Huntington Beach mobile home residents turn ‘carveout’ hopes to 2024

Mobile home resident Patricia Taylor speaks during the Huntington Beach Mobile Home Advisory Board meeting on Monday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)
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Danielle Parks, a resident of Surf City Beach Cottages in Huntington Beach, knows that many of her fellow mobile home park residents feel the push of skyrocketing rents.

Parks, who has lived there four years, has seen her rent increased about $600 per month in that time. She said a mixture of older and younger people live in her park, which defies stereotypes some might hold about mobile home parks.

“I qualify these people in here,” said Parks, 56. “There’s everything from closet authors who don’t want people to know who they are, to multimillionaires that would buy one of these units because they don’t like staying in hotels. It’s a funny conglomerate that’s actually pretty cool. We’re not Eminem in ‘8 Mile.’”


But many of them are feeling the pinch, so Huntington Beach mobile home residents continue to hope for a rental stabilization ordinance to combat soaring rents.

Surf City Beach Cottages resident Danielle Parks speaks during Monday's Huntington Beach Mobile Home Advisory Board meeting.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Measure EE, passed in 2002, prohibits rent stabilization ordinances in the city. Now, time has run out to put an RSO “carveout” of the city charter solely for mobile home parks on the November ballot.

The City Council did not advance a vote to do so, despite an April recommendation by the Mobile Home Advisory Board.

Last month, the council did direct staff to look into opportunities to create a rental assistance program for senior mobile home residents. But this fell short of the wishes of many of those residents, particularly after the April MHAB vote.

Ada Hand, who lives in Del Mar Mobile Estates, said it was disconcerting to hear the council dedicate so much time recently to cannabis dispensaries and not a possible carveout for mobile home parks.

“We’re not Eminem in ‘8 Mile.’”

— Danielle Parks, Huntington Beach mobile home resident

“We gave them a chance, and I think we gave them too much time,” Hand said. “We’ve learned our lesson, and now we are educating mobile home residents and the public. We will continue speaking at City Council meetings; that is our effort to educate the public.”

Carol Rohr, the Skandia Home Owners Assn. president, originally organized protests after new ownership group IPG raised Skandia rents by $75 a month per year for the next three years. Now she has helped form a new organization, the Huntington Beach Mobile Home Resident Coalition.

The coalition’s new plan, Rohr said, is to collect enough Surf City voter signatures to get the carveout on the ballot in 2024. It would need to present a petition signed by 15% of the voters in the city to do so.

Grace Yoon-Taylor, left, Travis Hopkins and Eric Silkenson listen to a speaker during Monday's meeting.
Grace Yoon-Taylor, left, Travis Hopkins and Eric Silkenson listen to a speaker during Monday’s Mobile Home Advisory Board meeting in Huntington Beach.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

That number is daunting in a big city like Huntington Beach. Including the extra amount required to account for disqualified signatures, an estimated 30,000 people would need to sign the petition.

Hand said the coalition has already made a presentation of its case at about five of the city’s 18 mobile home parks and has teamed with a national organization called MH Action.

She added that the coalition hopes to meet with new City Manager Al Zelinka, who comes from a city — Riverside — that has an RSO in place. In Riverside, rent increases for mobile homes may not exceed 80% of the previous year’s Consumer Price Index. In 2021, the maximum rent increase there was just over 1.3%.

Additionally, members of the coalition have taken field trips to visit mobile home parks in San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside, two other cities with RSOs in place.

“We’ve been busy,” Hand said. “I think we are hopeful, with the participation of a growing number of people, that we will be able to get the required number of signatures. Then the effort will be intensified to educate the electorate and have them vote to override the city charter and allow rent stabilization in mobile home parks.”

Danielle Parks, who lives at Surf City Beach Cottages, speaks during Monday's meeting.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

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