News

City Council agrees, in theory, to extend rent control to Mountain View mobile home parks

Mobile Home Alliance president: 'When they do take action, I'm worried they will water it down to appease the California Apartment Association and the landlords.'

The Mountain View City Council took early steps Tuesday to begin drafting a law that would extend the city's rent control law to mobile homes, following a campaign by mobile home residents who say renter protections are necessary in order to have any hope of staying in Mountain View.

A majority of the council signaled at the Jan. 28 study session support for limiting annual rent increases on mobile home park residents in line with Mountain View's existing rent control law, the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA). The law regulates about 15,000 rental units in Mountain View, and caps annual rent increases at the rate of regional inflation, unless it tops 5%.

Whether mobile homes should have been covered under CSFRA in the first place has been the source of legal disputes for years, but the current interpretation is that the city's roughly 1,100 mobile homes aren't covered. For mobile home residents, rationalizing that mobile home owners aren't renters amounts to mental jiujitsu.

"We're renters, we have rental agreements, we have lease terms, I pay rent every month, there's an eviction process and procedure," said Sahara Mobile Village resident Sarah Georg. "To tell me that I pass all three of those tests and say I'm not a renter defies logic."

Residents across Mountain View's six mobile home parks have been a growing presence at City Council meetings, galvanized by what they describe as price-gouging rent increases and fears that the dwindling number of affordable housing options in Mountain View will drive them out. An estimated 85% of mobile home residents in the city are either seniors, disabled or veterans, according to the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance, and many of them can't afford the rent hikes.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Mountain View Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

"This is our home, Mountain View is our home," said Anna Marie Morales, a Sahara mobile home resident. "My mom is elderly, she is disabled, she doesn't want to leave Mountain View. But with these ever-increasing rents it's almost impossible to make a living and try to stay there."

Though rent control does not extend to mobile homes, the stakes are arguably higher. Mobile home owners own the house itself but have to pay monthly rent for the space it occupies at the mobile home park. The mobile home's value is closely tied to the price of its space in the mobile home park. In other words, prospective buyers are going to be less interested in buying the mobile home if they have to pay $2,000 a month in rent, on top of a mortgage.

The general rule of thumb is that every $10 in space rent drops the home's equity by $1,000, according to city staff.

Santiago Villa resident Chris Chiang described many of his neighbors as the type of middle and working-class residents that the council is seeking to protect: They include a carpenter, a preschool teacher, an electrician and a ride-share driver. He said his community may appear mad at the council in demanding renter protections, but it's really just fear reaching a tipping point. Residents are working hard to put equity into their homes, only to see the values tank when faced with steep rent increases. If they can't afford to pay the rent, residents feel pressured to sell their home to the park's ownership at a loss.

"When you hear people angry, we're not really angry at you," Chiang said. "What you're hearing is fear."

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

It's because of these higher stakes that roughly 100 jurisdictions throughout California have adopted some kind of rent stabilization measure for mobile homes, including San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill and Los Gatos. All four of those cities also have a provision known as "vacancy control" that prevents mobile home park owners from jacking up the rent when the mobile home ownership changes hands.

Councilwoman Alison Hicks said she was surprised to see how commonly mobile home rent control laws have been adopted, particularly when compared to the number of cities that have imposed rent control more broadly. She said Mountain View joins only about a dozen other California jurisdictions in having rent control, and very likely is the only city in the state that protects apartments but not mobile homes.

"If that's the case, then I would like to not be the exception anymore," Hicks said. Her comment was followed by rowdy applause from the crowd.

While the majority of the council lent support to extending renter protections to mobile home residents, there was no clear consensus Tuesday evening on the critical details of the policy. It's unclear whether the annual cap on rent increases will be tied to inflation -- 3.5% as of last year -- or a flat 4%, and when precisely to set the "base year" that would determine permissible rent increases going forward.

Trey Bornmann, president of the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance, told the Voice that he and others have been fighting to make the start date Oct. 19, 2015, consistent with the date that CSFRA rolled back apartment rents. He said the rollback makes sense because he believes mobile homes were always supposed to be included in the law, but the body charged with implementing the rent control law -- the Rental Housing Committee (RHC) -- went against the advice of its legal consultant and determined mobile homes were not included in the law.

Bornmann alleges that the owner of Santiago Villa and Sahara has been jacking up the rents as part of a long-term strategy to pressure residents to sell their homes back to the park at fire sale prices, which the park can turn around and rent out for as much as $4,000 a month. Residents say as many as 90 homes in Santiago Villa may be owned by the park now.

The frustration among mobile home residents is that council members appear sympathetic to mobile home residents who are simultaneously being priced out and losing a huge chunk of equity in their home, but have yet to show a sense of urgency. It's been more than three years since Mountain View voters passed rent control in 2016, and more than a year since a judge reaffirmed that the Rental Housing Committee could exclude mobile homes from CSFRA.

If and when the council actually passes an ordinance, Bornmann said he worries it won't actually mirror the rent control law, and may end up weaker than they had hoped.

"I am afraid everybody is going to get screwed," he said. "They kicked the can and they didn't take any action and when they do take action, I'm worried they will water it down to appease the California Apartment Association and the landlords. They're more worried about getting campaign contributions."

