Huntington Beach Realtors® Oppose Rent Control
When most people think of Orange County in Southern California, mobile home parks do not immediately come to mind. But in Huntington Beach, a seaside city with nearly 200,000 residents, mobile homes and their renter occupants are the norm. The city wanted to control their rents until the local Realtor® association stepped in.
The Huntington Beach City Council had voted in July 2014 to allow a ballot measure that would modify the city charter and impose rent control in mobile home parks. But the ballot initiative effort was quashed before it even got started. The Orange County Association of Realtors® joined forces with the Manufactured Housing Trust and residents to oppose the initiative, arguing that rent control would ruin property values. They also cited a failed attempt at rent control in the city in 2002.
The city council responded to those concerns in August 2014 by removing the issue from the November 2014 ballot. Instead, council members reached informal agreements with some mobile home park owners to work out leases with their residents that would stabilize rents. Council members also pointed residents to rental assistance programs that help low-income seniors, veterans, disabled persons and other renters to secure subsidies.
Huntington Beach has 18 mobile home parks, 10 of which are designated for seniors only. Many of those seniors complained to council members that their rents had increased 50% in 2014. Mobile homes have provided a much-needed housing alternative for retirees, veterans and seniors living on fixed incomes. Of the 78,000 residences in Huntington Beach, about 40% are rental properties.