Huntington Beach’s Mobile Home Uprising – which side are YOU on?

Six years ago someone wrote what proved to be a very timely and popular article on how to invest in mobile home parks and turn them into “cash cows.”   But as the corporate entities who’ve been taking over Huntington Beach’s parks since around that time have shown, this author was a piker.

This author didn’t seem to know, or at least failed to mention, how California’s otherwise strong and protective land lease law had an exception for mobile home space, which – combined with Surf City’s 2002 plebiscite against any rent control – makes the limit on how high and suddenly you can raise the rent on an HB mobile home owner… the limits of a greedy investor’s imagination!

He didn’t mention how lucrative it can be to change a park that had long been a seniors-only park into a more-profitable “all-ages” park, which happened several times in HB until the Council finally outlawed that back in March (over Mayor Matt Harper’s “ideological” objections.)

And he didn’t mention the most wondrous and profitable trick of all, which you aren’t gonna believe:

Driving Seniors Out with Exorbitant Rent and then Seizing Their Homes!

This has happened to well over a hundred seniors that we know of, in one park alone – Huntington Shorecliffs, after it was bought by John Saunders in 2008 – or should I say John Saunders LLC?  Yes, Saunders walks and talks, goes to council meetings and sometimes tries to convince people he’s a nice guy, but he’s also a CORPORATION, with all the rights and limited liability of one.

Let’s back up a tad – there are 18 mobile home parks in Huntington Beach.  At this point, 10 of those are senior parks, 8 are all-age.  Until the corporate rush a decade ago, all of them were family-owned;  now only four are.  I know we progressive types sound like broken records when we talk about the evils of (unregulated) corporations, but this is the fact:  Parks that are still family-owned have had no problems or controversy, continuing to raise their rents 2-3% a year as they have for decades;  only the ones taken over by corporations, with their relentless and brutal pursuit of profit, have suffered the crimes against humanity we’re documenting today.

Another thing – proud and sensitive, these mobile home owners want me to emphasize that again, they are homeowners, who pay property taxes.  The only thing they lease, of necessity, is a patch of dirt or concrete (like the one to the right) where they park their homes, which in most cases represent their life’s work and can be worth anywhere from $50 to $300 grand – likely as much as YOUR home.

But, TWO OTHER things:  it’s something of a misnomer to call these structures “mobile,” as it’s so complicated and difficult to actually move them that it often costs as much as the home itself – prohibitively expensive.   And the law puts them essentially under the park owner’s “eminent domain.”   Except, it’s actually WORSE than eminent domain, as the park owner is not a democratically elected government.

When the homeowners are driven out by sudden, exorbitant rent increases – as seems to be the actual goal of owners like Saunders LLC or Kort & Scott – they technically have the option of attempting to sell their homes so they can afford to live somewhere else.  BUT, incredibly, the park owner has the right to refuse any buyer who doesn’t pass their absurd and arbitrary approval process.  So eventually the homeowner, no longer a homeowner, is forced to abandon their property, which becomes the property of the park owner, and the senior shuffles off in shame and penury, sometimes never to be heard from again.

Saunders swooped into Shorecliffs in 2008 like a tornado, with his attorney Robert Coldren, (famed for fighting against mobile home park rent control up and down the state.)  Coldren immediately announced to all the seniors, some of whom had been there for decades, that they’d “lived here too long and too cheap, and we’re going to do something about that!”  True to his word, he immediately raised rents 400 to 500 a month, got the park designated “all age,” and began his slow pogrom: Over 130 seniors now forced out, living with family, homeless, disappeared, dead.  And Saunders’ profits soared!

Path of the Storm: Saunders moves down to Pacific!

So, fresh off his spectacular Shorecliffs achievements, John Saunders looked a half mile southwest and saw opportunities at Pacific Mobile Home Park.   A family park mere steps from the beach, Pacific had been run as long as anyone could remember by a pair of brothers who rarely raised rents much.  But the moment Saunders got his hands on the place last year, longtime residents got the same lecture from his Star Management flunky Michael Cirillo that Shorecliffs residents had gotten from Robert Coldren:  “You people have been paying too little for too long, and we’re going to take care of that!”  Most rents went up by $100 last summer, and then by another $400 in January, for a total of 62%.

I learned a new trick at Pacific that I hadn’t heard at Shorecliffs, a trick for preventing buyers from buying a tenant’s mobile home that they’re trying to sell. We’ve already seen Saunders and his folks come up with outrageous and arbitrary ways to disqualify prospective buyers, usually disqualifying all of them till the seller gives up.  At Pacific they also have another method – maybe it’s an innovation of Star Management: They’ll tell the buyer, “Sure, you can buy this home, but your space rent will be $2000 a month (or something else exorbitant) and it could go up at any time.” That’s usually enough to scare away any buyers; one lady I met at Pacific did manage to sell her home under those threats, but only for half what it’s worth.

One thing Saunders was NOT reckoning on when he sunk his talons into Pacific was a Georgia spitfire name of Diane Atkins.  The sheaf of pages she handed me at her kitchen table was not the letters she had written to politicians and officials in dispute of this outrageous rent increase, but the LIST of all such letters she’d written.  Tireless, she seems to know nearly all 256 families in the park, each of their situations, the values of their homes, everything.  She is Saunders’ and Cirillo’s worst nightmare, showing up at EVERY city council meeting, demanding action.

Diane quickly grew impatient with the park’s milquetoast “HOA,” which seems stuck in a cycle of trust and credulity with the slimy Cirillo, who knows how to forestall any action with smooth words and broken promises.  Snaps Diane, “I had to find people I could stand shoulder to shoulder with and fight beside, so I started working with the Q-tips.”  (That’s what she calls the seniors, particularly the canny feisty ones of Rancho Huntington whom we’ll meet soon.) 

But first, let’s take a little car trip with Diane around Pacific Mobile Home Park, where we can’t go ten yards without someone stopping her and telling her their problems and concerns:

First we met Chris and Crystal Freiberg (right) and their two beautiful daughters.  Chris and Crystal bought their home and moved into Pacific 14 years ago now.  Chris works as an engineer on our celebrated Groundwater Reclamation System, for the OC Water District, something we write about a lot here.  We enjoyed discussing the contrasts with the unaffordable and destructive desal plan Poseidon and their shills are trying to foist on us, and are both looking forward to the expansion of the GRS.  Crystal worked as a cosmetologist, and the couple put off having kids until the mortgage on their home was paid off.

The plan, which seemed like a fine one, was that by the time their two daughters were born, Crystal could afford to be a stay-at-home mother.  That used to be the American Dream, didn’t it?  And they deserved it.  But it won’t work now, with Saunders’ exorbitant rent hikes:  Crystal’s going to have to go find a job again.  Sorry little girls, mommy has to go to work now, to satisfy the mobile home park corporation’s bottomless hunger for profits.

Next aisle over, we met World War II veteran Bill Alvarez, who served in the North Atlantic on the USS Midway, and then served 45 years as a Los Angeles firefighter.  A lot of veterans are getting screwed over in this bloodbath, and I understand that that’s what helped get HB councilman Dave Sullivan, a veteran himself, focused on the issue.

Bill somewhat sheepishly allows as to how this situation isn’t hurting him financially as much as most others, as he “has money set aside” from his firefighting years and lives alone, but it pains him morally. “All the despair and distress I see around me, I feel like I’m spending most of my time around here as a sort of social worker.  That poor French lady, Colette, around the corner…”

Yes, I’d already heard of Colette, an elderly Frenchwoman who has lived alone in this park with her little dog for thirty years now.  Caught in a convoluted situation where Saunders suddenly jacked up the price of her property absurdly in an apparent scheme to swindle extra money from the city related to their Atlanta Street expansion, she now must search through dumpsters for recyclable goods in order to feed herself.  Diane recently caught her on camera doing just that (below right) and for the record, Colette doesn’t mind my posting this picture;  she WANTS people to know what she and her fellow HB homeowners are dealing with.

The Equity Formula

Before we move on to the next park, I need to share with you what several of the smarter owner/organizers have explained to me about the rent hikes:  “It’s not so much the rent, its the rent increase’s effect on our equity.”  And there is a handy formula that’s proven accurate for calculating that:  For every $10 of rent hike, there’s a loss of $1000 in equity – i.e. the home is worth $1000 less.

Hence those $500 hikes of Saunders translated into a $50,000 loss of equity to each homeowner, and the jackal knew it.  That’s why his parks, where we’ve already looked, are full of for sale signs AND homes that already belong to him.

But let’s not just pick on John Saunders LLC;  there are plenty of other corporate crooks nearly as abusive in the HB mobile homes business.  For example our friends at Rancho Huntington have the privilege of being reamed by Kort and Scott.  

The Fighters at Rancho

When I trekked a couple miles northeast to Rancho Huntington near the Fountain Valley border, the park under the occupation of Buena Park tycoons Kort and Scott,  the park known as the hotbed of HB mobile home activism, I met or heard tell of:

  • a nearly-senile lady who was so shaken by the new owners’ strong-arm tactics that she panicked and sold her expensive home at a fraction of its worth;
  • more than one chipper lady in their 70’s who are now looking for work so they can pay their new exorbitant rents (George W Bush would no doubt blurt out with a cackle: “Only in America!”)
  • TWO MORE World War II vets not as well off as Pacific’s Alvarez, who are really in danger of going homeless any month.