The fault for the delays lies not with the City Council, but with the RHC, argued Councilman Chris Clark. He said CSFRA empowers the committee to oversee rent control writ large in the city, and its membership flexed its authority by excluding mobile homes from renter protections. This left the council in a "quagmire" in which the committee's power supersedes the council, and changing membership on the committee could alter that critical decision on mobile homes in the future.

The City Council is seeking to add language to the rent control law in Measure D on the March ballot to explicitly say mobile homes are not covered. Clark said this would allow the council to move forward with its own rent stabilization ordinance separate from the decisions of the rental committee.

"One of the things behind Measure D ... was to very specifically say, 'Okay well that's what you did RHC, we're taking that power away from you and we're going to cover this ourselves,'" Clark said.

Many of the complaints and worries aired at the Jan. 28 meeting were from members of the Sahara and Santiago Villa mobile home parks, with fewer from members of the remaining four mobile home parks in the city. Frank Kalcic, a managing partner of the Sunset Estates Mobile Home Park, said his family may have had some missteps but overall believes the park is one of the "best examples of quality mobile home living." He worries that a rent control ordinance would paint a broad brush for all six of the parks, and would take away his ability to make important financial decisions about his tenants.

"Rent control places the budgetary decision-making in the hands of a bureaucracy that isn't able to respond to the specific needs of a community and its infrastructure," he said.

Calcic also contends that the rule of thumb about rent increases and how they relate to loss in home equity is a gross oversimplification of how home sale prices are determined. Overall, he said, mobile homes in Mountain View are getting sold for more than the purchase price in spite of rent increases.

Only one speaker at the meeting identified herself as a Sunset Estates resident, and said she and her neighbors don't really need rent control. But she maintains that the rest of the other parks do, and insisted that CSFRA was written with the assumption it would extend to mobile homes.

The city is expected to hold stakeholder meetings prior to drafting an ordinance, with plans to return the issue to the council sometime in the spring.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

City Council agrees, in theory, to extend rent control to Mountain View mobile home parks

Mobile Home Alliance president: 'When they do take action, I'm worried they will water it down to appease the California Apartment Association and the landlords.'

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Jan 30, 2020, 12:19 pm

The Mountain View City Council took early steps Tuesday to begin drafting a law that would extend the city's rent control law to mobile homes, following a campaign by mobile home residents who say renter protections are necessary in order to have any hope of staying in Mountain View.

A majority of the council signaled at the Jan. 28 study session support for limiting annual rent increases on mobile home park residents in line with Mountain View's existing rent control law, the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA). The law regulates about 15,000 rental units in Mountain View, and caps annual rent increases at the rate of regional inflation, unless it tops 5%.

Whether mobile homes should have been covered under CSFRA in the first place has been the source of legal disputes for years, but the current interpretation is that the city's roughly 1,100 mobile homes aren't covered. For mobile home residents, rationalizing that mobile home owners aren't renters amounts to mental jiujitsu.

"We're renters, we have rental agreements, we have lease terms, I pay rent every month, there's an eviction process and procedure," said Sahara Mobile Village resident Sarah Georg. "To tell me that I pass all three of those tests and say I'm not a renter defies logic."

Residents across Mountain View's six mobile home parks have been a growing presence at City Council meetings, galvanized by what they describe as price-gouging rent increases and fears that the dwindling number of affordable housing options in Mountain View will drive them out. An estimated 85% of mobile home residents in the city are either seniors, disabled or veterans, according to the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance, and many of them can't afford the rent hikes.

"This is our home, Mountain View is our home," said Anna Marie Morales, a Sahara mobile home resident. "My mom is elderly, she is disabled, she doesn't want to leave Mountain View. But with these ever-increasing rents it's almost impossible to make a living and try to stay there."

Though rent control does not extend to mobile homes, the stakes are arguably higher. Mobile home owners own the house itself but have to pay monthly rent for the space it occupies at the mobile home park. The mobile home's value is closely tied to the price of its space in the mobile home park. In other words, prospective buyers are going to be less interested in buying the mobile home if they have to pay $2,000 a month in rent, on top of a mortgage.

The general rule of thumb is that every $10 in space rent drops the home's equity by $1,000, according to city staff.

Santiago Villa resident Chris Chiang described many of his neighbors as the type of middle and working-class residents that the council is seeking to protect: They include a carpenter, a preschool teacher, an electrician and a ride-share driver. He said his community may appear mad at the council in demanding renter protections, but it's really just fear reaching a tipping point. Residents are working hard to put equity into their homes, only to see the values tank when faced with steep rent increases. If they can't afford to pay the rent, residents feel pressured to sell their home to the park's ownership at a loss.

"When you hear people angry, we're not really angry at you," Chiang said. "What you're hearing is fear."

It's because of these higher stakes that roughly 100 jurisdictions throughout California have adopted some kind of rent stabilization measure for mobile homes, including San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill and Los Gatos. All four of those cities also have a provision known as "vacancy control" that prevents mobile home park owners from jacking up the rent when the mobile home ownership changes hands.

Councilwoman Alison Hicks said she was surprised to see how commonly mobile home rent control laws have been adopted, particularly when compared to the number of cities that have imposed rent control more broadly. She said Mountain View joins only about a dozen other California jurisdictions in having rent control, and very likely is the only city in the state that protects apartments but not mobile homes.

