ACTION ALERT – Speak up to protect affordable housing in Humboldt!!!

It’s been a rough couple of months for those of us who supported Bernie, hasn’t it? Emotions and opinions are all over the map, and that’s okay for now. We all need to support each other through this difficult time, and allow ourselves time to grieve. What we must NOT do is allow ourselves to become divided, disillusioned, apathetic, or complacent in the face of this disappointing outcome.

become-the-bernPerhaps, like me, you’re feeling pretty pissed off about the difficulty in making our voices heard at a national level. It’s hard to compete against the moneyed, powerful forces that oppose the best interests of the people, and that really sucks. One way I’m hoping, personally, to battle the overwhelming feelings of anger and helplessness that this brings up for me is to re-focus my efforts closer to home. That doesn’t mean I don’t still care about national and global issues – far from it – but there are also issues much closer to home that matter a lot – to a lot of people – and are going to be decided with this November’s ballot! I feel a sense of purpose (and relief from my Bernie-related sadness) in knowing that I can continue to fight – right now (not in another two or four years) – to make a difference, and implement some of the ideas and policies that Bernie so courageously championed alongside us this past year.

I’m writing today about one such issue – a manufactured housing lot fee stabilization ordinance to take effect in the unincorporated areas of Humboldt County (and hopefully serve as a model for cities to also adopt in the future). Our newly re-named group (North Coast People’s Alliance) is pleased to endorse and support this initiative, and we hope you will join us in fighting to have it approved!

What you can do today:

1. Read about the initiative here, and in the details below this message.

2. Contact your supervisor by phone and/or letter.
3. Write a letter to the editor.

  • Here are some helpful talking points-
    • Humboldt already has a problem with homelessness.
    • Without rent control in MH Parks seniors, the disabled, veterans and low-income families could become homeless due to rent increases.
    • When people lose their housing, they increase the demand on the county’s social services.
    • The county’s general plan requires the preservation of MH Parks as an “important source of affordable housing.”
    • 9% of Humboldt’s  housing is in MH Parks. That is 76 parks with potential 2800 residences.
    • MH parks are the only source of unsubsidized low-income housing in Humboldt.
    • This ordinance provides funding for the county to administer the law.
    • 76 affordable housing units have been added to Humboldt since 2012 at a cost of $11.3M. How many mobile homes could be saved for that much money?
  • Times-Standard – email your letter to mvalles@times-standard.com and/or kwear@times-standard.com
  • North Coast Journal  – email your letter to letters@northcoastjournal.com
  • Mad River Union – email your letter to opinion@madriverunion.com
5. Attend the Board of Supervisor’s meeting on 8/9.

The ballot initiative will be on the agenda at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9th at 9 A.M. at the County Courthouse, 825 5th Street, Eureka. The Board may decide to approve the ordinance and implement it as is, they can order a report which they have up to 30 days to complete, or they can submit it to the voters for the November ballot. Please come to this meeting to demonstrate support for the initiative.

Let’s continue to work together to leverage the same skills, passion, and power that earned 70% of the primary vote for Bernie in Humboldt towards fighting for some of the MANY other urgent issues of our time. I am proud to continue to work alongside you all, and look forward to seeing what we can do together, now that we are united and awakened to our potential!

In Solidarity and Hope,

 

Tamara

P.S. – If you want to take an active role in working on issues like this one, please consider joining our ‘Local Issues & Candidates Team’, which meets next on Thursday, August 11th at 5:15 p.m. at the Labor Temple (corner of 9th & E, Eureka).

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Humboldt County Counsel Prepared Ballot Title and Summary

For Proposed Initiative Measure

Title: Mobile Home Park Space Rent Stabilization Ordinance

County Counsel Summary: The proposed initiative would adopt an ordinance to regulate rent increases for spaces in mobile home parks with ten or more spaces in the unincorporated area of Humboldt County. The ordinance allows for five types of rent increases.

1) Beginning in 2017, the ordinance provides for the allowance of an annual rental increase equal to the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index as of January 30th of each year over that reported for the prior year. The County Board of Supervisors is required to calculate the allowable annual increase by February 15 of each year and post it at the County Building and on the County website, and to mail the notice to each mobile home park owner and to an elected tenant representative in each park. The mobile home park owner may implement the increase each year by legally required notice, or bank the increase to be added to the rent at a future date, and provide a notice to mobile home owner tenants of the park owner’s election to defer the allowable annual increase.

2) California Civil Code section 798.17, exempts mobile home park leases to home owners for their personal residence, with terms in excess of 12 months and meeting other criteria specified in the statute, from local rent control ordinances. The ordinance provides that upon the expiration of such a lease, the base rent for any future rent increases shall be the rent in effect as of that date.

3) Rent increases allowable upon sale or transfer of a mobile home to a new owner with the home to remain in place in the same space are limited to five percent (5%). No increase under this section would apply if title passes to a parent, sibling, child, niece or nephew of the prior owner or someone who was a lawful, authorized resident of the mobile home.

4) The ordinance establishes a presumption that net operating income in the base year provides the park owner with a fair return. The ordinance provides standards for a determination of the circumstances that would allow the park owner to rebut the presumption of a fair return. The ordinance specifies a detailed process to determine if a fair return adjustment should be allowed, including a right to a hearing before an impartial hearing officer that is open to the park owner or representative and tenants and their representative.

5) Rent increases for new capital improvements to the park are allowed after consultation with mobile home owners as to the nature and cost of the improvements, and written consent of 50% + 1 of the mobile home owners.

The ordinance also allows tenants to request a rent reduction if services provided by the park are reduced.

The County may charge up to $5.00 per month administrative fee for each occupied mobile home park space to pay the costs of the rent control program. Park owners would collect the fee and remit to the County quarterly.

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