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Date Published: January 2017

File Type: PDF

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Published by CFED & NCLC

The policy environment in California is highly favorable for manufactured housing. Homeowners’ rights in California manufactured home communities are protected by a series of strong statutes. In addition, many state programs exist that provide financial resources for community preservation and encourage energy-efficiency enhancements for homes and communities, and municipalities are required by state law to address manufactured housing in their consolidated plans. Also, a recently approved federal pilot program will make financing available for manufactured homes in land lease communities in the state.

Still, certain laws that directly affect homeowners’ capacity to preserve manufactured home communities through long-term ownership could be strengthened, and the state’s titling policy features a few key provisions that would likely present obstacles to homeowners in communities seeking to convert their homes to real property. Furthermore, the state’s fiscal challenges limit the resources that are available for the development and preservation of affordable housing, including manufactured housing. Many of the state’s housing programs are currently severely underfunded, but advocates are pushing for new sources of financing.

A manufactured home community can be a vibrant neighborhood that is an asset to the community at large. However, because the residents own their homes but not the land on which the homes sit, they are uniquely vulnerable—to confiscatory rent increases; arbitrary rule enforcement; failure to maintain the roads, utilities and common areas; and even closure of the community. If the community closes, the neighborhood disappears and many residents may be forced to abandon their homes. Most states, including California, have special laws protecting residents of manufactured home communities, but some of the critical laws that would enable residents to preserve long-term control over the land beneath their homes through community ownership could be improved.

This policy snapshot reviews state and local policies that affect homeowners, homebuyers, nonprofit dealers, developers and others with a stake in manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing. These include: Laws protecting homeowners living in manufactured home communities, the right to treat manufactured homes as real property, state programs and policies, and the local & municipal policy environment.

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