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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Whose Property Is It, Anyway?

Remember the poignant scene in Dr. Zhivago, where he comes home, and, as part of the glorious revolution, his family home is now occupied by three or five needy families? (Talk about "Who Moved My Cheese?!")

Update that scene, with less glamorous people, less stunning architecture, and palm trees instead of snow. What have you got? That's right: the City of Carson.

The City of Carson imposed rent control laws on mobile home parks.

Owners of those parks, thus prevented by law from receiving the actual market value rent from their tenants, decided to convert the properties to condos.

The City of Carson meddled with the market again, this time passing a law requiring the owners of the parks to obtain consent for a conversion from 75% of the occupants. The occupants, enjoying below-market rents, of course never consented to same.

So one owner took the City to court, and won. The Court of Appeal invalidated the law requiring 75% approval. A state law gave owners the right to convert, with or without their tenants' consent, the Court ruled.

Now the City plans to redistribute income from other residents of the City to the mobile home residents, so that they can buy their spaces as condos.

I respectfully suggest two job requirements for all elected officials: i) you must show that you have taken one year of economics and received at least a B- in the class; and ii) you must show that you worked in the private sector for two years.

You can read the story at: http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/3881277.html?showAll=y&c=y.


Blogger Zuma Dogg said:


Thanks for letting everyone in the city know about this. I sent the story to Noel Weiss' attention. (See Saturday's story on Noel, below this one.)

Although it seems everytime something goes in favor of the public, there is a court somewhere to overturn it and steamroll through the corruption.

Man, your story ruined my day. Now, I'm gonna ruin a whole bunch of shady politicians' day to make up for it.

I JUST spent about 90 minutes on the phone with Noel Weiss this morning, and I think it's all about to unravel.

I must say though, although it must be an outrage for the rest of the city that has to pay the tab for these park tenants new blinged-out condo conversions -- It's a good sign that the City feels they HAVE to pay for the current tenants' new digs.

And if the rest of the City has to be punished to compensate for these injustices, the public outrage (that the City has to pick up the tab, instead of the developers) will force the City to start doing things the ethical, legal way. (Like I said, Noel just told me a bunch of ways The Planning Deptartment is allowing money to be stolen from the tenants they are there to protect.

And a quick teaser: You can have all the tenant protection laws in place at the Planning Dept. But, if your Councilmembers and City departments do not make the developers STICK to these rules -- then don't enforce them -- to quote my homie, Adam Sandler..."Yeah...So what's the point????

End the Corruption!
Zuma Dogg for City Council

September 10, 2006 11:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Walter Moore's postings on anything real estate related need to be taken with a grain of salt because he wants to sell you million dollar homes...


Walt, did you ever sell that yacht of yours, by the way?

September 10, 2006 1:35 PM  

Blogger Mitch Glaser said:

Although the City of Carson's actions may have been illegal, they were oriented towards an admirable goal: the well-being of its poorest citizens.

The fact of the matter is that people who rent mobile homes aren't at the high end of the market and are likely to face homelessness if they lose their unit. The City of Carson recognized that these are largely hard-working people -- the housekeepers, waitresses, and construction workers that Carson needs for a healthy and diverse economy.

I agree that rent control and restrictions on condo conversions probably aren't the best way to preserve low-cost housing, but we still need some kind of "safety net" for people like those in the Carson mobile home parks. I see no harm in the City extending low-interest loans to them; why not try to help people keep their homes?

N.B. Mr. Moore supports the property rights of the mobile home park owner when he wants to convert the units to condos, but he would not support his property rights if he wanted to redevelop the property with high-density condo towers. Am I the only one confused by this?

September 10, 2006 6:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nah, throw them all out in the street... there's a couple of empty corners on skidrow, as some of the bums there die off from disease and exposure.

It's more important that the owners of these properties - which they bought, in most cases KNOWING they were low-rent/rent-controlled properties, be able to afford a new $80K SUV every year.

