Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, to prevent lawsuits and give mobile home residents a voice when their mobile home park is being subdivided and sold.
Existing law allows mobile home park owners to subdivide and sell the individual lots on which homes are placed. This is commonly referred to as a “condo conversion.” But without clarity in current law, condo conversions have commonly left mobile home park residents without a say in the process and cities confused about how to proceed.
If a majority of mobile home park residents do not support a sale, Senate Bill 510 allows — but does not require — a local government to disapprove of the conversion.
“I am thrilled that this bill has been signed into law,” Jackson said. “This will give local governments the much-needed clarity in the law they’ve been asking for, so that costly lawsuits will be prevented. Mobile homes are also a source of affordable home ownership, and this will give residents an important way to have a voice in the process when their parks are being subdivided and sold.”
Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett said: “The approval of Sen. Jackson’s SB 510 provides a tremendous relief for both mobile homeowners and local governments. Local governments and their taxpayers will no longer have to face costly litigation over unwanted subdivisions of mobile home parks. This bill protects affordable housing, protects local governments and taxpayers, and brings closure to many years of litigation over this issue.”
"This is a great victory for low-income homeowners who have been fighting to ensure that their voice is heard when local governments are considering proposals to convert the land underneath their homes,” said Brian Augusta, legislative advocate for the Golden State Manufactured Home-Owners League. “Gov. Brown's action today gives them the right to be heard and protect their investment in their homes."
Current law on the issue has been unclear, and the uncertainty has led to dozens of lawsuits. The City of Goleta has spent more than $500,000 just on litigation expenses related to the conversion of the Rancho Mobilehome Park.
California has nearly 5,000 mobile home parks. Typically, residents own their mobile homes but rent the spaces in which their homes are placed.
The bill has the support of a number of groups, including the City of Ventura, the County of Santa Barbara, the County of Ventura, the Goleta Manufactured-Home Owners Coalition and the Ventura Manufactured-Home Residents Council.
Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.
— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.