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Windsor, CA Council Sets Up for Non-Profit's Park Purchase

Adam R.'s picture

Posted August 24, 2007

The Town Council of Windsor, California approved a motion that will pave the way for Sacramento-based Resident-Owned Parks to purchase the Windsor Mobile Country Club Park.

The Town Council gave its approval for the deal.  The Park houses a group of senior citizens on fixed incomes.  The park has 336 lots.

The deal is interesting because it illustrates how mobile home parks can become

secure forms of housing for low-income populations with the right policy interventions.  In this case, the Windsor Country Club residents will be given a guarantee against rent increases and an opportunity to qualify for rental assistance.

It also occurs just after another mobile home park, Windsorland MHP, was closed and sold to a developer who plans to build condominiums on the land.

Park rents will not be allowed to go up by more than 3 percent per year.  Windsor currently has a cap on rent increases in parks as part of its rent control ordinance.  This cap is lower than that amount.  ROP's proposal also gives rental assistance to about 200 residents.   After thirty years, the park's homeowners association will take control of the property.

As a result, the residents have most likely taken permanent control of the land underneath their homes.

ROP plans to tap tax exempt financing sources for $24 million at a low interest rate -- just 5 3/4 percent.  Nevertheless, the debt load means that rents must go up.

The current owner is "beloved"by residents, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.  He has kept lot rents at a level below market standards.  Residents are going ahead with the deal even though it means that most will see their rents go up by approximately $200 per month.

In fact, some in the park oppose the sale on the grounds that it may impose costs that are too great upon residents.