With owners of some county mobile home parks considering selling off or closing their parks, many park residents have been worried about the future of their affordable housing.
After hearing impassioned pleas from more than a dozen residents of mobile home parks from around the county, the SLO County Board of Supervisors with a 4-1 vote Feb. 26 approved a 45-day moratorium on most conversions or closures of the parks.
At least three owners have recently discussed converting their parks to condominium ownership or closing them, a staff report stated.
Supervisor Harry Ovitt voted against the move, saying a moratorium doesn't solve any problems. Supervisor Jim Patterson said it would allow time to develop solutions to the complex issue.
The county Planning Department was also directed to prepare a permanent mobile home park conversion ordinance, as well as look at ways of encouraging development of new parks.
The 40 mobile home parks in the county's unincorporated areas provide housing for thousands of low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes "who have developed a supportive network" within the parks, according to a staff report presented at the meeting.
Mobile home park owners testified that a voter-approved rent control ordinance for their parks has led to reduced profitability and reduced incentives to keep the parks.