VIDEO Introducing MH/OSTA

Three-part series on housing issues in Douglas County - a must read!!!

Article by April Ehrlich reprinted with permission from the Roseburg News-Review, Roseburg, Oregon.

The first in a three-part series on housing issues in Douglas County.

Harvey and Jean Kloos’ home is crumbling beneath their feet.
The couple invested in the manufactured home in a sprawling retirement community in Canyonville because it was nice, spacious — a stark contrast from what most people imagine when they hear the colloquial phrase “trailer park.” Knoll Terrace’s manicured lawns and tasteful landscaping, winding roads and pine-clad hillsides, and friendly potlucks and barbecues completed the Kloos’ vision of peaceful retirement.
Most importantly, it provided a chance at homeownership within the tight budget of their fixed income.
Now, the home is not looking so inexpensive. The evergreen hillsides that make Knoll Terrace so appealing are shifting, melting, causing small landslides and cracking the homes’ foundations.  Click on the link to see full article

The second in a three-part series on housing issues in Douglas County.

Mobile home park closures reduce housing supply

Rickety plyboard patios, threadbare awnings, chain-link fences and metal signs surround the ramshackle trailers at Junction Mobile Park in Winston. Knock on a door and someone will yell out, but no one will answer.
Residents here have settled into their spaces over the years. They have built gardens and walls and fences bordering their small homes, protecting them from a world that has deemed them “a collection of old junkers,” as one man put it.
Resident Rosemary Mullins was not surprised when she heard the park would close in a few years to make way for a business complex. At 67 years old, she has gotten used to pulling her recreational vehicle around to any place where she can afford the rent. Things happen, things change.
“I got to move on with my life,” she said.   Click on the link to see full article 
The last in a three-part series on housing issues in Douglas County. -  

State encourages innovation in home ownership

In July, president-elect Donald Trump declared via Twitter that home ownership rates have been their lowest in 51 years. He wasn’t wrong.
At the time, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showed the U.S. home ownership rate had plunged to its lowest depths since 1965.
Since then, Trump has given housing issues scant attention, even if his signature red hats declaring “Make America Great Again” harken back to a time when a single wage job could buy a home.
Douglas County’s home ownership rate is lower than that of the state and the country, according to 2014 census data. It has a higher level of poverty — about 20 percent of Douglas County people are living below the poverty level, compared to 17 percent in the state.
It also has a significant senior population. Nearly a quarter of Douglas County residents are 65 years or older, compared to 16 percent in the state. Click on the link to see full article 

Happy Thanksgiving to All
from your
MH/OSTA Board Members! 

2016 Annual Meeting Blues in the Night

My mama done told me; When I was in pigtails
My mama done told me hon;       A landlord ll sweet talk ;  And promise you good things
But when the sweet talking’s  done;           
A landlord is twofaced sweet talking thing who’ll
Leave you to sing;            The blues in the night
See him making friction; Hear him talk eviction       whoo wee 
My mama done told me
Talk to you legislator;   be an agitatior         whoo wee
mama done told me                     Whoo wee        whoo wee
An enforcement pack will hold back                        The blues in the night

From Medford to Salem               from Portland to Grants Pass
In towns clear across the state;      We need to fight for enforcement
Of laws to protect us           Or it’ll be our fate
To live with the two faced worrisome thing who’ll leave us t sing
The blues in the night
Hum       Humm
My mama was right

There’s blues in the night.

2016 Annual Meeting O'Billy McGee McGaw

Two park owners sat in a tree – O’Billy McGee McGaw
Two park owners sat in a tree – The were greedy as they could be
And they all flapped their wings and cried, CAW CAW CAW.
We don’t give a hoot about the law.
Said one land lord, “ Let’s increase our cash” O’Billy McGee McGaw
Said one land lord, “ Let’s increase our cash and evict from our parks white trash
And they both flapped their wings and cried CAW CAW CAW 
We don’t have to obey the law
So they made a list of great demands O’Billy McGee McGaw
So the made a list of great demands and handed out many commands
And said do them now or get off our lands CAW CAW CAW
We’re the meanest guys you ever saw.
The time is right The land lord say of O’Billy McGee McGaw
The time is right they said with mirth, to get rid of this scum and increase our worth
Let them rot on the street and beg food to eat CAW CAW CAW
We’re above the Law

And they flapped their wings and cried, CAW CAW CAW


WARNING1 Judy Morton is concerned that her OSTA email address has been hacked and that messages may go out that appear to be from her asking for money to be wired somewhere, like to a bank. We ask you to realize these will be scam messages and to ignore them. Neither a bank nor MH/OSTA would ever send an email asking you to wire money. Be very suspicious of requests for wiring  money, even if the requests are from your nephew in Nigeria! Judy will probably change her OSTA email address, but we will let you know if she does, probably in the next OSTA Quarterly Review if not sooner.

