News

Council sends mobile home quandry back to RHC

Rental committee must decide on expanding rent control, members say

At its Jan. 30 meeting, City Council members voted to write a strongly worded letter to the Rental Housing Committee, reminding members that it was their job to decide on the controversial issue of extending rent control to mobile homes.

This comes after the rental committee voted 3-2 last week to punt the decision to the City Council. Members on the appointed committee said they were uncomfortable with the huge ramifications of taking such a decision.

Hanging over the issue is the looming threat of a lawsuit. Both mobile home park owners and tenant groups have warned that they could take legal action if the city goes forward with a decision that runs counter to their interests. The rental committee's own attorneys have sided with tenants, opining that under the language of the voter-approved Measure V, mobile homes should be covered by the rent control law.

Attorney Karen Tiedemann pointed out to the committee members that none of the exemptions listed in the rent control law applied to mobile homes.

"When we looked at the entirety of the measure, we couldn't find a way to say that mobile homes weren't covered," she told the committee last week.

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Measure V also explicitly bans the City Council from taking policy actions on rent control.

At the Jan. 30 meeting, City Council members avoided wading into the specific details of the issue, except to suggest that the Rental Housing Committee needed to make a decision.

"We need an answer and they need to take charge," said Councilman Ken Rosenberg. "They're offering no clarity or decisiveness on this particular issue, and it's causing problems in the community."

The council voted 5-2 to direct staff to write a letter to the rental committee, specifying that they needed to make a decision on the mobile home issue. Council members Lisa Matichak and John McAlister voted in opposition, saying they wanted to first see the letter before approving it.

Mayor Lenny Siegel also suggested scheduling a future council discussion on the Rental Housing Committee's actions to date. But that idea didn't gain support among his colleagues, who said they felt sending the letter would be sufficient.

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Council sends mobile home quandry back to RHC

Rental committee must decide on expanding rent control, members say

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 11:33 am

At its Jan. 30 meeting, City Council members voted to write a strongly worded letter to the Rental Housing Committee, reminding members that it was their job to decide on the controversial issue of extending rent control to mobile homes.

This comes after the rental committee voted 3-2 last week to punt the decision to the City Council. Members on the appointed committee said they were uncomfortable with the huge ramifications of taking such a decision.

Hanging over the issue is the looming threat of a lawsuit. Both mobile home park owners and tenant groups have warned that they could take legal action if the city goes forward with a decision that runs counter to their interests. The rental committee's own attorneys have sided with tenants, opining that under the language of the voter-approved Measure V, mobile homes should be covered by the rent control law.

Attorney Karen Tiedemann pointed out to the committee members that none of the exemptions listed in the rent control law applied to mobile homes.

"When we looked at the entirety of the measure, we couldn't find a way to say that mobile homes weren't covered," she told the committee last week.

Measure V also explicitly bans the City Council from taking policy actions on rent control.

At the Jan. 30 meeting, City Council members avoided wading into the specific details of the issue, except to suggest that the Rental Housing Committee needed to make a decision.

"We need an answer and they need to take charge," said Councilman Ken Rosenberg. "They're offering no clarity or decisiveness on this particular issue, and it's causing problems in the community."

The council voted 5-2 to direct staff to write a letter to the rental committee, specifying that they needed to make a decision on the mobile home issue. Council members Lisa Matichak and John McAlister voted in opposition, saying they wanted to first see the letter before approving it.

Mayor Lenny Siegel also suggested scheduling a future council discussion on the Rental Housing Committee's actions to date. But that idea didn't gain support among his colleagues, who said they felt sending the letter would be sufficient.

Comments

Sylvan Park Resident
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Feb 2, 2018 at 4:54 pm
Sylvan Park Resident, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Feb 2, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Single-family homes, condos, duplexes and companion units are not covered by either the rent stabilization or “just cause” protections of the law. Mobile homes are individually owned, more like a condo than an apartment complex, they should not be subject to rent control.


Why
Bailey Park
on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm
Why, Bailey Park
on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Why is the City Council acting surprised when they appointed Tom Means to the Rental Housing Committee? His role their has been clear from the start, further illuminated when he took payments from a political campaign of the San Mateo County Association of Realtors while sitting on the committee.


@Sylvan Park Resident
North Bayshore
on Feb 2, 2018 at 9:32 pm
@Sylvan Park Resident, North Bayshore
on Feb 2, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Mobile homes are the most vulnerable class of housing in America, most likely to be exploited when not properly protected by government regulations.