I also very much enjoyed chatting with Q-tip hell-raisers Bruce Binder and Betsy Crimi, folks of unmistakably northeastern-Semitic stock who probably imbibed activism and organizing with their mothers’ milk. 

When Kort and Scott came leering around looking to buy up the dirt these folks were parked on (Scott a gambling magnate with an over-$10-million north county spread worth more than what the duo paid for this whole park) our friends formed a REAL Homeowners’ Association – one that actually fights for the rights of homeowners.  And they’ve managed to catch and/or stop Kort and Scott in several illegal acts so far:

  •  This corporate gang’s favorite tactic being to coerce and intimidate octogenarians into signing highly unfavorable 25-year leases, it was illegal for them to promise temporary lower rents in that pursuit;
  • When folks considering these leases or contracts requested a copy to bring to their lawyer they were denied copies, and told “you sign it here or not at all”
  • Glengarry Glen Ross fans know that you’ve got 72 hours after signing a contract to change your mind;  Kort and Scott would secretly sign it as many as 72 hours before having the tenant sign it, and then say “No, it’s 72 hours after WE sign it, and that’s long over!”

All kindsa sleazy shit like that, I’m getting tired of writing about it and want to move on to the remedies, at any rate the big crime is the rent increases and the seizure of homes.  So let’s find out…

What has the HB City Council done about all this?

Not much until the last year or two.

It’s taken that long for us to get a council majority in this town that cares about the struggles of working class people (or the environment either.) Dominated until 2012 by conservative ideologues, corrupt Republicans, and craven “business Democrats” like Keith Bohr, the council’s reaction to the abuses of mobile home parks was to affect great “ideological” deference for “property rights” (screw the property rights of the mobile home owners) while coincidentally collecting fat campaign checks from the park owners’ lobby groups.

As I remember – since I was there, walking precincts for him – one of the first local politicians to take an interest in the plight of these homeowners was Joe Shaw, during his first (unsuccessful) council race of 2006. By now he enjoys rock star status in some of these parks, having advocated for the homeowners for years, first on the planning commission, then on council beginning 2011.

It still wasn’t until Jan. 2013 that the current bipartisan 5-member humane majority finally took power (co-incidentally the same five members who oppose Poseidon’s desalination boondoggle – Shaw, Sullivan, Boardman, Katapodis, Hardy.)

This enabled them to finally pass the prohibition in March against senior parks becoming all-ages parks;  now they are taking the first steps toward untying the Gordian knot preventing rent control (*cough I mean “rent stabilization”*) in the parks – first step to be completed at the Monday Aug. 4 meeting!  If the initiative gets successfully put onto the ballot tonight, then the people of HB need to do two things this November – okay the initiative, and return enough members of the humane council majority to actually finish the job – specifically Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman.

Joe’s opposite on council would be our shiny-eyed, uncontrollably giggly Mayor Matt Harper – the closest thing we have to a conservative ideologue, now that the slightly more credible Don Hansen and Devin Dwyer have temporarily moved on.  Carrying the water for Poseidon under one arm and the water for park owners under the other, with a jug on loan from developers balanced on his gleaming head, he finds even discussing the grievances of homeowners so onerous that he once tried to disband the toothless Mobile Home Advisory Committee.

Apparently a Tourette’s sufferer, he attempted to lampoon the “special treatment” afforded to seniors and veterans with this cringe-inducing reductio ad absurdum:  “What next, will we give special treatment to sex offenders?”  (You know, seniors, veterans, sex offenders, the old slippery slope.)  Fortunately Matt has made the rash leap to a probably doomed assembly race and cannot return to council soon.

But several powerful forces are gunning for Joe and Connie and would love to replace them with their own lapdogs.  The internet noise is all about (what I consider phony) populist causes like plastic bags (“they took them away and won’t let us vote on it ourselves!”)  Safe and Sane Fireworks (“they won’t let us vote on it and it’s too much work to get signatures!”)  and styrofoam on the beach (“they ALMOST took it away until Katapodis backed off, thank God!”)  [Fire pits and 405 toll lanes are non-issues, as ALL Huntington Beach politicians are in agreement on those.]

But the real money and venom attacking Joe and Connie this year will be from three usual-suspect sources:  Poseidonout-of-town developers who want to get their hands on Bolsa Chica, and the aforementioned mobile home park owners.  So far it looks like they’ll be coalescing around conservative ideologues Barbara Delgleize and Erik Peterson*, who will give all three of those destructive interests everything they want.  [*Update 2015 – I was wrong about both:  these interests and others coalesced around Delgleize, O’Connell, and Posey, none of whom I would now call any kind of ideologues but servants of money;  Peterson it turns out is an HONEST conservative, who probably would never have supported rent control but is good on a lot of other issues, like Sullivan.]  So I wish some of the rock-throwers going on about fireworks and plastic bags (naming no names) would sit down and get their priorities straight:

In this microcosm of Huntington Beach mobile home park abuse, we see why we need government, why we need to look after each other, we catch a glimpse of the Dickensian world that lurks waiting for us just under the surface whenever predatory capitalism finds itself a regulatory black hole.

It show us what Class War is, and that we didn’t start it, but that the war IS joined.

Think on this in November, Huntington Beach, when politicians come at you promising plastic bags, fireworks, Poseidon, and “property rights.”



This story was accidentally deleted for a while.

There were 100 comments on it.

I’ll have to copy and paste them here:


