Supervisors Set Rules for Assisting Trailer Park Residents

After recent approval of a mobile home rent control ordinance for the November election ballot, Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors has advanced further help for mobile home owners by extending eviction notifications and requiring relocation assistance.

Mobile home park owners who convert their parks to other uses will have to do more for their tenants under a new ordinance approved by supervisors at their Aug. 16 meeting.

State law already requires that assistance be provided to mobile home park tenants when their landlords evict them due to conversion or closure. A former version of the county’s ordinance required that the tenants be given 60 days notice of conversion, but that’s been extended to nine months.

The ordinance also requires that tenants be given six months to vacate once a use conversion permit is approved by the county’s Planning Commission.

Mobile home park owners are also required to pay all costs associated with moving tenants’ homes to other locations and offering compensations to tenants whose homes cannot be relocated.

Residents of the Bigfoot Mobile Home Park in Willow Creek were at the meeting to support the ordinance. They said they’ve heard that the park is being converted and one resident told supervisors she’ll be in a challenging situation without assistance.

“I thank God for government — for you people — who can help people who need help,” she said.

Supervisor Ryan Sundberg’s district includes Willow Creek and he said he’s talked to the owners of the park. “Right now, there’s a lot of concepts that they’re going through and they also let me know that if there was anything that was converted, they’re going to make sure the residents have somewhere to go and that they’ll take care of them,” he said.

It was a claim that drew reactions from the mobile home park residents in the audience. “That’s a bold-faced lie,” said one man.

Sundberg proposed having a meeting between himself, the owners and the residents.

Applying similar rules to RV park owners has also been considered but since those tenants are often short-term visitors, supervisors held off on including RVs.

Supervisor Estelle Fennell said the board can consider rules for RV parks but mobile home park issues are separate and should be addressed first.

Supervisors unanimously approved inland and coastal versions of the mobile home park ordinance. They expressed interest in considering similar assistance for long-term RV park residents but didn’t make any decisions on it.