Written by Grace Kistner | Source
St. Helena Star | September 18, 2018
In the Sept. 6 edition of the St. Helena Star, Jesse Duarte wrote a story on the proposed rent stabilization ordinance. However, he did not include any information on the vacancy control portion of the ordinance. One of the main reasons I support the ordinance is because of this provision.
Vacancy control prohibits a mobile home park owner from increasing the rent for a mobile home space upon the sale of a mobile home to a prospective homeowner or homeowner. Currently when a mobile homeowner sells their home to a buyer, the park owner is allowed to increase the rent by whatever amount the owner chooses.
If an increase is allowed every time a home is sold the rents will soon be so high that members in the middle income bracket will not be able to afford to buy a home in the park and St. Helena will lose most of its housing stock for seniors. Many of us will lose the ability to remain within this wonderful community.
We have people in Vineyard Valley who are retired and live on a fixed income and some people that are still working. There are residents who have lived in St. Helena all their lives and have chosen the park as their retirement home. Our seniors volunteer in great numbers to support many of St. Helena’s nonprofits. We are a vibrant community within St. Helena and this housing stock needs to be protected from becoming a community of wealthy weekenders. This is not only important to Vineyard Valley but also for the greater good of the city, which needs to protect and expand its housing stock.