  1. ReplyRoss NashPosted August 3, 2014 at 6:33 PMSeems awful unfair for these mobile home owners. If the properties were upgraded to a standard, I could see increases to help pay for them, but not just to make them un affordable to the average person 🙁
  2. ReplyJohn GracePosted August 3, 2014 at 6:34 PMI was working in mobile home accessories when the original rent control passed to stop the predatory schemes and collusion between coach manufacturers and park owners essentially doing the same thing you detail here. I agree that rent control is an extraordinary measure and that doing so should only be done to stop an injustice.I’m happy with someone making money off their land but it shouldn’t come from preying on law abiding residents. Great job on the article and the detailed explanation of the Park Owner’s transgressions. Shame on them.
    • ReplyMahdee GillPosted May 1, 2019 at 6:27 PMHi John,My name is Mahdee and I am writing an article about this issue now affecting residents in Fullerton. I would like to ask you about the possible collusion between manufacturers and park owners.
      my contact information is
      Thank you.
  3. ReplyIngePosted August 3, 2014 at 7:28 PMI may have missed the answer to this question but do you think the end game is to kick everyone out and then sell the land to developers, to build fancy condos or resort hotel?Can the owner move their home to another park in another city?What happened to the “Like” button that used to on the page?
    • ReplyNamelessPosted August 3, 2014 at 8:28 PMGee. You think so?
  4. ReplyBigBoxOfRedWhinePosted August 3, 2014 at 7:57 PMJust a few random (probably ignorant) thoughts- I remember 1-2 decades(!) ago when a similar(?) situation was going on in central county, and one solution that helped was to create tenant-owned parks. Was that a unique heaven-sent circumstance, or would a similar possibility exist to approach the remaining small individual park owners, for sale/ conversion, or establish a first right of refusal provision of some sort?Also, while I realize Redevelopment is gone (deservedly from the many abuses BUT BEWARE of the upcoming ‘JEDI’ Ballot Initiative!), almost every City STILL has a Housing Agency.While my City (Anaheim) just uses it as a conduit for developer loans, and a handy front (straw) man for Convention Center Expansion financing, this IS a HOUSING situation, so could any plea for assistance from that source, get City support in HB? Just wondering-
    • ReplyBigBoxOfRedWhinePosted August 3, 2014 at 10:18 PMAnd Vern, Thanks for the cut from Joni – who, with Shawn Colvin, someone I can never hear too much of, sober or otherwise!
      • ReplyVern NelsonPosted August 3, 2014 at 10:29 PM🙂 Was never the BIGGEST Joni fan, but always loved THAT particular piece of music!
  5. ReplyGreg DiamondPosted August 3, 2014 at 9:11 PMSPECIAL TO D. STERLING LAMB:Putting aside your ethical objections to the California Bar Association: if someone chipped in for your Bar dues, do you think that you could use your brains and legal training to focus on this like the Death Star, close to full time? It would be a heroic act, it would pay better than not practicing at all, and I’ll bet that you could do some real damage here — and make a name for yourself in an exceptionally positive way.Just a thought.
  6. ReplyRicardo ToroPosted August 3, 2014 at 11:30 PMA friend who lives in a senior park in Westminster, borderline with HB, finds your article very interesting. The park is family owned, but recently they hired a property management company and the rents have gradually been increasing. The seniors are concerned that the booming development going on around Bella Terra may take over their park.As a side note, do you know the background on the development of the Bella Terra/Costo area? The number of apartment buildings being built are impressive. The impact of the additional traffic is going to be a challenge . Are there any designated affordable housing units in this development?
  7. ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 4, 2014 at 7:33 AM*The story of the Huntington Beach Oilers… a speckled goose in a herd of Pinto Ponies. Most people don’t want to even have the temerity to enter into any discussion of HB. They have their own sounds, they have their own smells, they have their own ways of doing everyting. Having said that; Mobile Home parks are going the way of the Buggy Whip. Newport Beach still has two….both on very “iffy land” for redevelopment. The good on on near Lido Isle just closed and was bulldozed….you got it – for a developer made on the water project. In HB the two Mobile Home Parks on PCH are headed for Neither Neither Land. Maybe not today, not tomorrow….but very soon. The people will either have to buy Winnebagoes and hit the highways of America….or will find themselves displaced and homeless. The Buy Out Provisions are the key. If the Mobile Home Owners (not operators)….can negotiate hard with the city and make sure they get good “Separation Payment”…..they might have enough to put a down payment on some property in San Bernardino or Riverside County…someplace. Holding back the rising cost of beach property is a fairly impossible task. Each day that the Mobile parks remain….is a win for those living there. This however, is going to become more difficult each day until the end comes. Pretty sad, for some who have been there 30 years or more.
    • ReplydeadwhitemalePosted August 4, 2014 at 10:47 AMit is sad. I lost my place after renting it for 22 years when the landlord wanted to sell. but it WAS his property. if I had the means, I could have purchased it and stayed. Maybe the owners of the mobile homes could get their $$$ together, raise funds from concerned candidates, ask family for help and buy the place? that would be great at banning ranch too, if environmentalists could actually enter the corporate world of real estate transactions and realize, these greedy corporations will sell them the land!
  8. ReplyanonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 9:08 AMWhy not include the park owners point of view?Why should ONLY mobile home park owners be forced to limit the profits they can make off THEIR LAND? Remember, they bought these parks as investments, but now cities are forcing them to subsidize their affordable housing requirements.
    Funny, the mobile home owners don’t want their “investment” minimized:“It’s not so much the rent, its the rent increase’s effect on our equity.” And there is a handy formula that’s proven accurate for calculating that: For every $10 of rent hike, there’s a loss of $1000 in equity – i.e. the home is worth $1000 less.Hence those $500 hikes of Saunders translated into a $50,000 loss of equity to each homeowner, and the jackal knew it.”So, essentially it’s okay for the mobile home owners to sell their mobile home that would be worth maybe $10-50,000 OFF their site for $300,000 or more, but they want to LIMIT the PROPERTY OWNER’S PROFITS. The mobile home owners know it is location,location, location and they want the profits for themselves, how greedy. If they want to limit the property owner’s profits to 2 or 3% a year they should also limit their own to 2-3% on the resale value of their mobile home. Furthermore, these mobile homes ARE MOBILE, they can be moved.
    Beach real estate is PREMIUM REAL ESTATE and not everyone can afford to live within a mile of the beach, there are many nice mobile home parks in more inland locations.Again, why should ONLY MOBILE HOME PARK OWNERS be SINGLED OUT and forced to subsidize these folks so they can continue to live in an area they really have been priced out of?It seems to me if the city wants to keep the rents below market the city should have to buy these mobile home parks and run them.
    • ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 4, 2014 at 9:18 AM*The Park Owners are in bed with the developer groups …as you well know. They don’t worry….they will get their pound of flesh unless of course the City uses the big hammer of Eminent Domain. Then an arbitrary dollar value is set on the property by some nameless, faceless independent assessor consultant group. The purchasing developers who bid for the property to the city already have the leg up…..because they have been secretly bidding on that property for years. Do you really think that you will get a truly independt appraisal? The Park Owners do not want to use Webster’s Assessment Value….because they have been lobbying for years to keep those values lower than reality. They always wanted that Grandfather Clause instituted. However, when the decision to close down the property is made…..then they want the maximum reward. The folks that occupy the units are the ones who will be squeezed in the process. Therefore, the City Fathers need to intercede and make sure that a true replacement value be placed on each unit. If folks want to keep their units and move them – those costs should be paid by the Developer Group. If the units are destroyed as they were in Newport Beach – the entire value upwards of $80,000 was paid per unit. A Consumer Attorney Group needs to represent the Unit owners….not the Park Ownership….which will always make out like the “Frito Bandito”!
      • ReplyanonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 9:46 AMThat is simply not true.
        Closing down a mobile home park is horrendously difficult, the state is littered with lawsuits over that very issue.
        And your right, the park owners essentially have to BUY THEIR OWN LAND BACK in order to close a park:” …the entire value upwards of $80,000 was paid per unit.”I’m sure that was for the LAND (remember these folks are only renting the space) and then they could take and move their mobile home to a new location.
        Having a mobile home park on your property LESSENS THE VALUE of your land because of all the regulations and difficulties in shutting a park down.
        The mobile home renters hold most of the cards in this game.
      • ReplyMERCEDESPosted January 8, 2015 at 6:47 PMI am a mobile home park owner and own the park with my two brothers. What we have done with our residents is give them 30 year leases. This way the owners feel secure for a long period of time. We do have a clause in our lease that rent goes up with inflation, but no more. Our residents seem to be very happy with the situation. We are also in the process of subdividing our park so that owners have the option of buying the land underneath their coaches if they wish. However, if they don’t want to, they are protected under a long term lease.This seems to be a good compromise for everyone involved and we have had few complaints from our residents. We are a family owned park and have had it for more than 30 years.
        • ReplyVern NelsonPosted January 8, 2015 at 9:20 PMThat is how it should be Mercedes, and good for you and your brothers. From what I understand, all the problems are with the parks owned by CORPORATIONS, particularly by a corporation named JOHN SAUNDERS LLC. Hope you can keep your park family-owned for many years to come!
        • ReplyGreg DiamondPosted January 8, 2015 at 10:38 PMThank you for being an enlightened business owner. May your flock increase.
        • ReplyjoanPosted July 17, 2015 at 12:09 PMwhat park is that?
        • ReplyBarbaraPosted August 16, 2018 at 6:33 PMWhat is the name of your park. I would love to live with an owner who has integrity.
    • ReplyIngePosted August 4, 2014 at 9:34 AMYour position sounds like someone who supports the Republican/Teaparty point of view.
      • ReplyanonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 9:50 AMNope, but I am able to look at BOTH SIDES OF AN ISSUE. Something that you seem incapable of.
      • ReplyJudy McClellanPosted November 27, 2018 at 9:00 AMInge…I was thinking the exact same thing.