Unlike apartments, condos, or leased homes, mobile home owners have equity tied to their home, but their homes are not mobile as the name would suggest. So mobile home parks that own the land know they can charge as much as is legal, since the resident has no choice but to pay.

It's not like a mobile home owner can even sale, since space rent increases reduces the value of the home to potential sellers, making their homes unsaleable to all but the park landlord itself, at fire sale prices. Park landlord wins either way. No other class of renters have equity held hostage by landlords.

Add on that mobile homes disportionately serve MV senior citizens, it would be a tragically ironic that the most vulnerable gets the least protection.


JOT
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2018 at 11:35 am
JOT, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

Mobile Homes are very nice way to live, they are easy to buy and easy to sell and they are very affordable typically selling under 100k EXCEPT when they are rent controlled and then they sell for up to 1MM dollars (Point Dume, Malibu for example)It also creates tremendous friction between the owners and homeowners resulting in tremendous cost to the Cities that go this route.


What Quandry?
Cuernavaca
on Feb 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm
What Quandry?, Cuernavaca
on Feb 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm

The RHC voted and decided that Measure V does not cover mobile homes. They disagreed w staff who wanted to expand the coverage to collect and spend more money. It was clear from their discussions that adding new regulations specific to mobile homes is not allowed since the RHC cannot rewrite the measure . Also, the homes technically are exempt because they are SFH. Rental property must include a residence, otherwise how can it be rental property.

If mobile home owners want rent control, they need to ask council for an ordinance. It was clear from the discussion that all cities that imposed rent control on mobile homes wrote specific ordinances to apply to them. None of the cities that imposed rent control on buildings have used the rental unit definition to apply to mobile homes


george drysdale
another community
on Feb 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm
george drysdale, another community
on Feb 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm

The catastrophe in Capitola and the great Santa Cruz land swindle (the internet). In another state the mobile home park land in Mountain View would have been converted into much denser development years ago. Rent control is a conspiracy against the well being and future of the community. That's why it's the number one lesson plan in economics and could end up the number one lesson plan in political science (social psychology). It couldn't be more dramatic than in Mountain View and Silicon Valley where business and economics are its' business.
George Drysdale land economist and initiator


LOL
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm
LOL, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

@What Quandry,

The RHC hasn't voted that Measure V doesn't apply to mobile homes. They sent a letter asking City Council for "guidance," which is why council sent back this "strongly worded letter."

The reason they haven't voted that Measure V doesn't apply to mobile homes is because their own lawyers have told them they don't have that power. It'd be the same as them voting to not apply it to multifamily units pre-1995, it's not a choice they are empowered to make under the city charter.

If you disagree with this, you'd have to explain why the lawyers for RHC have explicitly stated that it applies to mobile homes.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2018 at 6:30 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2018 at 6:30 am

In response to LOL you stated:

“The reason they haven't voted that Measure V doesn't apply to mobile homes is because their own lawyers have told them they don't have that power. It'd be the same as them voting to not apply it to multifamily units pre-1995, it's not a choice they are empowered to make under the city charter.”

That is materially false because if you read this:

Despite those shortcomings, a stronger case could be made that mobile homes should be included, according to city-hired attorneys from the firm Goldfarb & Lipman. Attorney Karen Tiedemann pointed out that none of the exemptions listed in the CSFRA applied to mobile homes.

"We think the CSFRA covers mobile home spaces," she said. "When we looked at the entirety of the measure, we couldn't find a way to say that mobile homes weren't covered."( Web Link)

Only the owner of Santiago Villa made an argument or threat of litigation stated here:

“Just hours ahead of the meeting, the committee received a stern letter from lawyers representing John Vidovich, the owner of the Santiago Villa and Sahara mobile home parks, which together comprise 560 homes. The letter warned that it would be a severe overreach to include mobile homes in the city's rent-control program. But the real point of the letter was to signal that city officials would face a lawsuit if they persisted.”

