Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Western Management’

Measure V – Battle Lines Drawn

October 10th, 2016 Comments off
battleovermeasurevyes-no-manufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Collage and text credit by MHProNews. Click to see full sized image.

As the moms and pops that built our mobile home parks age out, predatory, out-of-town corporate investors have been taking over. – Measure V proponents

Once rent control is adopted, politicians will – by the tenants’ votes – be giving the landlord’s property to the tenants. It happens all the time.Sam Landy, CEO UMH Properties

These are just two of the many published perspectives over controversial Measure V – a Humboldt County, California ballot measure that proposes significant changes to the relationship between manufactured home community owners and their residents.

measurevbattlelinesdrawnmapofcahumboldtcredtiwikipedia-postedtodailybusinessnews

Humboldt County, CA (in red.) Credit: Wikipedia

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews125x125-

Joe Dyton.

As Daily Business News’ Joe Dyton covered recently, Measure V proposes that:

  • Manufactured home community owners would be permitted to raise site rents once annually, and the increase would be tied to inflation via the Consumer Price Index;
  • When a home is sold or transferred, new resident site fees could only increase five percent higher than what the previous residents paid;
  • A community owner could raise rents to pay for improvements, but would first require written approval from more than 50 percent (a simple majority) of the homeowners/residents.

This has spurred a furious debate, including letters to the editor and opinion columns from both sides of the issue.

7living1a-29500-heathercliff-rd-189-malibu-ca-90265-point-dume-club-betsy-russell-manufactured-home-living-news-465

Millionaires, such as actress Betsy Russell, are living in manufactured homes. To see a photo spread of her manufactured home which listed for 2 million dollars, click here.

Court Ruling, Views Dueling

Credit: Facebook.

Credit: Facebook.

In May, a federal jury unanimously found that the city of Carson and its rent control board violated the constitutional rights of the owner of Colony Cove — a mobile home park in Southern California,” said Doug Johnson, who is a member of Citizens Against Rent Control — NO on Measure V, in his letter to the Times-Standard.

The jury concluded that the board’s rejection of lawfully filed rent increase applications in 2007 and 2008 constituted a regulatory taking without just compensation,” Johnson wrote.  “Such government actions are barred by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Johnson’s comments are, in part, a response to those of Hilary Mosher. Mosher is chair of the Humboldt Mobile Home Coalition, who was quoted in an Op-Ed in the Mad River Union, seeking to make her case for Measure V.

measurevbattlelinesdrawnyesonvcredithumboldtmobilehomeorg-postedtodailybusinessnews

Credit: HumboldtMobileHome.org

Park owners are being merciless, and in some cases, outside the law in their rush to gouge park residents in raising fees and lot rents prior to the Nov. 8 election,” Mosher alleged.

This provides us with a perfect example of why Measure V is necessary – park owners are not required to be fair with their increases and we park residents are captive and have no say about whatever they want to do to us,” Mosher continued. “One park owner in McKinleyville, who failed to give tenants adequate notice, has even gone so far as to tell them in a letter that if Measure V does not pass, he may not raise the rent! We view this as voter manipulation and intimidation.

Johnson sees the Measure V issue as a danger to taxpayers that they may not be aware of, referring to the Colony Cove case in Carson, CA.

The jury went on to award the park owner more than $3.3 million in damages. In addition to this already staggering judgment — which the taxpayers of Carson will have to pay — the court ordered that the city pay an additional $4,128,662 in prejudgment interest and attorneys’ fees. Taxpayers are now on the hook for a whopping $7,464,718 — from just one bad Rent Control Board decision,” Johnson said.

One McKinleyville resident disagrees with Johnson’s take.

In his letter, Doug Johnson made a lot of untrue statements. He gave his address as McKinleyville — he does not live in Humboldt County,” claims Roxann Souter of McKinleyville in her Times-Standard letter-to-the-editor.

manufacturedhomecommunitiescalifornia-postedmanufacturedhomeindustryvoices-mhpronews

Image credits are as shown.

Administration of Measure V is paid for through fees to mobile home owners. If park owners decide to go to court they potentially are costing taxpayers money— not Measure V. He [Johnson] said Carson taxpayers will have to pay millions— not necessarily true,” Souter continued.

solutionusaffordablehousingcrisishidingplainsight-mhlivingnews-billmatchneertonykovach-posteddailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Video Interview with HUD expert includes: behind-the-scenes look at construction, community and home tours – click above.

That case is being appealed and research shows that these park owner cases most often lose in the higher court, with park owners liable for fees. Johnson claims that Measure V will impact public services — he has no crystal ball to know that,” Souter said.

measurevbattlelinesdrawncarriepeytondahlbergcreditmadriverunion-postedtodailybusinessnews

Carrie Peyton Dahlberg. Credit: Mad River Union.

In her opinion piece to the Mad River Union, semi-retired journalist, landlord and volunteer for “Yes on Measure V,” Carrie Peyton Dahlberg shared a similar perspective.

For mobile home residents, the ‘free market’ is a myth. People who own mobile homes can’t pick up and leave if the park owner decides to create new fees or impose repeated rent increases. They are trapped. The only way out is to sell their home, the one asset many of them own,” said Peyton Dahlberg.

That is why, even though I’m a landlord, I collected hundreds of signatures this spring to help put Measure V on Humboldt County’s ballot. Many landlords I talked with signed the petitions,” Peyton Dahlberg wrote.

They know the difference between a tenant who is free to leave and one who is a captive renter, in a captive market. When they learned the details of Measure V, they realized it was fair to the park owners, as well as to the mobile homes owners.

A Landlord…?

The Daily Business News reached out to Peyton Dahlberg with questions related to her experience as a landlord, including whether or not she owned a manufactured home community or had friends or releatives who lived in manufactured home communities.

