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Vacancy Decontrol Supporters Raise Big Bucks

by Nathan ScharnU-T San Diego
May 31st, 2012

— A political committee sponsored mainly by mobile home park owners for a campaign supporting Proposition E raised more than four times as much money as opposing political committees sponsored largely by mobile home park residents, campaign financial documents show.

Proposition E, on Tuesday’s ballot, would phase out mobile home park rent control and replace it with vacancy decontrol. The political battle has pitted landowners and mobile home park managers against tenants in a passionate and often emotional campaign.

If enacted, current mobile home park tenants will be allowed to keep rent control, but when a home changes hands, the rent control will be eliminated.

Rent control has been on the books in Oceanside since 1984. It hold rents for spaces to increasing at 75 percent of the consumer price index annually. Mobile home park owners typically own the homes but rent the land.

Park owners say rent control keeps them from getting a fair return on their investment. Proposition E would phase out rent control and allow landowners to charge as they see fit after a home is sold.

The political action committee that supports Proposition E, called in part Taxpayers & Property Owners for Fairness, Yes on E, reported raising nearly $400,000 for the campaign, $238,000 of that since the beginning of the year.

Financial disclosure forms for contributions received and expenditures from March 18 to May 19 were due May 24. The political group raised about $130,000 in that period.

A No on Proposition E group, which was funded and supported largely by mobile home park tenants and called Taxpayers for Oceanside Neighborhoods, reported raising about $60,700, $16,190 of that since Jan. 1. Much of that was spent on a successful referendum effort in which more than 15,000 signatures were gathered, leading a City Council majority to place vacancy decontrol to a public vote.

Recent expenditures for the campaign include printing signs for No on Propositions E and F and an infomercial on local TV station KOCT. Proposition F would change the way elections are held in Oceanside.

Another group, Oceanside Manufactured Homeowners Alliance, reported spending more than $12,000 on signs opposing Proposition E. The Political group Save Oceanside also opposes Proposition E, among other issues, and reported raising $16,643.

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