:30 PDT.

For the entire article, please click here. ##

(Photo credit: utsandiego/John Gastaldo–land lease community, Santee, California)

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

ELS Loses in California Court Case

April 15th, 2014 Comments off

A jury in Santa Clara County, California entered a verdict against real estate investment trust (REIT) Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (ELS) for $15.3 million in favor of current or former residents of the California Hawaiian manufactured home community (MHC) located in San Jose, California. Plaintiffs alleged ELS did not maintain the common facilities of the community in good working order, and 75 percent of the jury award was for emotional distress. ELS Chief Executive Officer Marguerite Nader said, “This Property is a well-located, 100% occupied, institutional quality asset that received the Manufactured Housing Institute’s Community of the Year award in 2012. We disagree with the verdict and will vigorously seek to overturn it in the trial court or on appeal.” MHProNews.com has learned the MHC is governed by California’s extensive regulations and San Jose’s rent control ordinance, and that punitive damages may also be awarded. The plaintiff’s sites comprise only ten percent of the total homesites, according to wsj.com. ELS owns 379 manufactured home and recreational vehicle communities comprised of 140,333 homesites in the U. S. and Canada.##

(Photo credit: Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc.)

NAHB: Housing Numbers Showing Modest Rise

April 8th, 2014 Comments off

Statistics from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicate modest improvement this month over March, and anticipates a traditional, solid, spring home-buying season. Based on employment, permits and price data, the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) reports 28 percent of metro areas experienced a rise in their score this month, and 83 percent saw a rise within the last year. Baton Rouge, LA tops the list of large metro LMI areas, MHProNews.com has learned, followed by Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, Texas, San Jose, CA. and Harrisburg, PA. Smaller metro areas with strong LMIs are centered around energy exploration sites such as Odessa and Midland, Texas, and western North Dakota. ##

(Image credit: etftrends.com)

San Jose Looks at Conversion Ordinance

March 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Downtown San Jose, Photo by Eric MillerFrom San Jose and the Mercury News, MHProNews.com learns that the city council is reviewing the conversion process of manufactured housing communities to other uses to “better prepare for the possibility in the future.” According to the report, five mobile home parks have closed since the original conversion ordinance was written in 1987. The city studied the process with the intent of balancing the needs of community owners and residents. It’s the policy to maintain about 400 acres of mobile home space under the land-use designation. If a conversion means falling under that number, the council members decide whether to refuse a park owner’s conversion request. Douglas Johnson, regional representative of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, commented that Ninety-three percent of cities with mobile home parks in the state do not have a conversion ordinance.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)

Clean Tech Tiny House sited near San Jose city hall

August 5th, 2011 Comments off

Clean_Tech_Tiny_House_photo_courtesy_of_jetsongreen_posted_MHMSM.com_MHProNews.com_.pngJetsongreen reports that New Avenue Homes, has sited a Clean Tech tiny home on display in San Jose. This particular home is only 500 square feet, reminiscent to space use at an Ikea store display. There is a living, kitchenette, bedroom, walk in closet, bath, loft for sleeping, storage and a deck. The standard prefabricated home would cost about $70,000 to build and permit. Upgrades would be extra. This particular display is near San Jose’s city hall. New Avenue is the builder of the NZE tiny house in Berkeley. They also build backyard cottages.

 

(photo credit: jetsongreen)