Letter to Sen. Bob Dutton

August 24, 2009

Dear Senator Dutton,

Senator Alex Padilla is carrying AB566 to the Senate floor, and I hope you pay close attention to this bill as it is important to me and thousands of your constituents.

AB566 is about condo conversions – namely giving residents a say whether or not their park is converted. AB566 allows local governments to consider the feelings of residents of the park being converted. After a fair hearing from all sides, local governments can then approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove the conversion.

AB 566 is concisely worded to remove the problem. It clearly does not give residents so-called veto power over conversions.

What it will do is encourage better ways to bring park owners and residents together by making the conversion process more logical and understandable for all parties.

With about 5,000 mobile home parks in the state efficiently housing about a million residents, the potential for abuse with the law as it now stands is immeasurable.

I did some research: Over 9,000 mobile home units are in your district with over 18,000 mobile home residents. The majority, I’m guessing, are retired seniors living on fixed incomes.  In just Upland, where I live, there are six mobile home parks with 866 units. We need your help, Senator, and all we’re asking for is a fair shake.

I read your interview in the August issue of Inland Living magazine. You are a real estate investor and very much pro-business. I appreciate that and understand that the park owners are your constituents too and that your inclination may be to side with them.

But please understand that mobile homes are the largest single source of unsubsidized affordable housing we have. We mobile home owners just want a voice in decisions that affect our homes and the modest lifestyle we can afford after a lifetime of working and paying taxes.

And by the way, “mobile” homes are not really mobile. It’s prohibitively expensive to move a home. To move my home to another park, it would cost as much as $30,000—about the same value as my home, assuming I could even sell it in this market.

Please do whatever you can to get the law fixed.  Get AB 566 approved.

Respectfully yours,
Steven Blaszcak
Upland, CA 91786

PS: I was very disheartened to learn in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin that you are among the few local legislators to seek pay raises for your staff. This while our state is in a budget crisis of epic proportions and the unemployment rate in your district is 14 percent.

Say it ain’t so, Bob!

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