A new state law that offers protections against big rent hikes to residents of a single mobile home park in Orange County will take effect on January 1.
The law was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July after residents of the Rancho La Paz park, mostly seniors who are reliant on Social Security pensions, faced dramatic rent increases because of the park’s unique location — it straddles two cities, Anaheim and Fullerton.
“We started a food pantry here and we fed 56 residents a week because after they paid the increases in the rent, they couldn’t afford food anymore,” Lupe Ramirez, a grandmother who lives in Rancho La Paz, told Spectrum News.
In 2015, rents were $650 on the park’s Anaheim side and $750 on the Fullerton side.
Rents have risen steadily since then, and in 2019 a new park owner, Saunders Property Company, which bought the park for $85 million, notified residents of another $200 monthly hike. Now some residents pay as much as $1,575, Ramirez told the Orange County Register.
Rancho La Paz’s location straddling two different municipalities made securing rent control measures difficult. That prompted Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, a Democrat, to introduce a bill that applies protections to mobile home parks that are specifically located in two different cities. Rancho La Paz is the only mobile home park in the state that fits that criteria.
The measure limits annual rent increases to 3% plus cost of living or 5% — whichever figure is lower — for 10 years.
[OC Register] — Trevor Bach