    • ReplyVern NelsonPosted August 4, 2014 at 10:26 AMThe reason rent control is called-for and appropriate in the case of mobile home parks, and the reason it’s not singling mobile home owners out for special treatment, is precisely that they got the OPPOSITE sort of special treatment in California land-lease law – where the only rule governing how highly or frequently a mobile home owner’s rent (or land lease) can be raised is 90-day notice.California Code 798.30.Hence, sudden unexpected rent hikes of 62% or so. On people with fixed incomes. I dunno, that sounds unfair to most people who hear about it. And you’re more sympathetic to the investors who figure this out and jump in to take advantage of this windfall?You know, i don’t think you read the article, the more I read your comment.
      • ReplyanonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 10:55 AMActually Vern, the 90 days is STRICTER for mobile home parks than it is for apartments (for those WITHOUT a lease). From CA.GOV;How much advance notice must the landlord give the tenant?If you have a month-to-month (or shorter) periodic rental agreement, the landlord must give you at least 30 days’ advance written notice of a rent increase.The landlord must give you at least 30 days’ advance notice if the rent increase is 10 percent (or less) of the rent charged at any time during the 12 months before the rent increase takes effect.
        The landlord must give you at least 60 days’ advance notice if the rent increase is greater than 10 percent of the rent charged at any time during the 12 months before the rent increase takes effect. home park owners operate under a whole separate set of restrictive laws under HCD.
    • ReplyLBalesterHPosted September 10, 2014 at 10:12 PMWriting here from my stuffy upstairs apartment, with my husband and two kids and a grandchild on the way, while my 2004 3X2, 1200 sqft manufactured home sits empty and abandoned at Pacific Mobile Home Park……I wonder have any of you bloggers experienced this??!! So easy to spew all your ideas and laws and info…..take a minute of your time to speak to some one who has lived and lost in John Saunders Mobile Home Park. A man who owns 4M acres of property in the OC and just bought another twin towers building in irvine or Tustin in August!I was a property owner. Lived in Pacific MHP for 16 years. Raised my children and grand children. Hoped to stay another two years get my son through LB State, sell and buy a little cabin in Running Spring. John Saunders put a stop to all that! Got our first rent increase $100 right after he bought the park, didn’t even know it had been sold which was a violation of the Ca mobile home law. Three months later got the second notice for rent increase of $300. Decided to sell. That was 11 months ago.For 10 months I begged John Saunders and his associate Phillip Anshutz and his manager Mike Cirillo to please work with me to sell my house. To lock my current rent in to the new buyer or offer a lease agreement with a fixed rate of increase to make my home more attractive but NO! Even bringing my home price down to $75, when it was appraised for $148, brought me no buyer! August I was forced to surrender my home to the bank because we were looking at another 13% rent increase in a couple of months!Now where are my rights? My right to sell for what my home was appraised for, my right to make the decision to sell when I wanted to instead of being forced out?!!! What happened to my rights? Costs about 40, to move a manufactured home, don’t have that and you have to have a lawyer to enforce the meager laws on the books to protect MH owners, savings depleted by John Saunders rent hikes. And won’t be voting this November since our great city council sided with John Saunders who is not even a resident of this city.Our families have lived in this city for decades, my husabnds grandfather shoes the horses in HB and owned two black smith shops in HB. My brother still shapes surfboards here and we have history here. We have lived and lost everything in this city because of John Saunders. Don’t really feel like siding with him if you get my drift!
      • ReplyVern NelsonPosted September 10, 2014 at 11:14 PMI’m working on an update to this sad story, Leslie. I’ll be contacting you.
        • ReplyGreg DiamondPosted September 11, 2014 at 1:13 AMVern, talk to other, more responsible mobile home park owners about what they think of this tactic — and whether it is legal. If they think it isn’t, they have standing to file suit against this guy for an uncompetitive business practice under state law. I bet that I know an attorney or two that would be interested in taking such a case if their own business lawyer wouldn’t do so.
        • ReplyLbalesterHPosted September 11, 2014 at 7:26 AMThanks Vern, my family is really struggling right now. Been a very hard year.
    • ReplyScottPosted March 19, 2017 at 9:41 PMI agree but the question is can those people afford to move their homes and will other parks nearby or within the state accept used/older mobile homes? As much as I feel for those people, they should have done their homework before buying their homes and prepared themselves financially so they wouldn’t have ended up in the situation they’re in.
    • ReplyhandonePosted May 27, 2017 at 10:12 AMHey Anonster; Most HUMAN beings that aren’t greedy money mongers with no cares about another HUMAN’s right to live. Developers & Investors buy property all the time, develop it & usually, make their money by putting up dwellings for people to live in or offices to rent for business, etc. They buy “VACANT LAND”.There has to be some law of sorts or boundaries for people whose actions affect the welfare of another person’s Life. This is America., Right? Just because we are not wealthy doesn’t mean we are here to be tortured, treated like slaves, to cast a side to the street curbs, or have that right to live taken away.They were there 1st, have you never heard ” POSSESSION IS 9/10 OF THE LAW.” Are you aware of the amount it cost to move a mobile home? try 5,000.00 minimum. Are you aware that after a mobile home is 10 years old, they are not accepted in 90% of other mobile home Parks, some less than that.I can go on & on, but feel you are not aware of any of these, otherwise you wouldn’t have the audacity to write a reply as heartless as this one. Either you are another LLC without concern for anything or anyone but you & your bank account, your opinion is a insufficient as your bank account probably is.It’s people like you that have made AMERICA a horrible place to live now, along with it’s soon to be it’s demise. You need to read the bible to see what yours will be. King James version, JAMES: 5; 1-5, what will happen to the heartless wealthy.
      • ReplyJudy McClellanPosted November 27, 2018 at 9:37 AMHandone…your post is well written and 100% true. It is a shame what is happening in America because of excessive greed.I live in a valley town in California. I have always been independent and able to take care of my self and my needs. I worked for years and years and my income was around $48,000 a year. I paid my taxes which was around 29%. A lot more than what some rich people are paying. I had some savings when I retired but knew I would have to depend on a combination of savings and earned social security when I retired. I paid my taxes. I have always paid rent and was lucky enough to get fair rents with landlords that were decent and fair. I have never rented from a corporate owners but I have read stories about them and knew how greedy they are. I was lucky enough to have worked in property management but the people I have worked for were fair and only did increases that were fair to their residents and if the residents were outstanding and paid their rents on time, they were allowed to do a longer lease.Yes, I know these kind of owners are almost obsolete in this money grabbing, greedy world where huge corporations are taking over. Like I said I was lucky….UNTIL this last year. Rents are being raised outrageously and there are very few places that have affordable rents in the town where I live. I managed to have a longer lease from my previous landlord so when he sold the property I had one year left on my lease which the new owners reluctantly honored after my old landlord assured them that I was a resident they would want to keep. He gave me a very good recommendation. My neighbors did not have a lease so their rents were raised $150 more a month almost immediately. My new landlord informed me that after my lease expired which will be at the end of 2019, there will be no more leases and that my rent will go up quite a bit more than my neighbors and that they had planned to take advantage since I was in a two bedroom instead of a one bedroom.The rents in this town have more than doubled so I expect to probably be homeless. Here I am a senior citizen that has always worked hard and lived a frugal but doable life but I managed. I have always lived alone. I do have children but they are struggling with making ends meet with their own high rents and with their growing families. I do not want to be a burden at 74 years old. I have a year to find a place and with the rents just getting higher and higher…I do not know if I will find a place I can afford.Our town like the majority of towns will do nothing to help the homeless. It is a sad situation for sure and all I can do is continue to look and hope that I find someone that is fair minded and will give me an affordable rent so that I will not be out on the streets, otherwise I too will be homeless. I feel so bad, not only for myself but for all the seniors that have been self dependent and reliable and that now will be homeless and afraid, because of this unfairness and greed.
    • ReplyJack BustamantePosted October 12, 2021 at 10:59 PMWhat an idiot you are! Sure mobile homes can be moved, but only someone as stupid as you would move it from place to place like an RV. 99% of the time the only time a “mobile home” is moved is from the manufacturer’s property to it’s new owners rented or owned lot. It cost anywhere from $20,000.00 to $50,000.00 to move and set-up a mobile home FOOL.
  9. ReplyJan Van HoutenPosted August 4, 2014 at 10:23 AMI am a 77 year old single female. I purchased a mobile home in Pacific Mobile Home Park in Huntington Beach in 2003. The home was in need of considerable repair. I paid $45,000.00 for it. I completely upgraded everything….granite counter tops, stainless steel sink, had the walls “taped and textured” over the paneling, laminate floors, a new pitched roof, etc. My space had a small back yard, parking for approximately 5 cars.I loved living there and had planned to spend the rest of my life there. However, when the new owners raised my rent by $300.00 a month over a 6 month period, I could no longer afford to live there. And, according to the formula, I lost $30,000.00 when I sold my place for only for $35,000.00.
    • ReplyVern NelsonPosted August 4, 2014 at 10:31 AMAnd I have heard Jan’s story over a dozen times. And it’s apparently happened literally hundreds of times in HB, these last few years.Anonster asks, why don’t I also give the park owners’ story? I don’t feel like it, why should I? They get heard in the halls of power. They’ve been paying for elections in this town – glossy mailers for politicians who will support them – for many years. And they can even pipe up here in the comments section if they want, they won’t be censored. But you all should know by now that THIS blog comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable (as much as we can while trying to get the story as accurate as possible of course!)
      • ReplyanonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 11:11 AMYou’re going to prevent the existing owners from making a profit on their by-any-other-measure valuable real estate by making it impossible via rent-control for the new owners to make a profit on their purchase.
        The rents have to be commensurate with the purchase price of the property, i.e., cap rate.
