Let’s give an A to Measure F

October 22, 2009

With all the talk of the need for affordable housing in the City of Ventura, we sometimes seem to overlook other local cities, and no other city is focusing on that need than Fillmore.

Fillmore has had a rough year, coping with the exodus of several city officials — some of them under fire for questionable acts — and now, a dispute over rent control and senior citizens rights in Fillmore’s low-income, mobile home tenant community.

This is the basis of what Measure F proposes for Nov. 3: a mobile home exclusive zone,  rent control for mobile home tenants, and easier conversion of mobile home rentals to ownerships.

And with all the talk of Measures A, B, C and E, it’s become like Alphabet City around here … with the exception of F.

Since our paper doesn’t predominantly cover Fillmore, this blog provides a good opportunity to endorse Measure F.

Like allegations that seniors in Ventura had been treated unfairly by code enforcement rules, the heart of Measure F is really all about senior citizens. Whether working or retired, many don’t have a lot of money; renting a mobile home in their twilight years is often all they can afford. Where can they turn to if landlords keep jacking up their rents?

Some people on online message boards posited that many seniors can move in with family. But why should they if one is still capable of independence at an old age? Greed has displaced one too many low-income people one too many times. It’s harder when someone is over 65 and not upwardly mobile any longer.

Measure F would establish better rent controls in Fillmore, specifically, at the El Dorado Estates, for those who qualify.

One reason why it’s called the Fair Rent and Home Ownership Initiative is because Measure F also looks to adopt better, easier standards for renters looking to purchase their mobile homes. Stabilize rent for those who do, and allow better ease of purchasing that same rented home.

Within all this, Measure F’s focus on mobile home exclusivity is another, third factor: to change Fillmore’s zoning laws so certain areas in town are zoned specifically for mobile homes.

It’s one of the most important parts of Measure F because it ensures that mobile homes aren’t squeezed in wherever there’s a random parcel available.

Let’s hope Measure F passes so we can see similar initiatives across Ventura County in the future.


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