Pinto Lake Mobile Estates
Pinto Lake Mobile Estates in Watsonville. — Todd Guild/The Pajaronian file

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 14 unanimously approved a new ordinance meant to add affordability protections for people who live in mobile home parks, and to help mediate when tenants dispute rent increases.

The new ordinance ties future rent increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than allowing annual 10% increases as currently allowed under current County Code. 

Historically, the CPI has been well under 10 percent, said County spokesman Jason Hoppin. 

Under the old rules, when residents disputed a rent increase, there would be a prehearing settlement conference, which county staff says has been ineffective in preventing litigation.

Under the new ordinance, a third-party certified public accountant with no financial interest in the matter would be selected from a rotating list maintained by the County. 

That expert would then make a recommendation for a resolution.

The cost of the expert is split evenly between the park owner and a fund that mobile home owners pay into for costs associated with the Rent Adjustment Ordinance.

“It creates opportunities for park owners and residents to reach agreements without costly litigation by bringing in an expert early, who is a CPA,” Supervisor Manu Koenig said. “Both sides will have a chance to consider the facts regarding why a special rent adjustment is necessary.”

The ordinance also eliminates the requirement that park owners produce copies of their federal or state tax returns for inspection as part of the rent adjustment process.

Koenig brought forth the ordinance, along with Supervisor Zach Friend.

“Access to affordable housing impacts everyone in our community, including families, seniors and vulnerable populations,” Friend said. “By enacting these reasonable changes, we can protect both residents and mobile home park operators from costly disputes while keeping the cost of housing from spiraling out of control.”

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


  1. this should have been passed into county law when mobile home parks first made their appearance in the 1960’s . it is LONG OVERDUE.


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