        A mobile home park is a business, and as a business needs to be profitable. I think it is UNFAIR to single them out, again MAKE THE CITY STEP UP AND BUY THESE PARKS and then they can subsidize the rents.
        • ReplyRyan CantorPosted August 4, 2014 at 12:53 PMThis isn’t a case of the state stepping in to cap or eliminate private land owner profits or use rights. It’s about an unconscionable contract and promissory estoppel.The home owners made an investment in their own personal property and the community made an investment (schools, parks, etc.) Based on the assumed fair dealing and good faith of a property owner. Based on what’s posted here, the land owner has made demonstrable efforts to bypass the traditional market, including what could be some fairly extraordinary attempts to artificially constrain the market to his advantage, thus undermining a fundamental premise of the American contract system: a fair exchange of promise and a meeting of the minds.This is definitively NOT about property rights. Stating it is abuses the serious attacks made on private individuals by the state for the last sixty years.
          • Vern NelsonPosted August 4, 2014 at 1:07 PMWhat Ryan said. Especially “promissory estoppel!”
          • anonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 3:21 PMWhat a bunch of BS.First off, the city of Huntington Beach IS trying to impose RENT CONTROL on ONE type of property owner. Rent control DOES
            “cap or eliminate private land owner profits or use rights”.Secondly, what is really happening here is that these parks for whatever reason are being sold (for less than they’re probably worth if it were just bare land) and the new owners have to raise the rents to cover their investment, that’s capitalism. It’s also probably true that many of these parks rents were under-market and now are adjusting for inflation. Some of these mobile home owners could probably move their units to another mobile home park inland and STILL sell their “space” and some will have to sell and move on. Doesn’t the same thing happen to apartment dwellers when there is a condo-conversion or a change in ownership? Why not force rent control on apartment owners too?Lastly, I don’t know about “unconscionable contract and promissory estoppel” perhaps you can cite case law where it has been used successfully in this type of situation. It seems to me if the abuses that Vern alleges are true, the courts are the proper venue for redress and all the other mobile home park owners should not be singled out for punishment too.
          • Ryan CantorPosted August 4, 2014 at 4:33 PMBs, indeed. A bold retort.FYI, that’s not capitalism. This kind of robber baron market manipulation was eliminated by the GOP at the turn of the last century.Capitalism depends on the predictability of law and contracts. To do that, we can’t tolerate abuse of the law and fairness to overwhelmingly bias the returns of one investor over another.Richer does not mean more important. The tenant in this case has substantially more capital invested, as well as intangible attachment included, in the parcel than the landlord. Your argument presupposes the same condition that would allow an employer to refuse to negotiate with an employee union: it’s my business and I do what I want.Commerce isn’t that simplistic. If we allowed that kind of abuser to profit from failing to negotiate in good faith, you’d end up with real socialism because the social contract won’t support that inequity.The guy bought a mobile home park. If he wants to convert its use to something else, he can buy out his tenants investment at fair market value. He can’t push everyone out on the cheap by being an asshole. That’s properly labeled feudalism.
          • anonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 5:20 PMMore nonsense!
            Free tip: You have to do more than just string together some big words, they have to make sense too.“This kind of robber baron market manipulation was eliminated by the GOP at the turn of the last century.”Then who and what caused the stock market crash of 1929?” The tenant in this case has substantially more capital invested, as well as intangible attachment included, in the parcel than the landlord.”I could slice and dice this, but that would be too easy. I’d rather have Ryan try and FACTUALLY back up this incredibly absurd statement.“Your argument presupposes the same condition that would allow an employer to refuse to negotiate with an employee union: it’s my business and I do what I want.”Happens all the time, it’s called union busting, as in using scab labor. Not relevant anyway.“Commerce isn’t that simplistic. If we allowed that kind of abuser to profit from failing to negotiate in good faith, you’d end up with real socialism because the social contract won’t support that inequity.”Why don’t you try being a bit more specific. I’m addressing rent control, usually landlords can raise their rents (if there isn’t a lease or rent control ) to whatever the market will bear. Are you disputing that?“The guy bought a mobile home park. If he wants to convert its use to something else, he can buy out his tenants investment at fair market value. He can’t push everyone out on the cheap by being an asshole.”Ca Mobile Home Law already addresses that issue, sometimes individual cities add on even more regulations (I thought you conservatives hated that kind of stuff), but what does that have to do with rent control?
          • anonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 5:25 PMForgot this gem:“Capitalism depends on the predictability of law and contracts. To do that, we can’t tolerate abuse of the law and fairness to overwhelmingly bias the returns of one investor over another.”Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!! What country are you livin’ in?
          • Ryan CantorPosted August 4, 2014 at 7:24 PMI live in the United States of America, anonster. Shame you won’t join us.
    • ReplyanonsterPosted August 4, 2014 at 11:43 AMI’m sorry that you lost money, but for renters there is always a risk that the property will be sold and there will be a big rent increase.
      And there are no guarantees for ANYONE that their investment will make money, many, many homeowners have lost money in this economy.
      But it is very different when the government steps in and singles out one type of property owner and unduly burdens them with the city’s (in this case, affordable housing) responsibilities.I also take issue with this:“The plan, which seemed like a fine one, was that by the time their two daughters were born, Crystal could afford to be a stay-at-home mother. That used to be the American Dream, wasn’t it? And they deserved it. But it won’t work now, with Saunders’ exorbitant rent hikes: Crystal’s going to have to go find a job again. Sorry little girls, mommy has to go to work now, to satisfy the mobile home park corporation’s bottomless hunger for profits.”Why should the property owners be responsible for Crystal’s dream? How many people work in Orange County but live in Riverside County over affordability issues (many of them apartment dwellers)? If Crystal wants to stay home, let them move their mobile home to RC where there are many, many mobile home parks that are more affordable. I would’ve loved to raise my kids in Laguna Beach, but I couldn’t afford it, should someone have been forced to take less for their house so I could have my dream? That would be ridiculous, but somehow when it comes to mobile home parks the ridiculous seems rational, why?
      • ReplyJudy McClellanPosted November 27, 2018 at 9:46 AMAnonster….blah, blah, blah….Greed as popular as it is, especially now..does not become anyone. No matter what you say, it is not a good thing.
  10. ReplydeadwhitemalePosted August 4, 2014 at 12:20 PMwe have to side with anonster on this. his facts are correct and well stated. maybe instead of spending 500K on a political race candidates could help buy this place.
  11. ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 4, 2014 at 3:03 PM*The worst part of the story….is that Jan’s story is nice…..she got to stay “IF” she could afford the rate increases. In Newport Beach, they made no such offer and the worst story of all was “The Moro Beach” Debacle. This lovely community, was raped, pilliaged and plundered by the Irvine Company and the State of California. It was a two prong attack that wiped out some lovely dwellings and have created a very nasty CA Beach Park….like looks like Coney Island. But hey, what will happen is a lot worse than rent increases….when the owners of the Park get made the right offer. They simply declare the area…..Blighted. Since they have no more money in their City Redevelopment Funds….(thank you Downtown Jerry Brown! – those funds were always very dirty!) …..they simply ask for the highest offer from Land Developers and Speculators…… Hey, you can’t beat it with a stick……..all the electeds get campaign contributions for the length of their terms and in new offices in the future. The renters are run off their land, ground closed, bulldozed and the next thing you know……you have another Radisson Highrise Hotel. They call it progress…..which we suppose it is if you want that bed tax to build your local fire or police agencies……or to pay for the county to be your protection. Meanwhile, the rich 1%ers up on Newport Coast…get to chat incessantly about getting rid of the White Trailer Trash…..along the coast!
    • ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 4, 2014 at 3:07 PM*We forgot: Oil Can Harry and Simon Legree…….both were owners and developers of Mobile Home Park land in prior lives.
  12. ReplyskallywagPosted August 4, 2014 at 4:01 PMI say kick the white trash out – if they can’t build a 10 – 12 million dollar mega-mansion (minimum) they don’t belong on the coast – check out the Strand.
  13. ReplyDavid ZengerPosted August 4, 2014 at 6:15 PMInstead of rent control why not use HB government to protect the zone? No up-zoning means no incentive to clear out mobile home parks.And yes, Matt Harper does have the rather weird tendency to giggle loudly like a school girl. Quite off-putting.
    • ReplyGreg DiamondPosted August 4, 2014 at 6:42 PMNot so offputting if you enjoy “Three Little Maids” from The Mikado.
      • ReplyDavid ZengerPosted August 4, 2014 at 6:49 PMI doubt that Harper is a fan of Gilbert and Sullivan.Well, come to think of it it, maybe he is. He seems to be waiting for his political ship to come in: H.M.S Pinafore.
        • ReplyGreg DiamondPosted August 4, 2014 at 7:04 PMI’ll stick with The Mikado: After November, “and he’ll none of him be missed.”
  14. ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 4, 2014 at 7:40 PM*”Madam Butterfly”…..really? More like “Flower Drum Song”….”What are we going to do with the younger generation?’……..
    • ReplyMudgePosted August 4, 2014 at 8:53 PMIs this what people mean by “a comment in the style of the Winships”?Diamond, on the other hand, might have learned law from the Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe:“Allow me, as an old Equity draftsman, to make a
      suggestion. The subtleties of the legal mind are equal to the
      emergency. The thing is really quite simple–the insertion of a
      single word will do it. Let it stand that every fairy shall die
      who doesn’t marry a mortal, and there you are, out of your
      difficulty at once!”
      • ReplyGreg DiamondPosted August 4, 2014 at 8:59 PMThe Lord Chancellor and I are not on speaking terms.
        • ReplyMudgePosted August 4, 2014 at 9:27 PM“The law is the true embodiment
          of everything that’s excellent
          it has no kind of fault or flaw
          and I, my lords, embody the law.”What’s not to like?
          • Greg DiamondPosted August 4, 2014 at 11:14 PMWell, for one, he’s fictional. Speaking terms become difficult.
