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I trained as a journalist, then as an urban planner, then I worked as a writer and editor then as a planner. I learned to teach yoga, make quilts, do Photoshop, design websites and use MailChimp.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I've been thinking a lot about the dilemmas involved for the seniors who live in the mobilehome parks. It seems that those who are there now can keep rent control on the units in which they live. But when they leave for one reason or the other, there will no longer be that alternative for that existing space. It will become market rent.

Some observations and questions on the issue.

--Mobile home rent control is (obviously) no longer a "sacred cow" for politicians in Oceanside. Is it because of demographics. Baby boomers start turning 65 this very summer. There must be research that they have other life styles in mind. Those who remain in the homes might not be seen as having the numbers to get a petition together for an election. (Demographics is my favorite factor in looking at a variety of issues.)

---The big issue that people raise is that they intend to use whatever rent-control protected equity they have for support in assisted living or nursing homes.

Is there anyone who has any actual data on this? Do we know how many folks are actually in this position? I know from my experience as does anyone who has or had an extremely elderly parent that this is an extremely complex issue. What medi-cal or even regular insurance provides is far from adequate. (Even people who have attended those seminars on "spending down" come to realize that fact. Extra dollars do help. But the whole issue of elder care needs a broader look than home equity. Even someone with a home with $500,000 equity a few years ago, now has only about $300,000 or less today. I know this is in a different court than what might be in a mobile home. But all of us have lost. Maybe there are more systems level comprehensive ways to provide for our elderly. I know that now it is a confusing maze.

Again demographics. Today's seniors are healthy, don't think about nursing homes.

--Are mobile home parks an economical way in this time to house folks. Indeed if you check out some of the local establishments there are several that have true "trailers." Of course they can be replaced by new units and sold or leased in combination with sales for more money. But will the new boomers prefer a condo or an apartment. Is this a dying way of life. Should some of these prime pieces of property have other uses?

--There is a lot of dirt floating around about greed and political contributions, some of which may very well be true. But for the interactions between demographics and future land use it is a most broader issue.