I will be glad to answer those questions in 2017,” she replied.

Dahlberg would not respond to a follow up.

measurevbattlelinesdrawncredithumboldtmobilehomeorg-postedtodailybusinessnews

Credit: HumboldtMobileHome.org

Park owners in Humboldt County have been addressing the issue of alleged “excessive” rent for well over a year,” attorney C. William Dahlin told MHProNews.

c-william-bill-dahlin-hartkinglaw-postedmanufacturedhousingindustryvoicesmhpronews-1

C. William “Bill” Dahlin.

However, the reality is that rents in Humboldt County are not excessive. Indeed, rents in Humboldt County mobilehome parks are exceptionally low. Do the research,” Dahlin said.

Most Park owners offer long-term leases that address and stabilize any legitimate concern about rent increases,” Dahlin explained. “A rent increase that reflects an increase in property taxes simply reflects the costs of doing business. Not one penny of such increases go to the park owner. Rather, such funds go the county for roads as well as police and fire services.”

Sheila Dey, Executive Director of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association told MHProNews that Doug Johnson’s statement reflected their association’s view. In addition, Dey also wrote this article on the harmful impact of Rent Control on affordable housing in California.

A Larger Problem…

paul bradley roc usa founder fosters.com cedit

Paul Bradley. Credit: Fosters.com

I think rent control is a symptom of a larger problem.  To my eye, these stories are always about both sides doubling down politically and legally,Paul Bradley, president of Resident Owned Communities (ROCUSA) told MHProNews.

I would like to think there are alternatives that don’t rely on third-party boards and local ordinances.  I approach things with a win/win mindset, and from what I’ve seen; courts and boards seem to satisfy neither party in most cases.  A fundamentally different value proposition and mindset is required to stem the tide of rent control,” said Bradley.

UMH Properties’ president and Sam Landy sees it similarly.

sam-landy-ceo-umh-posted-manufactured-housing-industry-communities-retailing-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-

Sam Landy, UMH President and CEO.

The fact is, if we [as community owners] raise our rents too high, we will have no sales and no occupancy,said Landy. No reasonable landlord would do such a thing. Our rents have to make economic sense or we have no business. Therefore, in the long term, there is never a need for rent control.

The Daily Business News will monitor this controversial ballot measure. ##

(Editor’s Note: for a similar, related story featured in a Fox News video, please click here.  Update – WMA’s video and talking points, are linked here.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Community Owners, Residents Clash over Measure V

September 29th, 2016 Comments off

yesnomeasurevhumboltcountymobilehome-manufacturedhomecommunity-manufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronewsA full-blown battle over rent control is on in Humboldt County, CA, reports the Lost Coast Outpost’s Ryan Burns.

The Humboldt Mobilehome Owner Coalition established a ballot measure, Measure V, that would regulate rent hikes on manufactured home land-lease sites. It aims to prevent a community’s owners from making what the measure’s advocates say are big and/or frequent site rent increases.

The way Measure V would work is manufactured home community owners would be permitted to raise rent once annually, and the increase would be tied to inflation through the Consumer Price Index.

humboltcountyca-creditballotpedia-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Image credit, Ballotpedia.

Under the measure, when a home is sold or transferred, the new residents site fees could only increase five percent higher than the previous residents paid.

If a community owner/operator could raise rents higher to pay for improvements, but must first get written approval from more than 50% of the homeowners/residents. Community owners can also appeal to the county if they feel they aren’t getting a fair return.

Measure V has caught the attention of property owners, who have spent $135,000 to date to fight it.

Opponents see this measure as an “unfair” and “unnecessary” rent control initiative that would hurt a manufactured home community and the availability of affordable housing, rather than help it.

Opponents cite the costs of the bureaucracy needed to administer the law, as well as potential court costs should Measure V pass.  That observation dovetails with a similar one made by UMH Properties CEO Sam Landy, JD, linked here.

Community owners also see a decrease in property tax revenues, as part of the fall out if Measure V becomes law.

gregevans-credit-lostcoastpost-manufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnews-mhpronews

Greg Evans, photo credit, Lost Coast Post.

The biggest donors to the “No on Measure V” campaign are:

  • Greg Evans, president and general manager of Evans Management Services – $70,000,
  • FollettUSA president and CEO Matt Follett – $35,000,
  • Cisco Systems principal engineer Guntram Wolski – $20,000, and
  • Sea View Estates agent Steven Lester and Western Management owner John Bovone, who donated $5,000 each.

Meanwhile, the Humboldt Mobilehome Owner Coalition says, “As the moms and pops that built our mobile home parks age mattfollett_follettusa-credit-lostcoastpost-manufacturedhomeindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronewsout, predatory, out-of-town corporate investors have been taking over,” Measure V proponents said in their ballot argument.

That group believes that Measure V will protect vulnerable residents, seniors in particular, from being exploited by corporate park owners. The coalition’s thinking is manufactured homeowners live on limited incomes and their equity is tied up in the home itself, which makes them, “captive renters.”

Once rent control is adopted, politicians will – by the tenants’ votes – be giving the landlord’s property to the tenants,” said UMH’s Landy. “It happens all the time.”

henryhazlittwikicommons-postedmanufacturedhousingindustrydailybusinessnewsmhpronews

Henry Hazlitt, an American journalist who wrote about business and economics, credit Wikipedia.

Daily Business News recently weighed both sides of another rent control argument, including a download from Henry Hazlitt arguing that rent control creates a long term harm, in a story found here.

Sheila_Dey__publicceo__credit__exec_Dir_of_western_mhca

Sheila Dey.

Rent Control is the Wrong Prescription for California’s Housing Crisis, says Sheila Dey, Executive Director of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association. MHProNews will continue to track this developing story. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews125x125-

Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.