  15. Replytruck drivin’ mikePosted August 4, 2014 at 10:07 PMthis is a tough one,,,,do i side with the residents, increase their rents and improve my monthly cash flow..or do i side with the owners and protect my property values and long term assets,,,,greg?
    • ReplyGreg DiamondPosted August 4, 2014 at 11:14 PMYes, I think your conclusion was correct. You side with Greg.
  16. ReplyMudgePosted August 5, 2014 at 7:10 AMFor those not in on the joke:I only meant to allude to Greg’s typos. I know nothing about his legal skill.
  17. ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 5, 2014 at 7:39 AM*Yes Mudge, please contact the Royal Chancellor of the Exchequer……they will give you the proper bureaucratic and financial response…..all in one! “Buy Beach Property in Brighton, pay the huge rents and be prepared for years of fog!” “Otherwise, contact the Irvine Company and just ask them for rental projections for the next 10 years.” The results will be the same and the Mobile parks will be gone!
  18. ReplyJudy WrightPosted August 10, 2014 at 12:46 PMDear Councilman Katapodis:Did you actually approve a November 2014 ballot measure re rent control to allow Huntington Beach voters to express their support for protection of mobile home park residents? Did you actually change your mind, and will no longer support the ballot measure? Are you actually receiving financial remuneration from the Huntington Beach park owners to disenfranchise park residents?My husband (77) and I (71) have lived in our mobile home for just one year. We hoped we could spend the rest of our physically degenerating lives in peace and quiet as we prepare our hearts, minds and souls for our final change of address: eternal heaven. But, alas, we find ourselves in the midst of corporate terrorism and government corruption! You are DISTURBING OUR PEACE! You are personally instrumental in threatening our very existence.We see your kind every night on the news: Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Hamas, et al. Then there’s Russia swooping over Ukraine threatening her sovereignty and occupying her land. You are as much a terrorist as they are! The irony is that our federal government is equally terroristic! Why? Greed and power! Our President has successfully remade our country and trashed our Constitution. Consider the IRS scandal, VA scandal, US Border scandal, Begahzi scandal, et al. You have excellent role models for evil! My analogy may seem farfetched, but it is not!How can we who are physically weak and financially limited in resources resist such terrorism? If we cannot trust our local government to protect and serve our minority status, who can we trust?Maybe we should/could band together and refuse to pay rent increases. We could vote in our HOA to establish a cut-off date to pay only our current rent amount, and not pay a penny more. Or we could agree to a fair annual increase based on national cost of living figures. If we were to stand united, the park owners would have a huge challenge attempting to evict ALL of us from our tiny patch of land. Perhaps park owners could file liens against our mobile homes, but to what end … our homes depreciate faster than automobiles. They could cut off our gas, water and electricity … but it would be difficult to justify such draconian tactics since we would still be paying our original rent amounts.We could join together and march (or roll in our wheel chairs and scooters) en mass on city hall. Attending Council meetings has been a waste of time. What other recourse is there for us?Just imagine the publicity! It would have national proportions. You and your park owner cohorts would become as infamous as Bernie Madoff.Sir, this is a moral issue! Check your conscience and determine where a servant of the people – even especially old folks – should stand.Respectfully,
  19. ReplyHBnativePosted August 10, 2014 at 1:37 PMAnonster, I’m really touched by your concern for the corporate park owners who are having trouble having their side heard. It must suck to have only endless deep pockets to buy countless lawyers, lobbyists, full page ads in the OC Register and mailings to thousands of HB voters, not to mention being able to purchase politicians like Matt Harper. It must be terrifying to face down mobile home owners, many of them elderly and/or disabled people on low fixed incomes dealing with dozens of different disabilities and medical issues, from terminal cancer to dementia to Parkinson’s to being a caregiver to a terminally ill spouse, to grieving the death of a spouse to depression; anxiety over losing the home that many thought they would live their last days in.The reason that the city is being asked to step in and help is because the greedy NEW corporate owners have brought this on themselves by continually lying to the city council and the resident home owners time and again, refusing to negotiate in good faith with the home owners, and by engaging in practices that strip vulnerable people of their homes and their entire life savings. This isn’t an unfortunate situation these corporations found themselves in, it is their deliberate business practice that has ruined people’s lives in hundreds of mobile home parks that they have bought up in many states. They hold too many of the cards, because they can raise rents by unlimited amounts while (in the John Saunders parks) refusing to allow the home owner to sell to qualified buyers until out of desperation we allow our property to essentially be stolen by the park owner.At Rancho Huntington they’ve already been requiring every new resident, and coercing many of the long-time residents, into signing 25-year leases that strip homeowners of any benefit from possible rent stabilization, while not actually giving any guarantee of what rent will be even a year from now. The majority of the manufactured home owners are not trying to make a profit by selling their homes, they are trying to stay in what they thought would be their last home.And you can bet that if the manufactured home owners were wealthy or politically connected enough to benefit Matt Harper and the rest of the opportunists in HB politics personally, in a blink of an eye Harper and the rest would be calling them heroes instead of implying that they are part of the inevitable slope toward Communist sex offender trailer park trash or whatever Harper’s latest intemperate remarks are.Like his mentor, Dana Rohrbacher, Harper’s ideology and principles extend only as far as his own bank account and political aspirations. Harper certainly dropped his pro-taxpayer and pro-govt accountability principles in a hurry when Janet Nguyen quietly moved him into a lucrative position as head of Orange County Waste Management public relations, without Matt having to be troubled to actually bother with trivial matters such as applying, interviewing, or showing that he was most qualified for the job at a time when the county had a hard hiring freeze and the national job market was flooded with thousands of more qualified P.R. professionals. Interesting how that job somehow got left out of his campaign biography.Last year at a council meeting Jill Hardy said in a patronizing way that it is sometimes hard for long time residents of HB to watch the changes in this city. We’re not idiots, and we know that certain changes were inevitable, but city councils and mayors going all the way back to the 1970s have personally profited while allowing outside developers and corporate interests to destroy much of what was beautiful and unique about the city and drive many long-time residents, even entire families, to leave the city. It feels like this is now just another cookie cutter resort destination, expensive residential, shopping area, not a community. I guess the elderly, disabled, and poor have to be driven out as quickly as possible since they aren’t as lucrative as yet another stucco monstrosity looming over downtown and the pier.
    • ReplyanonsterPosted August 11, 2014 at 9:05 AMWhy are you folks so sketchy when it comes to the FACTS?I am ALWAYS SUSPICIOUS when I read something that is so obviously biased and misleading like Vern’s post here. If the FACTS were enough to sway my opinion I assume they would have been used.It’s very, very easy to demonize the so-called “corporate park owners” in a fact-free diatribe pitting over-simplified, stereo-types like “the wealthy and powerful corporate machine” against “poor old grandma”, but is that the way it REALLY IS?Here are some questions that Vern either ignored or purposely misled on:1) How much were the original rents and how much were they raised (park by park) and over what time period?2) Did the new owners make any capital improvements?
      Many of these parks are older and have aging infrastructure that can be extremely costly to fix and/or maintain.3) What were the terms of these “25 year leases”?
      Usually a “lease” is protection against rent increases, whereas month-to-month rentals offer less protection.4) Are all the new corporate owners large corporations?
      Not ALL “corporations” are huge wealthy conglomerates with lawyers and lobbyists at their disposal, some are just mom and pop operations who’ve incorporated to protect themselves from lawsuits.5) Have the park residents sued either the new owners or the former owners?
      Fear of lawsuits or actual lawsuits from residents can be the final impetus for a “family owned” park to want or have to sell.6) How much did the new owners have to pay for these parks?
      We all know that real estate in Huntington Beach is extremely pricey, shouldn’t the residents have expected a rent increase, after all a mobile home park is a business and not a charity?
      Of course the original or long term owners could keep the rents lower as their original investment was smaller, but as land values have skyrocketed the new owners have a much larger investment (millions) they have to make that money back. If the city wants to keep these parks for low or middle income housing they should purchase them or help the residents do so.7) If illegal shenanigans are taking place shouldn’t they be addressed in court via a LAWSUIT? Why punish all mobile home park owners for the (possible) illegal actions of a few?
      • ReplyVern NelsonPosted August 13, 2014 at 4:05 PMI’m not sure why anonster is so passionate about this issue, from a different perspective than what we’d expect from a progressive. But since he/she is so persnickety about his/her anonymity that I can’t even use a his/her pronoun on him/her, I won’t ask. Here are answers to his/her questions from Bruce Binder, a progressive in the thick of this fight, hailing from “Rancho Huntington Beach.”1) How much were the original rents and how much were they raised (park by park) and over what time period?[BB] Originally rents ran below $1,000 with 2.5%-3% annual increases. (The family owned parks still follow this model.) Speaking for Rancho Huntington, we started getting raises of %5+ 3 years ago. Now they are ranging 15% to 20% or more. Pacific and Shore Cliffs were much worse.2) Did the new owners make any capital improvements?
        Many of these parks are older and have aging infrastructure that can be extremely costly to fix and/or maintain.[BB] Speaking for parks of the two worst owners, there have been NO capital improvements.3) What were the terms of these “25 year leases”?
        Usually a “lease” is protection against rent increases, whereas month-to-month rentals offer less protection.[BB] The leases are 6% minimum increase with no cap, pass throughs of operating expenses, 5 year rent reevaluation based on rents in a 100 mile radius, 10 year 20% increase and 20% increase at end of lease. 21 pages of fine print that took myself and an experienced lawyer in mobile home park leases many weeks to ferret out.4) Are all the new corporate owners large corporations?