"If that's the case, then I would like to not be the exception anymore," Hicks said. Her comment was followed by rowdy applause from the crowd.

While the majority of the council lent support to extending renter protections to mobile home residents, there was no clear consensus Tuesday evening on the critical details of the policy. It's unclear whether the annual cap on rent increases will be tied to inflation -- 3.5% as of last year -- or a flat 4%, and when precisely to set the "base year" that would determine permissible rent increases going forward.

Trey Bornmann, president of the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance, told the Voice that he and others have been fighting to make the start date Oct. 19, 2015, consistent with the date that CSFRA rolled back apartment rents. He said the rollback makes sense because he believes mobile homes were always supposed to be included in the law, but the body charged with implementing the rent control law -- the Rental Housing Committee (RHC) -- went against the advice of its legal consultant and determined mobile homes were not included in the law.

Bornmann alleges that the owner of Santiago Villa and Sahara has been jacking up the rents as part of a long-term strategy to pressure residents to sell their homes back to the park at fire sale prices, which the park can turn around and rent out for as much as $4,000 a month. Residents say as many as 90 homes in Santiago Villa may be owned by the park now.

The frustration among mobile home residents is that council members appear sympathetic to mobile home residents who are simultaneously being priced out and losing a huge chunk of equity in their home, but have yet to show a sense of urgency. It's been more than three years since Mountain View voters passed rent control in 2016, and more than a year since a judge reaffirmed that the Rental Housing Committee could exclude mobile homes from CSFRA.

If and when the council actually passes an ordinance, Bornmann said he worries it won't actually mirror the rent control law, and may end up weaker than they had hoped.

"I am afraid everybody is going to get screwed," he said. "They kicked the can and they didn't take any action and when they do take action, I'm worried they will water it down to appease the California Apartment Association and the landlords. They're more worried about getting campaign contributions."

The fault for the delays lies not with the City Council, but with the RHC, argued Councilman Chris Clark. He said CSFRA empowers the committee to oversee rent control writ large in the city, and its membership flexed its authority by excluding mobile homes from renter protections. This left the council in a "quagmire" in which the committee's power supersedes the council, and changing membership on the committee could alter that critical decision on mobile homes in the future.

The City Council is seeking to add language to the rent control law in Measure D on the March ballot to explicitly say mobile homes are not covered. Clark said this would allow the council to move forward with its own rent stabilization ordinance separate from the decisions of the rental committee.

"One of the things behind Measure D ... was to very specifically say, 'Okay well that's what you did RHC, we're taking that power away from you and we're going to cover this ourselves,'" Clark said.

Many of the complaints and worries aired at the Jan. 28 meeting were from members of the Sahara and Santiago Villa mobile home parks, with fewer from members of the remaining four mobile home parks in the city. Frank Kalcic, a managing partner of the Sunset Estates Mobile Home Park, said his family may have had some missteps but overall believes the park is one of the "best examples of quality mobile home living." He worries that a rent control ordinance would paint a broad brush for all six of the parks, and would take away his ability to make important financial decisions about his tenants.

"Rent control places the budgetary decision-making in the hands of a bureaucracy that isn't able to respond to the specific needs of a community and its infrastructure," he said.

Calcic also contends that the rule of thumb about rent increases and how they relate to loss in home equity is a gross oversimplification of how home sale prices are determined. Overall, he said, mobile homes in Mountain View are getting sold for more than the purchase price in spite of rent increases.

Only one speaker at the meeting identified herself as a Sunset Estates resident, and said she and her neighbors don't really need rent control. But she maintains that the rest of the other parks do, and insisted that CSFRA was written with the assumption it would extend to mobile homes.

The city is expected to hold stakeholder meetings prior to drafting an ordinance, with plans to return the issue to the council sometime in the spring.

Comments

Crocodile Tears
North Bayshore
on Jan 30, 2020 at 2:35 pm
Crocodile Tears, North Bayshore
on Jan 30, 2020 at 2:35 pm
34 people like this

Chris Clark's disingenuous claims about the Rental Housing Committee are rich. He, along with Margaret Abe-Koga, Lisa Matichak, and John McAlister stacked the housing committee with a landlord majority. Now, with that majority having attempted to nullify major provisions and the spirit of the CSFRA, Chris Clark points to that failure as a reason to take power away from the Committee.

Why didn't Measure D just make it explicit that mobile homes are covered by the CSFRA? Why didn't the City Council appoint a group of RHC members dedicated to upholding the law?

No one believes Chris Clark's crocodile tears. This is yet another instance of Council trying to whittle away at the hard-fought protections for Mountain View residents.


Mobile home renter
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:09 pm
Mobile home renter, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:09 pm
25 people like this

They way that Margaret Abe-Koga ran that meeting as our Mayor was demeaning and rude. She started by not allowing the Alliance President to present his communities points and facts.

Listening would have been helped since it seemed like council members are still uneducated about this issue after 4 years.

In my opinion if you can't do the homework or listen to the community, you don't deserve the job. The mayor's hatred for "trailer trash" was on full display.


YouTube watcher
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:15 pm
YouTube watcher, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:15 pm
19 people like this

I'm handicapped and couldn't make the meeting but watched the YouTube recording.

