California’s housing crisis has created a number of new challenges for mobile home park residents. With roughly 4,500 licensed mobile home parks in the state and about 1.6 million residents, mobile home parks offer an affordable housing option for many low-income families and seniors. However, due to the limited protections for residents, many risk being pushed out of their homes as property owners seek to convert the land to more profitable uses.

Mobile home park residents have long struggled with issues such as substandard living conditions, limited tenant rights and difficulty accessing financing for necessary repairs or upgrades. CalMatters reports that these residents are especially vulnerable to unscrupulous property owners who take advantage of the lack of oversight and inadequate protections to raise rents, add fees and engage in other practices that threaten the residents’ ability to remain in their homes.

The California State Auditor’s Office has instructed the housing department to broaden its selection criteria for park inspections, including those that have not lodged complaints, and improve its response times. Meanwhile, states such as Ohio and Colorado have taken more aggressive approaches to mobile home park inspections, including proactive, parkwide inspections. California’s housing department has around 50 park inspectors who are mainly funded through fees. However, one expert says that the system, while robust in comparison to other states’, remains inadequate.

Advocates are demanding stronger tenant protections, including expanded rent control to cover mobile home parks, increased funding for affordable housing programs, and better enforcement of existing laws and regulations. Organizing and engaging with mobile home park residents to prioritize their needs and ensure they can remain in their homes and communities in the face of a severe affordable housing shortage remains essential.

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