        Not ALL “corporations” are huge wealthy conglomerates with lawyers and lobbyists at their disposal, some are just mom and pop operations who’ve incorporated to protect themselves from lawsuits.[BB] No they are not. But the Saunders and Kort & Scott have led the way in devastating their parks.5) Have the park residents sued either the new owners or the former owners?
        Fear of lawsuits or actual lawsuits from residents can be the final impetus for a “family owned” park to want or have to sell.[BB] There were never any suits. Everyone was quite happy before the robber barons moved in.6) How much did the new owners have to pay for these parks?
        We all know that real estate in Huntington Beach is extremely pricey, shouldn’t the residents have expected a rent increase, after all a mobile home park is a business and not a charity?
        Of course the original or long term owners could keep the rents lower as their original investment was smaller, but as land values have skyrocketed the new owners have a much larger investment (millions) they have to make that money back. If the city wants to keep these parks for low or middle income housing they should purchase them or help the residents do so.[BB] While this is true, the amount they paid and the failure to make improvements does not justify what they have done with rents.7) If illegal shenanigans are taking place shouldn’t they be addressed in court via a LAWSUIT? Why punish all mobile home park owners for the (possible) illegal actions of a few?[BB] If this writer would like to fund us, we would love to sue. Our owners have very deep pockets.Enough FACTS for you anonster?
        • ReplyanonsterPosted August 13, 2014 at 8:24 PMFirst off Vern, your post was short on facts and long on hyperbole and anecdotes.Secondly, I am all for affordable housing, but I think the community should be responsible for providing it and not push that off onto one type of private property owner. The city and/or the state could buy these parks or help the residents buy and maintain them. I do however have one caveat, I’m against turning these parks into senior only housing. I worry MORE about affordable housing for YOUNG PEOPLE, we always seem to choose seniors over the young and I think as a society we give way too much to the old and way too little to the young.And lastly, I still think we’re short on facts like actual rent numbers, cost of the parks , etc., and I find the terms of those “leases” a little unbelievable, but if all the abuses alleged are true the residents need to go get a plaintiffs attorney that works on contingency.
          • Vern NelsonPosted August 14, 2014 at 8:15 AMI’m still not sure you read the story. Nobody is talking about “turning a park into senior only.” Many of them WERE senior only, and have been for years or decades; the owners were doing the opposite as long as they were allowed, and making them “all age” so they could charge more.I think my use of anecdotes was fair. I could have gone on ten times as long. I made a point to include people who were not being absolutely devastated – I could have stuck with THOSE people for a LONG time but it woulda been boring and depressing.And why do I always have to hear this “it’s not illegal” stuff? When I write about stuff that’s wrong, sometimes it’s illegal and sometimes it’s not, but it’s still wrong (in the estimation of most of us.)
          • anonsterPosted August 14, 2014 at 11:34 AMThe reason I object to anecdotal stories, is that they are “stories” and they are often shaded or have left out pertinent facts. When trying to judge the fairness of a situation the cold hard facts have to be included.
            Like it or not the truth of the matter here is that a lot of these mobile home park residents were paying under-market rents for years and when the parks got sold the rents started readjusting to reflect the true cost of the real estate.I still contend that affordable housing is a COMMUNITY VALUE AND RESPONSIBILITY and as such the cost should be born by the entire community and not pushed off onto some private individual(s). If cities or the state want to keep and maintain their mobile home parks as low income/affordable housing then they need to step up and either help the residents buy them or they can buy them and run them.As for the senior only part your right, I misunderstood, although I still feel that affordable housing opportunities should be available for all ages. I know too many young people who are struggling with low wages, high rents and huge student loans and I’d like to see them get some breaks too.
          • LindaPosted February 7, 2017 at 1:14 AMHere are some facts for you. We pay 1400 month for a two bedroom townhouse in Huntington Beach. This comes with a garage and a sizeable patio. These poor people are paying 2000 upward for a spit of land not much bigger than a long driveway. They also have the very, very real possibility of losing their entire investment. Do you? NO! So how can you possibily feel that charging 2 grand upwards a month is equitable to the rest of the city,. You need to look around dude and see what you can get for 2 grand a month here in HB. It would be in the stick house 3 bedroom 2 bath range, Not just a driveway,
        • ReplyBest we can getPosted September 12, 2014 at 4:14 PMLeases have been negotiated with annual increases less than 6% with a standard 10% cap plus a provision not to exceed market. Clauses like a 5 year rent reevaluation based on rents in a 100 mile radius, 10 year 20% increase and 20% increase at end of lease were all eliminated, plus the addition of other terms to help the homeowner with estate planning have all been added without benefit of an attorney. Is that what we wanted? No but is was the best that could be gotten on a one on one basis and keep rents from going up 15% or more.
  20. ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 10, 2014 at 2:39 PM*Do not dispare Ms. Judy…..just follow the grand example of Community Activism that actually works in our society. Follow the example of the Leisure World retired Navy husbands and wives in Los Alimitos. They drive their Golf Carts, create their own rules and regulations for good conduct and get great lawyers willing to defend the weak as well as willing to take 20% of all the punitive damages they can find. Do the right thing….fight like heck dear Ms. Judy. It will add 10 years to your life knowing you can still screw over the big guys….every now and then. Start printing up your flyers and delivering them to every Park resident. Go the Management and let them know what “the entire community” is up to and suggest that they “Lawyer up!” immediately. Explain to them where the bear lives in the woods and where they do their business. What’s the worse that can happen? You might even win….especially if you let the City Council of HB know about every detail and how much you will be depending on them to do the right thing….or as those folks in Los Al say: “Or else!”
    • ReplyRicardo ToroPosted August 10, 2014 at 7:39 PMGreat words of encouragement, Ron&Anna,! What about contacting AARP?
      • ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 12, 2014 at 11:49 AM*Ricardo, you go fight the Vikane problem. We did…..they even named it a VOC…… It was not easy and sometimes frustrating. Change comes slowly..especially when greed raises its ugly head. Judy and the other tenants will do just fine…of course if you have a really cool Activist Attorney Group in LA…..that come down like Jim Vivatoe……let Judy know. It probably won’t mess up their wash and polish schedule for the Golf Cart Fundraiser.
  21. ReplyCarolyn HopkinsPosted August 11, 2014 at 5:35 PMThank you so much for your article,. Sadly you must know by now Jim Katapodis played us he is pulling out from helping us at a special meeting tonight Aug. 11, at city hall. I am a voting republican and don’t believe in rent control but since living in a mobile home park (Rancho Huntington) can see the legal loop hole that developers are coming in and taking advantage of. Your article proves that the citizens of Huntington Beach would not stand for this. Unfortunately the park owners (some of them) got to our city council at least they so called mayor was honest with his outrageous and unintelligent remarks.
  22. ReplyIngePosted August 12, 2014 at 6:03 PMOne of my classmates in my writing class told us a few months ago that she had to move her mobile home from Cypress to Anaheim because the space rent was no longer affordable. I did not see her when this article came out… until today. I told her about the troubles in Huntington beach. She wasn’t surprised.This is her story: She and her husband moved in to a mobile home park in Cypress across from the cemetery several years ago. Back then the owner of the park had owned it since the 60s. She was told when she moved in that the rent only went up $25 a year. Then last year the park was sold to Sierra Corporate Management who told residents their rent would go up $85 a month every month. That’s a whopping total of $1020.00 in the first year alone.She was lucky, they owned their home and could pay the $14,000.00 to have it moved. She checked in to this and discovered there are companies whose sole purpose is to destroy mobile home parks so they can make room for multi million dollar structures. Its not about the landlord wanting higher rents, its about legally (barely within the legal limits of the law) evicting people because they know these people can never pay the rents.
  23. ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 16, 2014 at 9:51 AM*One more chance to stick our finger in Anonster’s eye….on Affordable Housing! The State Law says “Increase Affordable Housing”….the Cities say: We have no land to develop to create Affordable Housing. Meanwhile, little places like Newport Beach will be adding multi-million dollar residential/commercial mixed properties in Fascist Island… passing a Charter Amendment in November which switches growth from Newport Coast to Fascist Island – in order to keep the traffic at Fascist Island…..not where the Elite Meet in Newport Coast. This is not a unique situation and when you take away…..affordable living units like a Mobile Home Park…….you should be forced to replace those affordable units before you run off in the heat of the day and make millions on the dead bodies on people on fixed income or the frugal…who actually want to live in a nice place. We just tore down one of the nicest Mobile Home Parks on the Penninsula…..but at least the owners of the park, got the City to pitch in and pay for the residents to either be bought out or pay for moving their Mobile Home. Thank God Governor Jerry Brown busted up the Redevelopment Agencies who used that term “Blight”….as probable cause for tearing down every Mobile Home, creating either high dollar residential in its place – or better yet……another Rehab Home for Lindsay Lohan types!
    • ReplyRon & Anna WinshipPosted August 16, 2014 at 10:07 AMP.S. The price of any new unit that will be available at Fascist island will be upwards of $700K to $3 Mill……hardly Affordable Housing….eh?
  24. ReplyTricia HolsombackPosted August 10, 2015 at 10:03 AMMy neighbors in a mobile home park in Orange county which is managed by Sierra are in dire need of help. Those trying to sell their homes are in competition with the park which owns many mobile homes whose owners lost to them either thru lawsuits or exorbitant space rent. The park offers huge discounted rent to those buyers of park owned homes, but not to buyers of private owners. They need direction and want publicity in their plight. How did this Huntington Beach situation end?
    • ReplyVern NelsonPosted August 10, 2015 at 10:29 AMI’m working on a sequel to this story; not very well in short. I’m also right in the middle of putting up a piece about similar stuff happening in San Juan Capistrano. Write me with details –