It is really a shame what they are doing. They want to roles to align with the The fair rent act, but are only choosing the weakest pieces from it.

My mother had to sell her home to the park for $35k when she went to the Senior home. She thought she should have gotten at least $100k more, but the park jacked up her space rent 150% on sale. So they basically stole all the required she had built in the home.


Circus
Jackson Park
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:19 pm
Circus, Jackson Park
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:19 pm
21 people like this

I was there for another reason and was appalled by the way the mayor ran the meeting. Very unprofessional. You could tell she is already against this group.


Be Courteous
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 8:14 pm
Be Courteous, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 30, 2020 at 8:14 pm
69 people like this

Many Mobile Home Alliance members were rude and disrespectful at Tuesday night's city council meeting. They bullied the mayor, interrupted other speakers and failed to conduct themselves with courtesy and professionalism at a public meeting. Everyone has the right to be heard.


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Jan 30, 2020 at 9:07 pm
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Jan 30, 2020 at 9:07 pm
14 people like this

I believe Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga is trying to help mobile home residents. She has visited the mobile home parks several times, willing to meet with anyone. She enforced the rules of the city council, it's her duty to do so, she did it without bias.

In a democracy, there can be differing policy approaches with the same intentions. The Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance and the mayor share the same goal of trying to keep Mountain View's diverse community. Whenever those with the same intentions are divided, those who truly oppose preserving diversity in MV prevail.


Crocodile Tears
North Bayshore
on Jan 31, 2020 at 8:13 am
Crocodile Tears, North Bayshore
on Jan 31, 2020 at 8:13 am
18 people like this

Christopher Chiang, don't you think it's worth disclosing that you wrote one of the ballot arguments in favor of Measure D, just like Margaret Abe-Koga?


Reasonable Human Being
Cuernavaca
on Jan 31, 2020 at 10:17 am
Reasonable Human Being, Cuernavaca
on Jan 31, 2020 at 10:17 am
18 people like this

Measure D must be defeated. The city council that refused to implement rent control until the voters forced them to by ballot proposition, and since then has worked tirelessly to undermine it at every turn by packing the RHC full of landlords and their surrogates, now tells us that the RHC is the problem and claims to be powerless to help the mobile home community unless we pass the landlord backed Measure D which significantly weakens measure V.

They're trying to put renters against each other. And we all see through it. Even if measure D passed, what sane person would believe that they would help the mobile home community after years of demonstrating that they don't care about renters?


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Feb 1, 2020 at 8:43 pm
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Feb 1, 2020 at 8:43 pm
6 people like this

I urge the city council to not forget us, no matter the outcome of Measure D. Mobile homes were left out of Measure V, AB 1482.

I understand and agree with Councilmember Clark's statement that there are some good mobile home landowners and that they should not be punished.

Rent control will not punish those landlowners since they were charging fair rent all along, so they wouldn't be harmed to do so in the future. I think including options for them to pass repairs and upgrades in rent, as Measure D suggests for apartments would balance protecting landowners.

Rent control with escalations for real repairs ensures fair profits (even more so than apartments, since most escalating costs in mobile homes are paid by the residents (mobile home residents pay their own repairs, seismic, property tax, insurance). Mobile home parks are attractive investments because they are inelastic to market forces with low fixed costs.

The only downside you have to passing a law to protect us is that mobile home parks resale values will be reduced if there is rent control. I think it's a fair trade off. If the city council doesn't act, it's the life savings and equity of working class residents that are lost. So either way, someone is losing their capital.

If the city council fails, my neighbors will not be around much longer, and it won't just be that they moved, it will be that they have lost all their life savings that they have placed in the mortgages of their mobile homes, only to sell it at a loss to the very landlord that causes their predicament through rent increases. Measure D pass or fail, renters are still protected (AB 1482), but the very future of mobile home residents rest in the whim of the city council.


Crocodile Tears
North Bayshore
on Feb 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm
Crocodile Tears, North Bayshore
on Feb 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm
13 people like this

Christopher Chiang, nothing to say about the fact that you're a Measure D proponent and wrote one of the ballot arguments in favor of it? How about the fact that Margaret Abe-Koga campaigned for the landlord initiative, which lied to mobile home residents in order to collect their signatures? Or maybe how the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance is opposed to Measure D?

Mobile homes were not left out of Measure V; Mountain View City Council, specifically Margaret Abe-Koga and Lisa Matichak, appointed members of the RHC that nullified its intended protections for mobile home renters. Now, you're here carrying water for her. Honestly, that's very sad.


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Feb 1, 2020 at 10:16 pm
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Feb 1, 2020 at 10:16 pm
5 people like this

I worry that mobile home residents continue to be left out. Mobile home residents were intentionally left out of the text of past Measure V out of fear of legal issues, I know, since I was an early volunteer of Measure V. We asked to be included in the text during those early organizing meetings, but because laws for mobile homes are separate, they did not want to murky the initiative. Rather, they said they would help work on a future initiative just for mobile homes. This future initiative never materialized. I recognize some say the intent was always there, but I can only report what I saw. Assemblymember David Chiu left mobile homes out of the state rent control law (AB 1482) also out of fear of legal issues since mobile homes are regulated under different state statues.

