Huntington Beach seniors worried over rising rents

Retired teacher Jeanne Farrens was hoping she could stay in her home the rest of her life, now she’s not so sure. 

"Right now, my biggest fear is that I’m gonna lose my home," Farrens said. She is one of the hundreds of senior citizens facing uncertainty in Huntington Beach. The seniors live in mobile home parks that have been purchased by corporate investors. It’s a growing trend all over the country. Corporate investors are buying mobile home parks and raising the rents. In Huntington Beach, six out of 17 mobile home parks are now owned by corporate investors. 

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"Immediately, the rents go up to levels they can’t afford," says Carole Rohr, who lives at Skandia Mobile Country Club. 

At a special meeting Tuesday night, the seniors asked the Mobile Home Advisory Board to consider making a change to section 803 of the City Charter. Doing so would allow the city to establish a rent stabilization ordinance for mobile home parks. If the city council refuses, the seniors plan to collect 29,000 signatures to get the measure on a ballot. 

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Julie Paule from Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association, the group representing the owners of mobile home parks issued the following statement to FOX 11: 

"Mobile home park owners oppose this overreaching and unnecessary effort to thwart the will of voters and pave the way to bring rent control to Huntington Beach. There are safeguards in place that ensure no seniors will lose their homes, and any suggestion otherwise is simply untrue." 

But seniors tells us there are no safeguards in place for the majority of the renters.  Farrens says, " If we don’t get some resolution, there will be many of us that will be joining the homeless population." 

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