Your article about evictions at San Vicente Mobile Home Park unfairly depicted park management as heartlessly throwing poor seniors out of their homes. Waivers to stay were not denied “simply because it’s within St. Vincent’s right” but because the California Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) does not allow subletting except for for a limited time and only for medical reasons, which St. Vincent’s abides by.
Subletting was permitted by the former park managers, Parker/Rice, when they did not allow it in the park they owned, Rancho Santa Barbara. Renters have known for two years that they would have to move. There are only a handful of renters left and their cases are being handled on an individual basis. It was unfortunate that Parker/Rice bent the MRL and allowed subletting, which is contrary to the rule that senior housing be only owner occupied. —Kenneth E. Gould
In response …
The Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL) does not prevent park owners from allowing subletting, either in senior or other parks. The MRL requires that park owners, at a minimum, permit subletting due to medical reasons for 6-12 months. San Vicente’s prior park owners now allow subletting at their current park.
At a 2017 all-resident meeting, St. Vincent’s said it would not allow subletting only because doing so would invalidate their nonprofit status. Provided expert legal opinion that this was not true, St. Vincent’s delayed until 2018 and then continued to prohibit subletting and set a deadline. They promised to consider exceptions, which gave sublessees hope. Information on vulnerable sublessees was provided to St. Vincent’s. In June/July 2019, they said there would be no exceptions for anyone.
San Vicente’s senior homeowners unfortunately lose a valuable safety net with the prohibition of subletting, but I hope that St. Vincent’s will at least permit the few remaining sublessees to stay.
(Though I am on the homeowners board, I write this representing myself only.) —Ellen Duke, Resident, San Vicente Mobile Home Park