I fought to pass Measure V, I fought to reveal the lies of the landlord's ballot initiative. And yes, I do support Measure D. I believe Councilmember Clark and Abe-Koga wrote Measure D to balance everyone's interests. I think the apartment association is just picking sides, as they see the tides have turned, as just have some council members see there is no point in fighting rent control now after state passage of AB 1482.

Looking at the records of Councilmember Clark and Abe-Koga, two Democrats, in my opinion, it is not logical to think they care for all people except renters or specifically mobile home residents. They have a record of advocating for other progressive causes. I recognize that mobile homes have never been a past priority for either, but now that they are on record, and knowing any passage of mobile home protection needs one or both their votes to get to a 4/7 majority of the council, we need their support. There are simply no other policy routes left for mobile homes.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Feb 1, 2020 at 11:29 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Feb 1, 2020 at 11:29 pm
11 people like this

Councilmember Chris Clark opposed Measure V. In fact, he proposed a competing measure (W) to split the vote and defeat V. Margaret Abe-Koga was on a break from the City Council in 2016 - but she too opposed Measure V and supported the Council majority's deceptive competing measure (W). Margaret Abe-Koga also supported the landlords' "sneaky repeal" of Measure V that is still headed for the ballot in November. The City Council has had years to consider rent control at mobile home parks. Note that actual consideration of such an ordinance will not be scheduled to occur before the March 3 election.


be cautious
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2020 at 12:36 pm
be cautious, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2020 at 12:36 pm
8 people like this

I would be cautious that extending rent control will cause mobile home park owners to just sell. It's been happening a lot-- the properties, if developed, are worth tens of millions. That's the worst case scenario for residents but it can happen.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 3, 2020 at 2:30 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 3, 2020 at 2:30 pm
5 people like this

Margaret and the City Council have NOT been cooperating at all regarding CSFRA:

FIRST, they agreed to a temporary restraining order freezing the CSFRA while the CAA challenged the law in court.

SECOND, the City Attorney was instructed NOT to defend the CSFRA in court requiring intervention by the Stanford Community Law Center.

THIRD, when the case was dropped by the CAA, the City Council and the RHC did not want to enforce the rent roll back on the proper date of December 26, 2016.

FOURTH, the City Council colluded with the apartment owners to fast track removal of rent controlled units. Thus forcing the STATE to invoke a BAN of removal of rent controlled or affordable housing. Thus taking that action away from the City Council.

FIFTH, the City Council DEMANDED reimbursement of the first year’s funds to start the RHC in only 1 year. They knew it was going to drive up the startup cost. Thus providing opposition to complain that the rental housing fees were too high. They could have made it a 5 year repayment plan instead, but they did want to help out of town investors to put their argument against CSFRA.

So should the citizens of Mountain View believe the deception being perpetrated by the City Council and the City Landlords? I do not think so.

Why should the citizens trust these people now?


beelia
North Bayshore
on Feb 4, 2020 at 1:17 am
beelia, North Bayshore
on Feb 4, 2020 at 1:17 am
8 people like this

There have been many bad decisions and ill-considered strategies that have affected the fortunes of the mobile home community over the last four years. Governmental foot-dragging has already cost us dearly, and if passed, Measure D is likely to continue that long, steady decline.

"One of the things behind Measure D ... was to very specifically say, 'Okay well that's what you did RHC, we're taking that power away from you and we're going to cover this ourselves,'" Clark said.

Who is really to blame for the RHC decision to disregard its attorneys' finding that mobile homes should be covered by the Fair Rent Act? The composition of that body was determined by City Council, and they allowed it to make many more unfair decisions before removing a clearly compromised member.

How can City Council blame RHC when they are clearly responsible for appointing and retaining members who did not believe in their mission? What makes them think we can trust them to write a fair mobile home ordinance when they feel entitled to take our appeal to RHC's decision out of our hands?

This is a power issue, and we are tired of being patronized and thwarted by a body that feels they alone know what is good for us. The people spoke in 2016 and you ignored them. Get ready, I have a feeling that they are going to speak even louder in 2020.


Say no to the infringement of property rights!
Old Mountain View
on Feb 4, 2020 at 3:45 pm
Say no to the infringement of property rights!, Old Mountain View
on Feb 4, 2020 at 3:45 pm
10 people like this

I don't believe it's fair to pass laws that dictate what I (or anyone) can charge for rent on something I own! What's wrong with the concept of free market? Can someone please respectfully and intelligently explain to me why this is OK? I worked all my life and saved my money to buy MY property. I took all the market risk over the last 20 years! I put my hard earned money into making my property nice and kept my rents lower than I needed to so I would have tenants that respected my property. My property is how I earn my living, how I put food on my table and how I pay for my families needs and education. What other profession are any of you vested in that you are being regulated to earn less than you're worth? Most of my tenants are working for google and facebook and drive Tesla's and alike. They are not in dyer straights in need of hand outs. I have put my heart and sole into my property for over 20 years and now I am being told I need to rent the majority of my units out for under market value to kids who were barely born when I was buying my property. Kids who make more money than I do and drive nicer cars? Please help me understand why we are so quick to change our American values here in Mtn Vw.?

If keeping rents low and affordable for the people who really need it is the goal, I get the concern. If having our teachers and first responders in our community because they can't afford to live here otherwise is better for Mtn Vw. as a whole I get the concern. But is this really the reasons? If so, why aren't we vetting the tenants and only helping the ones that need it? Why am I being forced to subsidize someone a $1,000 a month who is making $250k a year and driving a tesla?