This situation is a result of the influence of the private interests over the RHC. The RHC simply also will not take actions that have been clearly designated by the CSFRA charter. Especially when their own attorneys declare that the charter language was sufficiently clear.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2018 at 6:35 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2018 at 6:35 am

In response to george Drysdale you continue to repeat yourself by stating:

The catastrophe in Capitola and the great Santa Cruz land swindle (the internet). In another state the mobile home park land in Mountain View would have been converted into much denser development years ago. Rent control is a conspiracy against the well being and future of the community. That's why it's the number one lesson plan in economics and could end up the number one lesson plan in political science (social psychology). It couldn't be more dramatic than in Mountain View and Silicon Valley where business and economics are its' business.
George Drysdale land economist and initiator

But what is going to be fun is that the repeal of Costa Hawkins seems to be on track if you read the following:

Web Link

“California is set to be the largest and most important battleground for rent controls this year. Advocates for low-income residents in less than a month have gathered more than 100,000 signatures out of roughly 365,000 required to put a measure on the ballot in November that would repeal a 20-year-old bill that places statewide limits on rent control.”

We haven’t yet seen them try to get signatures here yet, but they have 1/3 the signatures already.

Looks like we are going to get them easier than we thought. Boy if this gets repealed, the other apartments in Mountain View will automatically be included in the CSFRA because the exception in CSFRA was contingent on Costa Hawkins. Thus if Costa Hawkins dies, the newer apartments will be required to roll back rents to October 2015 as of December 23rd 2016.

The landlords are about to get a real wallop. Why do you suppose that the landlords are already trying to initiate a political movement against CSFRA?


tompsom
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Feb 4, 2018 at 10:05 am
tompsom, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2018 at 10:05 am

Looks like it's time for a big lawsuit against the city and RHC for misconduct. The measure that was voted in by the people is not being implemented as the voters were told. This is ruining Mountain Views housing stock by choking landlords financially as well as the city taxpayers. Measure V is an abomination and should be repealed immediately.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2018 at 8:01 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2018 at 8:01 pm

In response to tompsom

Just understand the history of Mountain View

Mountain View has had and affordable housing crisis for years even though the housing industry had infinite profitability. There simply is no excuse for the fact it did not provide affordable housing long before Measure V. They had the expertise to maneuver the process of getting architects to design a building, provide the proper paperwork to get approval for development, and build the development for more than 20 years. Even with this the city lived with:

Affordable housing crisis: a disaster that's right around the corner for Mountain View without rent regulation.

Since the City and in fact just about the country is suffering from this problem, the only recourse is to impose the following:

Rent Regulation: rules applied to how much landlords can charge tenants generally.

Rent control: rules that cap rents; landlords can't raise rents at all.

Rent stabilization: rules that set limits on how much landlords can raise rents; they can still raise them, but they can't charge anything they want.

So the latter cannot be blamed for the former. This is required because the same problem occurred with Wells Fargo and their unethical if not illegal actions. This required the Federal Reserve to control that corporation, in fact they have put a direct cap on the level of business if you read this article (Web Link).

The people of California simply have the right to do the same unless the industry can show proof that they voluntarily are limiting their own return on investment. Without such proof, the industry simply has itself to blame for the current situation.


mvresident2003
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Feb 4, 2018 at 8:09 pm
mvresident2003, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2018 at 8:09 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


LOL
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 4, 2018 at 8:30 pm
LOL, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2018 at 8:30 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2018 at 9:31 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2018 at 9:31 pm

In response to mvresident2003 you said:

“the fact that thought processes like TBM are prevalent is truly scary. In essence, people who believe a government should provide them with affordable housing to be able to live wherever they want.

Frightening.”

My simple questions are:

Is providing access to affordable housing everywhere a bad idea?

Are you simply attempting to abuse affordability as a means to discriminate against those you prefer to not live around?

You do understand that disparate impact via affordability abuse amounts to housing discrimination under the current U.S. Supreme Court?

It would appear that you’re arguing an opinion that not only really doesn’t make sense on the surface, but in fact could cause more problems given that if you read this:

“Disparate-impact claims survive challenge: In Plain English

Civil rights groups are breathing a little easier today, after the Court’s ruling in an important housing discrimination case. The question before the Court was whether claims brought under the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits housing discrimination “because of” race, can be based on an allegation that a law or practice has a “disparate impact” – that is, it has a discriminatory effect, even if it wasn’t motivated by an intent to discriminate. The distinction matters because it’s rare for a lawmaker, landlord, or developer to admit that a law or practice is intended to be discriminatory; civil rights groups believe that disparate-impact claims are an important tool to ferret out more subtle examples of housing discrimination.”( Web Link)

Thus any group protected under Federal or State laws can argue that the abuse of increased cost done in such a way that disparately impacts a protected class is in fact illegal. Even if it is not done intentionally, that makes no difference.

