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  • Kevin Cleveland

California Legislature Explores Eviction Moratorium for Manufactured/Mobilehome Communities

Manufactured Housing legislation has been active in 2020. On July 28, 2020, CA Senate Bill 915 regarding the Manufactured Housing eviction moratorium heads to the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development. As I explored in a recent article of Manufactured Housing Rent Control,, the legislature is also considering a 5-year statewide freeze on the long-term lease exemption – leases exceeding 12 months – to local rent control ordinances.

Much like Senate Bill 999, California SB915 is currently at the Assembly Committee of Housing and Community Development after passing through the Senate in late June. On July 24, 2020, the Committee released its analysis of the bill in anticipation of the hearing on July 28, 2020. Below is a summary of that analysis.

The California Legislature is exploring an emergency stopgap bill in SB915 to halt evictions for people impacted by COVID-19. The law would prohibit “mobilehome parks from evicting residents who notify park management of COVID-19 impacts to their ability to pay rent” during the emergency declaration and for 120 days following the end of the state or local emergency. The bill, as currently amended, would also prohibit a park owner from issuing notices relating to rent increases, termination, or refusal to renew the tenancy. The bill prevents California Courts from issuing unlawful detainer orders during the specified time frame unless doing so is necessary to protect public health and safety.

Of primary concern to the staff, in their analysis, are (1) stability of housing for a particularly vulnerable segment of the population during an unprecedented health crisis; and (2) how to reduce “considerable uncertainty” for park operators that the bill “introduces” during an “already challenging time.”

Of particular interest in the bill analysis, aside from the core components of the bill, is that the bill requires park owners to give residents experience COVID-19 hardships at least one year to fix repair issues and to repay unpaid rents and other expenses. Further, as written, the bill requires Park Owners to offset any amounts owed by residents by any amounts received by the park from the Government as COVID-19 relief. What is not clear is to what extent loans like PPP apply to such provisions, adding to the uncertainty inherent in the bill.

Given the staff’s concern related to the broadness of the bill, I believe that an amended version of the bill needs to address the uncertain or murky timelines referenced in the staff analysis before it has a chance of passing the Assembly. The HCD Committee was also very mindful of the health and safety concerns relating to the one-year delay in repair requirements presented by the California State Firefighters’ Association, who opposed the bill along with the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association.

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