Long-term Rental Agreements Cause Concern

The MH/OSTA district directors and the attorneys on our board have been receiving calls from concerned manufactured home park residents recently because some landlords are promoting long-term rental agreements. Our advise is NOT to sign these leases/rental agreements. We also encourage you to document any promises about these noting date, time, place, who made the promise and to whom. Also document any threats made if you don't sign and any promises made if you will sign. Keep in mind that a 30-day (month-to-month) rental agreement doesn't ever expire. OSTA is investigating these long-term rental contracts, and we expect to be able to answer your questions at the annual meeting on Oct. 1.

Oregon State Rep. Val Hoyle to speak at meeting on Saturday, Oct. 1, in Cottage Grove

The latest update on the 2016 annual MH/OSTA state meeting at Village Green is the good news that Rep. Val Hoyle, Oregon State House Majority Leader, during the 2015 session, will be speaking to us in the afternoon. This photo was taken last year at SongBrook MHP  after a chapter meeting. With her are Ken Capron and Mike Berg. Representative Hoyle has been a hard-working supporter of manufactured/mobile home residents and is both a knowledgeable and entertaining speaker. We're delighted she will be joining us.

Because concerns have been brought to our attention recently, we also plan to have information on various types of rental agreements. And of course there's always good food and a little bit of fun.

The morning session will be on mediation with Marlena Bertram from the Yamhill County  Dispute Resolution Center and our OSTA Quarterly Review columnist and also Chip Coker from the Lane County Center. If you'd like to ask a question of them, please email it with your reservation.

Seven current directors will be up for election at this meeting. Any member is welcome to run for a spot on the state board, but applications should be submitted ahead of time. Contact your district director for application forms or send a resume to P.O. 24958, Eugene, OR 97402.

 Reservations are being accepted through September 23. Those who want to spend either Friday or Saturday night at the Inn, need to reserve a room by August 31. Tell the desk you're with the Manufactured Housing convention.


The Invitation/Registration Form for the 2016 Annual State Meeting at the Village Green is available NOW  in the 2016 Fall OQR, located on this blog in the MH-Osta Reviews Section located in the lower left of the home page of the blog! If other details become available they will be posted here!
OSTA Chat Room
There wasn’t room in the next issue of The OSTA Quarterly Review for the Chat Room, so why don’t we chat here on the blog? Send your responses and we’ll publish them!—Jane
Topic: Two national organizations, The Center for Enterprise Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are promoting Children’s Savings Accounts. What did you learn about money as a child?
When I was in elementary school in Connecticut we would bring money in a special envelope each week to add to our special Savings account program.  It was recorded in a sort of passbook.  My earliest recollection was in 3rd grade.  My mom used to put the “bank book” and maybe 50 cents in the envelope and I would take it to school.  Then all I remember is we would get the book back and we’d do it again the next week.  I’m sure my parents had the banking information. I would liken it to perhaps a Christmas savings account type of thing. —Nancy Inglehart, Bellacres MHP, Gresham
People from my age group (70 and older) I feel, all seem to know the value of money more that the now, younger generation. We learned early from our parents to start saving for retirement. I guess we were taught to stay within a budget and save any extra money we had. My wife and I bought used furniture for our first home and bought a product called Fab Spray which was a fabric spray paint that brought back the color in furniture fabrics. I think my generation was a time when a people valued their possessions more and didn't over spend like now days. Now it has to be NEW, whatever it is. Car, furniture, home appliances etc. —Terry Smith, Miller Estates, Central Point
I give my great grandkids two envelopes, one with cash to spend and one with 10% for saving. I've provided their parents with copies of "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clawing (1926), which describes the method of saving 10% of any income and never spending it. Practiced over a lifetime, this leads to wealth. 
We pay the kids for house- and yard-work and have set up credit union (not bank) savings accounts. They can invest their savings as they see fit, hopefully in a million dollar startup of their own devising. We're hoping a couple of the eldest, now 10 years old, will get started soon and save us old folks from retirement beneath a bridge. –Bill Halderman, Golden Oaks, Springfield
I forgot that I helped my two girls learn about money, first by starting savings accounts for them when they were little and showing them the balances when money was put into their accounts so they could see the balances increase as an incentive. And then one year, for a Christmas present, I got them an appointment with a financial planner. I recall it wasn't what they had in mind from Santa but they have, over the years, mentioned the "present".  Often in recalling things that mom did to them!  But since they were in college it seemed like it was time they had an experience like that.  And it paid off.  Pun intended. —Carol Hanrahan, President of Shadow Ranch OSTA Chapter

