MOBILEHOME COMMISSION MEETING
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Jean Brocklebank, 1ST District
Henry Cleveland, 2ND District
Mary L. Hanley, 3rd District
Mary Crowther, 4th District
Rick Halterman, 5TH District
Bonnie Lund, WMHA Representative
Carol Lerno, GSMOL Representative
COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: None
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS Janet K. Beautz
GUESTS: Mary James & Mark Failor, CA Housing Authority
Chair Carol Lerno called the
meeting to order at There were 7 members of the public in the
audience. The minutes of the
A. Commissioner Reports
Brocklebank updated the Commission regarding the initiatives concerning eminent
domain. She and Commissioner Halterman
had heard that both initiatives had qualified, but that information is not
verified. Commissioner Brocklebank
helped obtain signatures on one of the initiatives. Also, in order to help organize residents and
get them more involved with their associations, Will Constantine, Commissioner
Brocklebank, and possibly Terry Hancock of Senior Citizens Legal Services will
attend a resident meeting in January at the
Halterman informed the Commission that if AB1309 passes, the eminent domain
initiatives will no longer matter because AB1309 would pass vacancy decontrol
statewide. This is a two-year bill and
it will be heard in January. Opposition
letters need to be written to the Senate Judiciary Committee. At the very least, the homeowners
associations from all parks in
Commissioner Halterman updated the Commission on SB900. This bill will be amended, but at this time he is not certain of what those amendments will be.
The Commission will draft a letter requesting that the Board of Supervisors: (a) oppose AB1309, and (b) write a letter of opposition to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Supervisor Jan Beautz will add this to the Board of Supervisors’ Legislative Committee agenda.
C. Presentation By State Housing Authority Representatives Mary James and Mark Failor Regarding Section 8 Housing
Mary James and Mark Failor presented an overview of the Section 8 federal housing program. Questions regarding the information presented should be directed to the California Housing Authority at 454-9455. Section 8 is a federal program where money comes through the Housing Authority to assist low-income families and seniors to rent from a private landlord. Mobilehomes and mobilehome spaces can be rented under this program. Eligibility is basically 50% of median. Most seniors qualify up to about $28,450.
In Santa Cruz County Section 8 is basically first come first served; there are no other priorities. The waiting list has been closed for 1 ½ years because they had 6,000 names on it and they needed to computerize it. As of yesterday it opened again and with online applications which can be accessed at the website: www.hacosantacruz.org. Applicants wait a few years to get assistance and when they get their voucher they find their own landlord where they want to live within a certain rent level.
If it is a space rental, and the park owner owns the mobilehome on the space, the park owner can choose to lease or not to lease to a Section 8 resident. If a resident owns a mobilehome and they are renting a space in the park, they can have section 8 housing if the park owner agrees. If currently living in own mobilehome in park and paying the space rent to park owners and wanted to get on waiting list for section 8 housing to get subsidy, you would ask for Section 8 housing and if qualify and park owner agrees then Section 8 would pay the space rent (or portion of it) to the owner.
Ms. James explained that when someone is given a voucher for Section 8 housing, that person rents where they want to. The Section 8 program which is the subject of this discussion provides a voucher which goes with the person, not with the housing. Therefore, in this program the person must find the housing for himself or herself. This program only has 4,000 vouchers. Only approximately 5-10% of Section 8 housing is in mobilehome parks.
Section 8 spends a fortune on investigations to verify that the person has a Section 8 voucher is using it properly. Every year the holders of the vouchers are recertified and inspected. When a family commits fraud the assistance from Section 8 is terminated. If there is drug involvement, even medical marijuana, they have to terminate the Section 8 housing because it is a federal program.
Mr. Failor explained that if rent is raised while someone holding the Section 8 voucher is living in the home, the rent must remain “rent reasonable.” There are times when rent that is considered “rent reasonable” is still too much for someone if his/her income cannot make up the difference. Therefore, a landlord can raise the rent as long as it remains “rent reasonable,” and if that raised rent is too expensive for the resident holding the Section 8 voucher, that resident can find another place to live that will accept Section 8 housing vouchers and restrictions. The government requires that to be in the Section 8 program, 30% of the family’s income must go toward rent to qualify.
D. Draft Letter to Board of Supervisors Requesting Legislation Regarding the Impact of Park Residents Signing a Lease Greater than 12 Months
The draft letter regarding the impact of park residents signing a lease greater than 12 months was reviewed, and upon motion by Commissioner Brocklebank, seconded by Commissioner Cleveland, the letter was approved.
F. County Counsel Report
Halterman requested that
A resident of
A member of the public asked if it
is true that a park loses rent control when the park owner purchases a certain
percentage of the park. The Commission
responded that this is not true for parks that are in the unincorporated areas
A member of the public informed
the Commission that nine residents in her park are paying higher rents based on
automatically renewing leases which were in effect on the properties when these
residents moved into the park. The
leases were never signed by these residents.
Marie Costa, Assistant County Counsel, recommended that the residents
contact attorney Will Constantine, as she believes that Mr. Constantine settled
this in a lawsuit a few years ago. If
after contacting Mr. Constantine there are still questions, the residents
should contact Marie Costa of the Office of the
The meeting was adjourned at
The next meeting will be