Wouldn't it be more fair to EVERYONE if we vetted only the ones who need the help and then the Mtn Vw. general fund paid for the needed subsidy?

Who out there on the rent control side of this argument thinks it's fair if we were to arbitrarily cap what you are able to charge for your profession? It's not fair and it needs to stop! Come up with a FAIR solution and stop trying to take from the people like myself who took the risk and worked hard our whole lives for what we have.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 4, 2020 at 9:17 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 4, 2020 at 9:17 pm
3 people like this

In response to Say no to the infringement of property rights!

Again, I hate to burst your “bubble” but there is no such thing a property rights in the U.S.

The fact is you only lease your property in this country, if you do not pay the property taxes, it is taken away from you.

The U.S. Constitution only states that your property CAN be taken from you for any reason as long as a “reasonable” compensation is paid under eminent domain. The REALITY is that you have only that protection under the U.S. Constitution.

Under the California Constitution you are only provided what is defined as a “fair rate of return”. But that does not mean you can dictate that return standard. Under the Birkenfeld Decision found here (Web Link) the California Supreme Court established that under the critical housing shortages the California Constitution does not guaranty any profits regarding rent control. In fact a fair rate of return can be determined to be a loss. You can read more ate this location (Web Link=).

There is too much on the internet regarding the false claims that there are “property rights” in the U.S. and California. The reality is that there is no such thing.

And people constantly post information that makes false claims. The internet is not self validating. You really need to contact those without any conflict of interest to determine the current rules. You said:

“Who out there on the rent control side of this argument thinks it's fair if we were to arbitrarily cap what you are able to charge for your profession? It's not fair and it needs to stop! Come up with a FAIR solution and stop trying to take from the people like myself who took the risk and worked hard our whole lives for what we have.”

Yes you took a risk, but that does not mean you are guaranteed to get a profit. So you might have chosen a gamble and lost the game. Remember that you cannot complain where you have had more than 1.5 years of warning regarding CSFRA. The CAA and your peers chose not to negotiate any less damaging deals, expecting that Measure V would not pass or that the courts would rule it unconstitutional. Neither happened. In fact the court stated there was no basis to challenge Measure V.

Investors should act in timely ways to protect their investments.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 6, 2020 at 10:04 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 6, 2020 at 10:04 am
1 person likes this

And oh by the way, NO ONE can control their paychecks.

Since when should a landlord dictate to the public. NEVER

I am in the process of getting a new job, they told me it was for 140K a year, but dropped it to 119K

IT IS FAIR THAT THE MARKET DICTATES THE EARNINGS OF A LANDLORD, RENT CONTROL OR NOT.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm
Like this comment

The City Councils Actions do not provide good cause to trust it

FIRST, they agreed to a temporary restraining order freezing the CSFRA while the CAA challenged the law in court. This was not within their discretion, they swore an oath to uphold the City Charter, and the Charter did not allow this action. In fact the City Charter prohibits the City Council to act CONTRARY to the City Chart it says so right here:

“Section 506. - Powers vested in the council.

All powers of the city, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS CHARTER, shall be vested in the council, and said council may establish the method by which any of such powers may be exercised.”

So when the City Charter preempted the City Council, the City Council did everything it could to deny the rights of the CSFRA to its citizens.

SECOND, the City Attorney was instructed NOT to defend the CSFRA in court requiring intervention by the Stanford Community Law Center.

THIRD, when the case was dropped by the CAA, the City Council and the RHC did not want to enforce the rent roll back on the proper date of December 26, 2016.

FOURTH, the City Council colluded with the apartment owners to fast track removal of rent controlled units. Thus forcing the STATE to invoke a BAN of removal of rent controlled or affordable housing. Thus taking that action away from the City Council.

FIFTH, the City Council DEMANDED reimbursement of the first year’s funds to start the RHC in only 1 year. They knew it was going to drive up the startup cost. Thus providing opposition to complain that the rental housing fees were too high. They could have made it a 5 year repayment plan instead, but they did want to help out of town investors to put their argument against CSFRA.

So should the citizens of Mountain View believe the deception being perpetrated by the City Council and the City Landlords? I do not think so.

What the Citizens of Mountain View do not understand is that as a CHARTER City, they are a private organization, they are not a government. What is my proof?

The City Attorney cannot represent a city citizen. It can only represent the City of Mountain View Corporation, just read the following:

“The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council as the Attorney for the City and legal advisor to the City Council.”

This is not a governmental position, it in fact is just a job for a private organization. It goes on to say:

“The City Attorney hires subordinate attorneys to assist in the discharge of assigned responsibilities. The City Attorney's Office defends and prosecutes or retains counsel to defend and prosecute all civil actions and proceedings to which the City is a party and prosecutes all criminal actions involving the City Code. City Code Enforcement is under the direct supervision of the Assistant City Attorney. Staff is responsible for enforcing the City Code provisions relating to zoning, neighborhood preservation, and vehicles on private property.”