  25. ReplyBillPosted August 20, 2015 at 5:45 AMI’m trying to help a friend who owns a home at Rio Vista Mobile Estates in Anaheim. Seems like this is managed by Sierra Corporate Management(according to their web site) which Looks like is owned by Kort & Scott Financial Group. Anyway does anyone know what’s going on in this park? My friends rent is way up to over $1750 a month and increasing again in September. I see mobile homes for sale all over the park and nothing is selling. My friend bought her place a few years ago and the lease was only $1450….
    If you know something please let me know…
  26. ReplyThomasPosted November 3, 2015 at 2:52 PMThere is a scene in “A League of Their Own” where Tom Hanks says “THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL.” Well, there’s no crying in CAPITALISM either. If you make an investment, lose your shirt, SUCK IT UP! I lost $60,000.00 on a Real Estate Deal but learned a great lesson! I made money on other deals. A sound economy is based on Buyers and Sellers both believing they got a good deal for their resources, (ie. Time, Money, Effort, Personal Property, Real Property, etc…) When someone RENTS, they have a TIME CONSTRAINT. I can “rent” a theater seat for 2 hours or I can rent a condo for 2 years. Unless stated in the contract, there is no guarantee of what the rent will be for the next contract. Just because Granny could rent a HB spot for her little trailer for $100 in 1960 does not mean she can still rent it for $100 in 2015. Just compare the rent of a 4 Bedroom, 2 bath home in HB in 1960, in 1980, in 2000 and in 2015. Compare that to a MH rent spot. I think you will see that the MH spot faired much better as an affordable choice. The same with an apartment, hotel room or even just renting a room in a house. Look on Craigslist, room for rent in a house in HB, $1,400 a month, JUST FOR A ROOM. I’ve been to Russia and seen what “Affordable Government Housing” looks like. It’s makes our “Projects” look like Beverly Hills!
  27. ReplyTitaniumTruthPosted November 12, 2015 at 12:46 PMFacts, folks, just the facts. The Orange County Recorders Office shows the park sold for $46,400,000.00. ( Who said the trailer owners had more invested? ). Quick calculations, with 10% down, show a PITI payment of around $375,000 a month. There are 304 spots in the park and a park this size cost around $100,000 a month to run. It would appear that the break even point is around $1,675 per space, per month, IF all spaces were full and paying. I am a simple man but I really don’t see any profit until rents average $2,000 a month. Which is still a good deal as most apartments in the area are going for around $5,000 per month. If you want to blame anyone, blame the sellers for selling for $46M!
    • ReplyVern NelsonPosted November 12, 2015 at 1:40 PM1. Which park you talkin bout, Willis?
    • ReplyLindaPosted February 7, 2017 at 1:32 AMWhoa dude. What city did you look at? The BH? Sorry to burst your bubble, but here are the rent facts for the HB:Huntington Beach Average RentAs of December 2016, average apartment rent within the city of of Huntington Beach, CA is $2075.
      One bedroom apartments in Huntington Beach rent for $1810 a month on average and two bedroom apartment rents average $2225.Source:
      • ReplySusie LezamaPosted May 20, 2021 at 8:46 AMRent is insane right now!!! A 2 bedroom in HB with 1,250 sqft avg (1 garage space) is $3,300 -$4k+. If you don’t believe me, do a search. I have been looking for a place to live for 1 month now. The irony is I will be applying to live at the Shorecliffs, as it is the best deal in town. Other note, great article & eye opening to the sad circumstances of affordable housing for our seniors. Next time, I will think twice about rent control issues when voting.
  28. ReplyTitanium TruthPosted November 17, 2015 at 8:11 PMAhh, my young Padewan is seeking knowledge. This is a good thing. For do we really have the “Robber Barons” vs the “Trailer Owners?” Whilst a trip to ‘Ye Olde Recorders Office” wouldest reveal the truth to you, I know thou art busy with thine Piano Playing and Nancy Pelosi schmoozing. So another trip, I did take. It turns out the Huntington Shorecliffs was purchased for $56,750,000.00 and it currently has a Mortgage of $52,000,000.00. This park has around 300 spaces +/-. Pacific Mobile Home Park was purchased for $46,400,000 and currently has a mortgage of $52,000,000.00. This park has around 250 spaces +/-. Ye wonderful olde Orange County Tax Assessor taxes at a rate of 1.25% so HS Property Taxes are around $710,000.00 a year and PM is around $580,000 a year. Sir Nelson, you can do the rest of the mathematics, you are a smart individual (Hint: $50,000,000 loan for 30 years at 5.25% is a payment of $273,800). Personally, I do not know what the tenants are paying, but at those purchase prices, unless the owners are getting a minimum of $2,000.00 a month per space, I would think that the investment would not be profitable! Yikes, $1,500 per space just covers the PITI! Another $200 for Maintenance, Management, Utilities and Capital Expenses! Let us all hope and pray that Mr. Saunders can make this work for if he does not and let’s them go back to the bank, canst you imagine what kind of Landlord a Multi-National Banking Conglomerate would be?!?! The “Robber Barons” vs the “Trailer Owners” would become the “TOO BIG TO FAIL BANKS backed by the US Government” vs the “Trailer Owners,” aka the sledge hammer vs the ant. Whilst I do feel deep compassion for the folks affected, I also understand that everyone would like to make some kind of profit on an investment. On a side note, I wish I could live that close to the beach for two grand a month!
    • ReplyRyan CantorPosted November 17, 2015 at 10:39 PMStupidity is not an excuse to unconscionably raise rents.
      • ReplyTitanium TruthPosted November 22, 2015 at 1:52 PMAh, “unconscionably”?! That would denote that there is some type of ‘moral code’ in force. Ms. Double T does not acquiesce to some esoteric ‘moral code’ or ‘emotional absolute’ or ‘compassionate quagmire.’ She has learned that all of these are creations of humankind and are thus FLAWED. The ONLY thing not flawed is THE TRUTH. Blog writers, such as our beloved Vern Nelson, just LOVE to play on the EMOTIONS of people, calling upon their compassion for some certain class of people. The further down that road you go, the blurrier the truth becomes.
    • ReplyVern NelsonPosted November 18, 2015 at 7:51 AMAll this means is that 1. the previous owners made out like bandits when they sold to Saunders and Coldren, and 2. Saunders and Coldren were intending to, and certain they’d be able to, raise rents unconscionably. Or else sell this property off to developers. I’m sure this is only the beginning.Good research Patrick.
    • ReplyLindaPosted February 7, 2017 at 1:40 AMIn HB, everyone lives pretty darn close to the Beach. The average rent in HB is $2075 as of Dec 2016. Looks to me the investors made a very stupid investment, Buyer beware, They actually thought they would get $2000 for the equivilant of a long driveway? Come on, nobody here looks that stupid to me,. He bought the land to drive them out and put a high dollar subdivision, retail, or resort buildings on the land, That’s what ‘robber barons’ do.Sidebar: I live in HB for $1400/mo 2 br townhouse, garage, laundry, and patio. But then my landlord’s not of the barony class
  30. ReplyTitanium TruthPosted January 19, 2016 at 12:46 AMMs. Double T decided to drive by the Star Management building in Santa Ana and two things struck her as peculiar. First, there is no name on the building. Second, the property is surrounded by a six foot wrought iron fence. And while the property is located in a seedier part of Santa Ana, it is just a Property Management Company, which begs the question of why all the secrecy and security? The search is on for MORE TRUTH as to why!!
  31. ReplyJ. Van DeusenPosted December 13, 2016 at 2:55 AMWow! I am stunned at the lack of compassion and am glad to have all this knowledge that has been provided by all of you. I grew up in HB, third generation and after buying a condo in Long Beach, selling it and buying a house in Wa. State I was thinking of down sizing to a mobile home.My house is just about paid off. I am 63 and semi-retired. As I age I realize that I can’t quite take on the projects I used to handle with ease and as time marches on I’m sure that will be the case more and more. So, after looking at the outrageous rents being charged in Wa. state and ridiculous prices for old mobile homes I decided to look around.In doing so, I came across some really great prices, too good to be true as it turns out. Yes, I was looking in my home town of Huntington Beach and it’s very interesting that the monthly space rents are rarely mentioned in the listings.I had to look up the parks by name and find units that had been sold recently in order to get an idea of the monthly space rent. I was in shock! $1800.00 for a place miles from the beach and over $2000.00 near the beach.You’ve got to be kidding! Not worth it at any price for the mobile home. After all, I am paying thousands to live in a little tin can as I see it, but I was willing to if I could find a well kept park that was 55+ with reasonable space rent. I do not consider myself trailer trash. From a house on a quarter acre to a small patch of cement would be a major adjustment, but I was willing to give it a try.Thank you for the awakening! I will stay in my home or move to a cheaper area so I can buy something smaller and one level. I read all the blogs and I am so sorry for the people that are being forced out at such a loss and at a time when they can least afford it.I am also ashamed to call HB my home town. It really does’t resemble anything that was great about it and I had forgotten the reason I left in the first place, to get out from behind the Orange Curtain. I can see nothing has changed in that respect. I do think there are still good people here and there fighting the fight. To those compassionate few, you renew my faith in humanity and prove how truly divided this country is.
  32. ReplyLindaPosted February 7, 2017 at 1:53 AMI am heartbroken for each and every one of you mobile home ‘owners’. BUT, I am so thankful for the information. My family recently came into some money vis a vis an inheritance and we were seriously looking into buying a mobile home. They looked so lovely with all the amenities that we wanted and low maintenance as I am 64 years old with a nasty back.,We were going to pay cash for a 4 bedroom with the ‘works’. But, as a researcher at heart, wanted to do my due diligence and boy, am I thankful I did,. This is not the only blog that told this horror story There are stories all over the net from all over the county telling pretty much the same and worse,Unless we can get a good deal in SJC, which is rent controlled for mobile homes, we will no longer be seeing a manufactured/mobile home as an option.I’d rather have a mortgage than lose my investment, Thank you everyone for telling your stories and also thank you to those who defended the ‘land owners’, I needed the laugh, and boy did I You’re all just too much.
    • ReplyScottPosted March 19, 2017 at 8:45 PMYou could buy your own land for the mobile home but research the costs first, they vary through out the country. As far as buying one in a park, you won’t lose it as long as it’s affordable and cost effective to move it to another park. Personally I’d recommend buying your own land to put it on.
  33. ReplySharonPosted March 22, 2019 at 2:33 AMSkip ahead to 2019 – same thing happening – same players.
    Check out the Rancho La Paz story at
    • ReplyVern NelsonPosted March 22, 2019 at 6:29 AMYup. working on the 2019 Fullerton/Anaheim version of this story right now…
  34. ReplySusanPosted March 25, 2019 at 11:23 AMSame thing – same players – Capo Beach Cottages (formerly known as Palm Beach Park) in San Clemente

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.