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Decontrol of Rent Goes Down in a Landslide; Prop F Trails

by Nathan ScharnU-T San Diego
June 6th, 2012

Oceanside voters on Tuesday were soundly rebuking in early returns propositions that would phase out rent control in mobile-home parks and change how city elections are held.

Proposition E on rent control was losing by a landslide, and Proposition F, though closer, was far from passing.

Proposition E aimed to enact vacancy decontrol, which would have phased out rent control in the city’s mobile-home parks. The protection would have been eliminated when homes were sold or passed on, but would have kept low rents for current park residents.

Proposition F would have revamped the city’s election procedures with a charter amendment. Under the proposition, City Council candidates would have picked a specific seat to run for and would have needed to win a majority. The system would have lengthened elections by requiring a runoff. The city currently uses a single at-large election in which candidates simply have to garner one of the largest pieces of the electorate.

Oceanside’s rent control goes back to 1984 and says rent for spaces can increase no more than 75 percent of the consumer price index, generally at a rate less than inflation.

Mobile-home park tenants typically own the home but rent the land beneath it.

The council placed Proposition E on the ballot more than a year ago. It has been a point of controversy since. Mobile-home park residents attended City Council meetings frequently, held public demonstrations and campaigned door-to-door to protest the measure, saying it would diminish their home values and might not actually preserve low rents. Park owners spent hundreds of thousands to fight what they say is an unfair ordinance.

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