By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

Nearly 21,000 families around Sacramento—and about a half-million across California—live in mobile homes, which are often the only affordable option for lower income families in one of the country’s most expensive housing states.

Now, housing advocates and state officials are encouraging lawmakers to lower taxes and fees for these mobile homeowners, many of whom are unaware that they may not hold proper title to their property. They may also face tax liens that decreases the equity they thought they had, Ben Metcalf, director of the state Department of Housing and Community Development told the Sacramento Bee.

Mobile homebuyers and sellers often deal with one another informally, occasionally avoiding the title-search process, which would later on reveal unpaid taxes and registration fees. New owners would then be liable for liens and be unable to resell the property, get insurance or building permits, or apply for government assistance.

According to Metcalf, a new program created under Assembly Bill 587, would “give people who acquired a home but didn’t get the proper documentation a one-time opportunity to correct their situation and not have to pay back taxes, fees and penalties often incurred by prior owners. With the proper title and registration, homeowners can have the security and peace of mind that comes from having a stable and secure home.” The bill was passed last year and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. Up to 160,000 homeowners may qualify, say officials.

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