So if you are a citizen of Mountain View, the City Attorney DOES NOT REPRESENT YOU AT ALL. THAT makes the City of Mountain view not a real city but a “colony” where they do not have the citizens interests as a priority. They only want to make the City of Mountain View organization get the best deal. It goes on to say:

“The City Attorney's Office represents and advises the Council, boards, commissions, departments, and all City officials in matters of law and necessary drafts of legal documents, ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and other documents pertaining to the City's business.”

NOT THE CITIZENS BUSINESS. NO THE CITY GOVERNMENT IS NOT A REAL GOVERNMENT BUT A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION. Finally:

“The Office is also responsible for providing legal services in connection with the Shoreline Regional Park (North Bayshore), Downtown Parking District, and Downtown Revitalization Authority.”

So again, the myth that we have a City Government is so false. That is why the City of Mountain View is a CHARTER CITY.

A CHARTER CITY is like a CHARTER SCHOOL. It is NOT a Public Agency.


Williams Robert
Castro City
on Feb 18, 2020 at 11:25 am
Williams Robert, Castro City
on Feb 18, 2020 at 11:25 am
Like this comment

Hello,

We are registered and certified loan lending company that provides the best solution to your financial problem, Do you need money for the project, business, taxes, bills, and many other reasons, our loans are simple and cheap, contact us today. The loan you need, we can arrange any loan, which will correspond to your budget, as low as 3% interest rate, reply back now by e-mail: lendico.investment@gmail.com for more details.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL INCOMING Mail ARE PROVIDED IN lendico.investment@gmail.com

Best Regards.


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Feb 18, 2020 at 11:48 am
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Feb 18, 2020 at 11:48 am
Like this comment

Data Voters Deserve to Know:
Rent control only applies to units built before 1995 because of state law; nothing short of future state law changes that (Costa-Hawkins Act).

*MV Measure V-2016: rent increase set to CPI/inflation, not to exceed 5%, recently set to 3% (applied to "rental units" which many other cities including Sacramento considers to include mobile homes) Web Link Web Link
*Statewide AB 1482-2019: rent increase set to 5% plus CPI/inflation, not to exceed 10%, for Santa Clara County, that is: 8% (applied to "dwelling units," so does not apply to mobile homes) Web Link
*Proposed MV Measure D-2020: 4% plus repairs/upgrades for a "temp" increase not to exceed 10% (also written is a direct exclusion of mobile homes from any protection) Web Link

If you vote -no- on Measure D:
-Rent stays around 3.5%
-Fate of mobile homes is in the hands of the Rental Housing Committee and/or courts.
-Lasting impact on the supply of pre-1995 rental supply is unclear, but there is a trend of apartments being demolished Web Link

If you vote -yes- on Measure D:
-Rent cannot increase beyond 8.34% (not 10% because of overriding state law sets it at 8% see above) but may be more than 4% -if- landlords apply capital repairs/investments to their rent, a likely scenario since there's always repairs/upgrades so what does "temp" really mean?
-Mobile homes are directly -removed- from protection, with promises of possible separate future protection by the city council.
-Whether this would prevent reduction of pre-1995 rental supply is unknown. Greatest impact on new housing supply is zoning, not any of this since new housing is exempt from all rent control.

What if all MV rental control measures were repealed, like what the apartment association's November 2020 initiative functionally does:
MV would then default to the new state protection set at currently 8% (AB 1482).

So those against Measure D-2020 should not say 10%, since AB 1482 already sets it at 8% (still much higher than the 3% that is currently set by Measure V-2016). Those for Measure D should stop using the possibility of the Rental Housing Committee paying itself, since it has never been paid or been asked to be paid.

I -initially supported- Measure D-2020 because 4% sounds fair since landlord expenses are certainly higher than CPI and the promise of protecting mobile homes is needed, given the fear many mobile home residents have. I stopped supporting Measure D-2020 when it became clear that the reality will not be 4%, or at any fixed rate less than 8%, given that repairs/upgrades are not fixed; and after the recent city study session on mobile homes, that there was -not- a clear actionable majority in support of actually protecting mobile homes, their views of support were too disparate to rely on. I hope data can help people make up their minds, even change their minds. There's good reasons to vote either way.


The Business Man
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2020 at 1:19 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 18, 2020 at 1:19 pm
Like this comment

In response to Christopher Chiang you said:

MEASURE D IS A POWER GRAB BY THE CITY COUNCIL

IT WILL TOTALLY TAKE THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE RHC AWAY AND GIVES THE CITY COUNCIL COMPLETE CONTROL OVER IT AND GIVE NON-CITY RESIDENTS POWER OVER THE LIVES OF THOSE LIVING IN MOUNTAIN VIEW ALSO THE CITY COUNCIL PREVENTS THE PUBLIC FROM KNOWING IT BECAUSE IT PROHIBITED THE FULL TEXT DISCLOSURE IN THE VOTING BALLOT INFORMATION PACKAGE:

PROOF:

Just look at the original provision insie the CSFRA as published by the city website (Web Link) it states:

(k)Integrity and Autonomy of Committee.

The Committee shall be an integral part of the government of the City, BUT SHALL EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE INDEPENDENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, AND CITY ATTORNEY, EXCEPT BY REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE. The Committee may request the services of the City Attorney, who shall provide them pursuant to the lawful duties of the office in Article 711 of the City Charter. In the period between the effective date of this Article and the appointment of the initial members of the Committee, the City shall take whatever steps necessary to perform the duties of the Committee and implement the purposes of this Article.