When I got a job at Bridgeman’s, a soda fountain and dairy store in Duluth, my father taught me how to make change, something we girls had to do quickly on warm summer nights when people lined up for ice cream cones or sat at the counter for malts and sundaes or stood at the cash register for milk and hand-packed quarts of ice cream. I was never taught how to make change in school, and as far as I can tell from shopping today, kids still aren’t taught that skill. “Making Change” could be a fast game to play with grandkids and it could serve them well if they’re ever without one of their electronic gadgets. Just have handy some pennies, nickels, dimes, and maybe a couple of quarters, and if you’re feeling flush, use some folding money, too. Say something like, “Okay, honey, you just sold me a package of Gummie Bears that cost 47 cents. Here’s a dollar. Count my change back to me.”
Child hands you three pennies, one at a time, and says, “48, 49, 50.” Then child gives you two dimes and says, “60, 70,” and a nickel, and says, “75,” and finally a quarter and say, “a dollar.” That’s making change. For a little extra math, teach them how to play “Cribbage,” too.  —Jane Capron, OSTA Review editor, SongBrook MHP, Eugene

Because so many Committees of Seven in manufactured home parks seen to have difficulty understanding how their committee should proceed, we're printing the wording of this state statute with our guidelines. Please, if you have questions, either contact your district director or OSTA to invite one of us to attend your committee meeting to offer suggestions before you send your letter to the park owner requesting one of your two yearly meetings. We want to offer our help so you can be successful. Remember that the owner doesn't have to respond to individual letters from the park residents, but by law the owner is required to respond to the committee. 

Ch. 90.600 Committee of Seven

Chapter 90.600(5) (a) reads as follows: “The tenants who reside in a facility may elect one committee of seven or fewer members in a facility-wide election to represent the tenants….Upon written request from the tenants’ committee, the landlord or a representative of the landlord shall meet with the com-mittee within 10 to 30 days of the request to discuss the tenants’ non-rent concerns regarding the fa-cility. Unless the parties agree otherwise, upon a request from the tenants’ committee, a landlord or representative of the landlord shall meet with the tenants’ committee at least once, but not more than twice, each calendar year….After the meeting, the tenants’ committee shall send a written summary of the issues and concerns addressed at the meeting to the landlord…[who] shall make a good faith response in writing to the committee’s summary within 60 days.”
Keep written records
Insist that residents write out and sign their grievances. You can promise not to divulge identities, of course. You don’t want a later backlash, where someone says, “That wasn’t me who complained. I never said that.”
Insist that your committee members respect the privacy of those who complain. What goes on in the committee meetings should stay within the committee. The chair might provide an overview to the homeowners, but no names should be mentioned.
Prepare a list of goals based on complaints gathered from residents. Study the complaints, grouping them as much as possible, and ranking them as to importance to all residents. Try to word your list in a positive way, that is, for example, don’t say, “The manager should stop being so nasty.” Better to say, “We’d like a pleasant relationship between management and residents.”
Negotiate with management which of the goals on your written list they will consider. The negotiation will be give and take, involving discussion and no accusations. For example: one goal might be for the manager and residents to be more pleasant to each other. If management can agree that pleasant working relationships are desirable, then the committee and management can discuss together how to make that possible. Another goal might be to prevent speeding within the park. If management agrees that’s a worthwhile goal, everyone can discuss ways to prevent speeding.
Prepare a written list of negotiated goals and suggestions for achieving them for management and committee members to study. If there have to be personal complaints, they should also be offered in writing so that they can be clearly understood by everyone in the meeting (the person being accused needs to have a written copy of the allegation in order to defend him- or herself)
Expect management to respond in writing to the prepared list of goals within 60 days. If the response does not address issues to the committee’s satisfaction, contact OSTA and the Manufactured Community Resource Center at 1-800-453-5511 for mediation services.

A sample letter to your owner requesting a meeting with the Committee follows:
Re: Property Rights and Transactions—Title 10, Chapter 90.600 of the Oregon State Statutes
The members of the XYZ Mobile Home Park Committee of Seven were duly elected on (date), and are
______________________ , chair,
______________________, secretary

Let us know a convenient time for you to meet with us.   __________________________(signed)