Mobilehomes are generally considered a source of naturally affordable housing.  Mobilehome park residents often own their home, renting the land underneath from the park operator. As with any rental property, mobile home owners are vulnerable to high spikes in rent year over year.

The number of mobile home parks is decreasing, limiting the opportunities to relocate, and it is incredibly expensive to move a mobile home. Mobile homes do not often move once parked, often staying in one park for 25 years or longer. With limited capacity to relocate, home residents are incredibly vulnerable when space rents spike, leading to significant displacement. Not only do space rent spikes cause displacement of mobile home owners, they also decrease the value of the home, because they make it less attractive to future buyers. Mobile home owners can lose a significant portion of their home equity when they are displaced as a result of a space rent increase. Rent stabilization provides necessary security to vulnerable tenants and allows landlords to still receive a return.

There are five cities in Santa Clara with rent stabilization ordinances for mobile home parks: Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, and San Jose.  Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale do not have rent stabilization ordinances for mobile home parks, but both Mountain View and Palo Alto are considering significant mobile home protections in 2021. In cities with ordinances, annual increases are capped and are tied to the Consumer Price Index (or a percentage of CPI) to provide a reasonable rate of return to landlords and to cover regular maintenance costs. Rent stabilization measures decrease displacement risks.

Existing Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Ordinances in Santa Clara County

City Allowed Annual Space Rent Increase Maximum Increase (Cap)
Gilroy 80% of CPI  5%
Los Gatos 100% of CPI or 3%, whichever is greater 5%
Milpitas 50% of CPI 5%
Morgan Hill 75% of CPI 8%
San Jose 75% of CPI or 3%, whichever is greater 7%

Given the uniquely vulnerable situation of mobile home owners, SV@Home believes that mobile home rent stabilization is a critical protection from displacement. SV@Home supports mobile home rent stabilization policies that cap annual space rent increases at 75% CPI, with a maximum of 5%, in line with the mode among existing mobile home rent stabilization ordinances in Santa Clara County.