“This is not about one park or about one tenant, it’s about all the parks and all the tenants,” said Andrea Mayfield, a member of the North Santa Barbara County Manufactured Home Team.
Many mobile home owners who rent the land where their homes are stalling have been demanding a rent fix for years.
“You’re captivated by what the landlord wants to do, you have no choice in that, if they want to raise the rent, you’re stuck here and they keep saying well, just sell it, well where do you go when you sell it?”
Especially for seniors and low-income families.
“I’m watching my budget come close, and this is essential, and I’m now dealing with medical issues,” said Esther Jensen, resident of La Maria Mobile Home Park and a member of the North Santa Barbara County Manufactured Home team.
The North Santa Barbara County Manufactured Home team is also seeking a flat rate for new owners.
“Someone a second owner pays just 780 like my husband and I, but someone else a fifth owner pays $930 to $1,000,” Aramijo added.
The Santa Maria City Council debated for more than two hours the current model rental contract for mobile homes.
“It’s not about controlling Santa Maria’s rents, not for everyone, just for mobile homes,” said Carlos Escobedo, a Santa Maria City Council member.
According to city officials, the current rental model is used by six of the 14 RV parks, which account for 79% of all units in Santa Maria.
“It is very cost-effective for the city, and it does not require the overhead of having a strong housing function within the city,” explained Andrew Hackelman, Assistant City Director of Santa Maria. “The rent control and rent stabilization law will increase employee time from 40 to 100 hours.”
Realtors also entered.
“Since 2019, we have leased the model, at Rancho Buena Vista homes have increased in value by 69% and the average time on the market for sale is 13 days,” said Barry Mcgee, owner of Rancho Buena Vista Mobile Estates.
Peter Lau, a representative for the property management company, took the position during a public comment.
“For La Maria, the annual rent increases from 2013 to 2021 are as follows: 1.3%, 2%, 1.4%, 1.2%, 2.5%, 3.9%, 3.3%, 1.9% and 3.9% and this is for both parks,” Lau said. “. . “We operate a number of parks in rental control areas and to be honest they are not successful; they do not end up being well kept.”
The city council agreed to take a closer look at the typical lease, but they didn’t specify the date and time.
“I understand that this is their job, and I respect that, but it’s also a way of life,” Escobedo said.
Mobile home owners said they hope to share the process with the landowners.
“It will be very important to have residents from all of the mobile home parks and from other community organizations because that is their specific community as well as being involved in these discussions,” Mayfield said.
They want to make sure that a revised model lease is implemented in all mobile home parks in the future.