Rent hikes greater than 3 percent will be banned temporarily at mobile home parks in unincorporated Los Angeles County starting in early October, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors decided.
The county board voted 3-1 on Tuesday, Sept. 4, to approve on a second reading a six-month moratorium on rent hikes for mobile home spaces, a move designed to protect those residents from preemptive rent hikes while permanent rent control for such housing is under consideration. The measure becomes effective in 30 days.
The new ordinance affects an estimated 8,500 mobile home tenants, who typically own their home but lease the space on which it sits.
The measure will apply only to mobile home tenants with leases of 12 months or less. Park owners could petition for bigger rent hikes if they believe a 3 percent cap prevents them from earning a reasonable return.
If the board opts to make temporary limits permanent, L.A. County will join about 100 local California jurisdictions with rent control for mobile homes, including the city of Los Angeles and some 30 other cities in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League.
L.A. County adopted rent control for mobile homes in 1988, but allowed the ordinance to expire in January 1995.
“We do not want the homeowners in their 70s, 80s and 90s who have spent their life savings on homes to become homeless because of any greedy park owners. This is unacceptable,” said Mary Jo Baretich of the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League, a group representing mobile home owners. “Mobile home parks are the only unsubsidized form of affordable housing in the state. We want to keep them affordable.”
A mobile home industry representative spoke in opposition to the ordinance, saying most park owners are mom and pop family businesses that will be hurt by rent-hike limits.
“Park owners are compassionate, and when they raise rents, they do so in a reasonable fashion,” said Jarryd Gonzales, the central and Southern California representative of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association. “And if residents fall on hard times, park owners work with them until they get back on their feet.”
Voting for the ordinance were board chair Sheila Kuehl and supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis. Kathryn Barger voted against it, and Mark Ridley-Thomas abstained. Ridley-Thomas said after the earlier vote on Aug. 14 that he wants to wait until a citizen’s panel provides its recommendations to the board after studying rent control and other possible tenant protections.
The supervisors also are considering a separate measure to impose temporary rent control for apartments in unincorporated areas.
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