People who live in mobile home parks will be able to rest a little easier with the knowledge that they can’t be tossed out of their homes if the park owner decides to sell or subdivide.
On Nov. 4, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved new rules on mobile home park closures. In effect, the new language makes it more difficult to simply close a park and force residents to fend for themselves and find a new home.
Since mobile home park residents generally don’t own the land they live on they are often at the mercy of the park owner. Under the new rules, if a park is closed or converted the park owner is required to help residents find new housing and even cover the extra costs in some situations. Owners can get around the extra steps by applying for an exemption, but in doing so they have to show that the park is unsafe or that keeping it open would be financially infeasible.
Mobile home residents throughout the county threw their support behind the new rules. There was some resistance from park owners, however, who worried about extra costs they could be forced to pay. Regardless of a few protests, the vote went through 5-0.
Supervisors also considered an ordinance on converting parks from rental to resident-owned. Under the ordinance, an owner would need support from 50 percent of the residents in order to change the park to a resident-owned property like a condominium. The item was continued to Jan. 6 but seemed to have full support from supervisors.