UkiahDailyJournal reports that Mendocino County Board of Supervisors plans to draft a new ordinance on the issue of rent control in manufactured home communities in their jurisdiction. The board directed attorney Jeanine Nadel to draft an ordinance that would impose ‘rent stabilization’ for park residents. The Board of Supervisors would then vote on the plan, pending input from all parties. “I really do think that the public participation is necessary, absolutely, from both sides,” County Counsel Nadel said. Land lease manufactured home community owners are naturally concerned about the proposed move. “The cost of maintaining a (manufactured home) park continues to climb,” said park owner Janet Hurlbut. “Rents must be able to keep up with the rising costs or we will be unable to keep up with the increasing maintenance costs, in addition to new maintenance and inspection laws — they’re added every year and they increase our costs quite a bit. I understand people’s frustration in these times, but please don’t turn us into a scapegoat.” Don Howard spoke on behalf of manufactured housing community residents, “These park owners speak like they won’t be able to raise rents at all,” Howard said. “I think an ordinance would provide a reasonable increase in rents as they are shown to be necessary.” Some communities owned by corporations outside Mendocino County raised their rents by 8 percent to 10 percent annually “with no clear justification,” Howard said. “I do understand the problem that these park owners have in trying to maintain a level of return on their investment, and they’re entitled to some reasonable return,” said resident Donna Buttitta, while expressing concern over excessive site fee increases. Community owner Dick Selzer urged the board to consider a tax or a subsidy from the county’s general fund, rather than a rent stabilization ordinance, to address concerns for area seniors. “If, in fact, the concern is the ability of mobile home park residents to pay their bills, it should be an expense borne by the populace in general and not by the people who happen to have invested in mobile home parks,” Selzer said. Those interested in attending meetings or providing input and drafting the ordinance should e-mail the Mendocino County Executive Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 463-4441 for more information.
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