MHC Closure Ordinance could Make MHC Owners Bleed Green

According to a new ordinance passed by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in California, before a manufactured community owner (MHC) can close a community, it must submit an impact statement, provide relocation assistance for residents, and submit a review of the process to the Planning Commission. The SantaMariaTimes tells the amendment to the County Land Use and Development Code and Coastal Zoning Ordinance offers two options: If the home can be moved, the MHC owner has to pay for relocation costs, as much as 30 nights of housing, and one year’s worth of rent differential, which could cost as much as $22,900 per home. If the home cannot be moved, the MHC owner must pay for 12 months rent and purchase the home at market value. The median home price in the county is $147,000. Proponents say the ordinance protects affordable housing. Opponents say it could lead to MH slums. David Evans of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMHCA) says the communities are not cash cows, and many are made financially stagnant by rent control measures. He says, “If they were cash cows investors would be building them. Owners will not be able to shut them down unless they are billionaires.”

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