That's the American WAY!

September 11, 2006 10:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Sept 11, 2006 God Bless America on this day of mourning

The City of Carson is to be commended for preserving manufactured parks as affordable housing for its citizens who live, work, and spend in and around the City of Carson. It is about time that people woke up to the fact that construction workers, retired seniors, and families burdened with the expense of a disabled child cannot afford even the lowest priced condominium in Carson. These people have purchased a home they can afford.
All they want to do is be able to live in it without the discriminatory judgment of other people that do not have a clue on what it takes to live within your means.

Believe me when I say, that ALL affordable housing is rapidly disappearing in the State of California. I want to know if the executive making $150,000 a year is willing to cut his own lawn, repair his own air conditioner, re-roof his house. Because without affordable housing protections for these hardworking folks, he will have to.

In comment to “prevented by law from receiving the actual market value rent from their tenants….” Manufactured homeowners are renters of a PARKING SPACE!! Usually a 20’ x 50’ patch of dirt. A person looking at retirement will usually take their retirement account funds to purchase their home outright ($80,000 to $100,000) in today’s pricing. This affords them the opportunity to budget their social security (which they paid into and is not free or at any cost to the citizens of Carson), based upon the following remaining cost of living expenses and projected longevity (how long they expect to live):
• Rental of the space
• Food
• Medications
• Utilities
• Home Maintenance
• Home Insurance
• Property Taxes
• Pass-Thrus (homeowner has to pay a portion of all infrastructure improvements to the owner’s land by law)
These are the expenses of a site-built homeowner and a manufactured homeowner. Not much difference. Market Value is based upon apartments, and rental condos – not mobile homes. If you live in an apartment, you can shop around and achieve the best apartment for your dollar. In other words, an apartment renter or condo renter can move.
This is not the case for the manufactured home owner. They are a “captured consumer.”

These seniors, low income families, and the disabled are by RIGHT and by LAW a protected class of citizens. WHY!! Because they are weak and they are poor!! They do not have the funds to challenge the taking of their homes in a court of law against the mega-million dollar companies currently buying-up manufactured home parks in the State of California to extort them of their right to homeownership. They buy their homes in a “Rent Control” city to be protected from these “thieves in the night.”

My heart bleeds purple peanut butter for these greedy landowners. DON’T BUY A MOBILE HOME PARK and expect to make a fortune off the seniors, low income, and disabled in the State of California. Our Legislators have had about enough of you guys.
For more information on the assault on affordable housing and the plight of manufactured homeowners visit www.neighborhoodfriends.us

September 11, 2006 10:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's sad that people who bought mobile homes with their life savings believing that they had a secure future and were able to live on their retirement are forced out of their homes.
Apparently, some park owners are able to raise their rates very 90 days forcing someone who was paying $500 a month for a small piece of land, to pay up to $1500-2,000 rent (not including utilitites) for the same small piece of land that THEIR home presently occuplies. When they fall behind on the rent for that small piece of land they are given the option to move their home, or move out of their home or have their credit ruined. It costs approx. $30,000 or more to move a home if, in deed, there is a lot to move them to. So, they are forced to abandon the home they put their life savings into. They in turn, cannot sell their home for the value they would have received if the rent was equitable. A home whose value was $150,000 will now sell for about $3,000 The end result is they will wind up on welfare and the state will have to take care of them. The public loses, the state loses, the developer wins by taking of their homes because the owners can no longer sell them for their full value. Park owners in turn can rent it out to someone who can pay the price,or, they might sell it at auction. When the park becomes distressed because it's half empty, the developer will apply for a variance to re-zone to condos or a business park. Whatever will bring them the most bucks!
I bet there a lot of people out there that have family or friends on fixed incomes who live in nice retirement parks and will soon be faced with such a problem. I do, and it's a travesty! Where's the justice!

September 13, 2006 12:29 AM  

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