HERE is the AMEDNDMENT part of Measure D published online at (Web Link) :

(k) Integrity and Autonomy of Committee.

(2) ill The Committee shall be an integral part of the government of the City, The Committee is not a separate legal entity, the Committee may carry out its purposes with City employees, third party contractors, or any combination of the two, and ,ay request services of the City Attorney, who shall provide them pursuant to the lawful duties of the office in article 711 of the City Charter.

NOTICE THE LANGUAGE REMOVED WHICH WAS:

“BUT SHALL EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE INDEPENDENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, AND CITY ATTORNEY, EXCEPT BY REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE”

The City Council is in fact taking over the RHC in this ballot measure. The Citizens never wanted the City Council to have any influence over the RHC. THIS IS NOT A MINOR TWEAK, THE CITY COUNCIL WILL CONTROL THE RHC.

MEASURE D WILL ALLOW NON RESIDENTS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW JUDICIAL POWER OVER CITY CITITZENS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW. REMEMBER THE CSFRA DOES NOT STATE THERE MUST BE 2 MEMBERS THAT ARE OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. IT ONLY STTES THERE CAN BE NO MORE THAN 2. THE ORIGINAL TEXT CAN BE FOUND HERE(Web Link) and it states:

“Composition. There shall be in the City of Mountain View an appointed Rental Housing Committee comprised of Mountain View residents as set forth in this Section. The Committee shall consist of five (5) Committee members appointed by the City Council, and an alternate Committee member. The alternate Committee member shall be permitted to attend all Committee meetings and to speak, but not be authorized to vote unless a regular member of the Committee is absent at that meeting or is recused from voting on an agenda item. THERE SHALL BE NO MORE THAN TWO (2) MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE THAT OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. Anyone nominated to this Committee must be in compliance with this Article and all other local, state and federal laws regulating the provision of housing. Annually, the Committee shall elect one of its members to serve as chairperson.:

The changes Measure D proposes from the original text here:

“Section 1709. - Rental housing committee. (b)

Eligibility and Appointment. Committee members shall be appointed by the City Council at a public meeting. Applicants for membership on the Committee shall submit an application to the City Council. The application shall include a statement under penalty of perjury of the applicant's interests and dealings in real property, including but not limited to, ownership, trusteeship, sale, or management, and investment in and association with partnerships, corporations, joint ventures, and syndicates engaged in ownership, sale, or management of real property during the three years immediately prior to the applicant's application. This documentation shall be made available to the public.”

Measure D’s Changes are:

(b) Eligibility, Appointment, and Removal. Committee members shall be appointed by the City Council at a public meeting, AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL BY MOTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED BY AT LEAST FOUR AFFIRMATIVE VOTES. Applicants for membership on the Committee shall submit an application to the City Council. IF THE CITY COUNCIL DETERMINES THAT IT HAS NOT RECEIVED ADEQUATE QUALIFYING APPLICATIONS FROM MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENTS FOR ANY VACANT POSITION, THEN THE CITY COUNCIL MAY APPOINT AN OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE PERSON WHO IS NOT A MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENT TO THE COMMITTEE SO LONG AS THE PERSON MAINTAINS AN OWNERSHIP OR TRUSTEESHIP INTEREST IN. OR MANAGES. ONE OR MORE COVERED RENTAL UNITS. PROVIDED THE LIMITATION ON THE NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY. OR WHO ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS IN SECTION 1709(A) SHALL CONTINUE TO APPLY. The application shall include a statement under penalty of perjury of the applicant's interests and dealings in real property, including but not limited to, ownership, trusteeship, sale, or management, and investment in and association with partnerships, corporations, joint ventures, and syndicates engaged in ownership, sale, or management of real property during the three years immediately prior to the applicant's application. This documentation shall be made available to the public.

First there is the new line saying:

“AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL BY MOTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED BY AT LEAST FOUR AFFIRMATIVE VOTES”

This means the City Council is threatening the “independent RHC member with being thrown out for any reason.

Also :

“IF THE CITY COUNCIL DETERMINES THAT IT HAS NOT RECEIVED ADEQUATE QUALIFYING APPLICATIONS FROM MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENTS FOR ANY VACANT POSITION, THEN THE CITY COUNCIL MAY APPOINT AN OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE PERSON WHO IS NOT A MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENT TO THE COMMITTEE SO LONG AS THE PERSON MAINTAINS AN OWNERSHIP OR TRUSTEESHIP INTEREST IN. OR MANAGES. ONE OR MORE COVERED RENTAL UNITS. PROVIDED THE LIMITATION ON THE NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY. OR WHO ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS IN SECTION 1709(A) SHALL CONTINUE TO APPLY’

Again the City Council is incorrect in thinking that the CSFRA requires at Least 2 members that are THERE SHALL BE NO MORE THAN TWO (2) MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE THAT OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. THIS IS A LIE AND IT DOES NOT REQUIRE THERE BE 2 MEMBERS SATISFYING THAT CRITERIA, ONLY THAT A MAXIMUM OF 2 CAN BE.

THE CITY COUNCIL WANTS TO TAKE OVER THE CSFRA

THE CITY CANNOT LET THEM. You said:



Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.