Maybe you should take some time to reflect on this.


tompsom
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Feb 5, 2018 at 7:34 am
tompsom, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 7:34 am

Bussiness Man,

Are you stating that the government should be in control of the housing in Mountain View and all other cities that impose rent control on Landlords?

You do know these Landlords are investors and chose to invest in real estate for a return on investment?

You are aware that housing throughout the bay area is appreciating at well above the allowed rent increases allowed under Measure V due to lack of housing and business environment?

You are aware that the water and garbage bills went up 10% and the landlord rolled his rents back 18 months and then was allowed only 3.2% rent increases?

So you must believe that it is the landlord that should subsidize housing for the lower income wage earners?

Why shouldn't the gas station owner down the street subsidize low cost fuel for all of us too?

Shouldn't safeway sell its groceries for below cost prices for all of us too?

How about the department stores, shouldn't they lose money so clothing is affordable for all of us too?

These are the necessities Food, clothing and shelter.. are we entitled to have the government make these businesses lose money too so its affordable?

I'm entitled your entitled we are all entitled!!
Oh I just realized, this is socialism...oops!!!



LOL
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 5, 2018 at 8:38 am
LOL, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 8:38 am

It's absolutely amazing when someone asks "These are the necessities Food, clothing and shelter.. are we entitled to have the government make these businesses lose money too so its affordable?" and then immediately discards the idea because "socialism."

No wonder millennials reject capitalism and embrace socialism now, the old guard has no answer to rising prices and poverty, and uses socialism as a scare-word for policies that alleviate suffering.


mvresident2003
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Feb 5, 2018 at 9:02 am
mvresident2003, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 9:02 am

Poverty? Really? How can it be poverty when these same people asking for handouts are walking around wearing Nike tennis shoes and talking on iPhone 8's? I see this EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Sorry, life is about choices and it's not my responsibility to support your bad ones. Mountain View is ridiculously expensive. If you're unable to afford it then move somewhere less expensive. I've said it a hundred times, I will not be able to afford to live here at retirement but I don't expect anyone else to support me, I will move somewhere much less desirable but that is affordable.

Why someone wants to continue to live somewhere that is so beyond their income, so stressful and sad and depressing is beyond me. Thee is a HUGE other world out there....try it, you might find that it's amazing.


LOL
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 5, 2018 at 9:10 am
LOL, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm

In response to tompsom you asked:

“Are you stating that the government should be in control of the housing in Mountain View and all other cities that impose rent control on Landlords?”

Given that the industry has failed to provide affordable housing, just like the business practices that Wells Fargo participated in regarding unethical or illegal business practices, I am guilty ans saying yes. You alos said:

“You do know these Landlords are investors and chose to invest in real estate for a return on investment?”

I simply do not care who the investor is, the market will adjust no matter what the kind of regulation it is under, whether market or governmental regulation. If these investor want out, they are free to do so. You said:

“So you must believe that it is the landlord that should subsidize housing for the lower income wage earners?”

Given that the market has been participating in price gouging, I simply state, that anti-trust laws do apply to housing like any other industry. Thus regulation may be the only way to control such activity.

Until you answer my question I posed:

Is providing access to affordable housing everywhere a bad idea? If it is a good idea, why does the market not provide it without coercion?

I respectfully oppose your point of view until you give a good answer to the questions.


mike rose
Registered user
another community
on Feb 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm
mike rose, another community
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 7:21 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]



The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2018 at 8:20 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 8:20 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm

In response to tompsom you said:

“If you feel the market will correct the business environment of an industry then why would you be in favor of government controls on that very market?”

I already answered that question if you read this:

Given that the industry has failed to provide affordable housing, just like the business practices that Wells Fargo participated in regarding unethical or illegal business practices, I am guilty and saying yes. The simple truth is that only when the housing industry is coerced to provide affordable housing will it provide it. You still have not actually answered the question, only stating obtuse comments.

Answer the questions:

Is providing access to affordable housing everywhere a bad idea? If it is a good idea, why does the market not provide it without coercion?

Your answer doesn’t address the question you said:

“Yes, The market will prevail and it is happening as we speak!

That's the answer but I have a very intriguing question to ask you for the community.”

You didn’t answer the questions, only stated an opinion that is not related to the question

Please answer the questions?

Of course are you supporting the argument that no one should have affordable housing anywhere?


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