California Passes Legislation to Facilitate Manufactured Housing Ownership

September 19th, 2017 was a banner day for folks seeking to purchase manufactured housing in California. On that day, state legislators enrolled into law California Senate Bill 329, “Manufactured Homes: Financial Assistance Programs”. On October 12th, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed and approved the bill.

SB 329 forbids state agencies and institutions to discriminate against manufactured housing. In particular, the bill cites the importance of manufactured housing in combating the state’s critical homeownership crisis.

State Financial Assistance Programs Now Available To Owners of Manufactured Housing

manufactured housing california housing finance agency calhfaUnder existing California law, there are numerous programs that provide assistance for a great many housing needs. These include emergency housing, multi-family housing, farmworker housing, veteran housing, and homeownership for very low- and low-income households. Among others, programs also include down payment assistance for first-time home buyers. However, State authorities have excluded manufactured home buyers from these financing and financial assistance programs—until now.

The bill requires all state and local programs designed to facilitate homeownership or residence, as specified, to include manufactured homes, to the extent feasible. The California Housing Finance Agency is one of the largest originators of these types of programs. Indeed, the bill would deem the CalHFA’s loan programs compliant if they include manufactured housing in conformance with specified guidelines. The bill would also make related legislative findings and declarations. For further information regarding CalHFA home financing programs, read on—California Housing Agency Increases Access To Manufactured Home Loans”.

Bill Declares Manufactured Homes An Affordable Alternative To Site Built Homes

Below, we review the text of key provisions of SB 329 consequently enacted into law. The law is not ambiguous in that it clearly states that California state agencies and institutions may not discriminate against manufactured housing, whether a buyer sites their manufactured home on rural property or in a mobile home park, and whether or not the buyer attaches it to real property.

Bill Text:

manufactured housing California sb 329THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)  California currently is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. Manufactured homes provide an affordable alternative to conventional single-family housing.

(b) Existing California law requires cities to allow the installation of manufactured homes on lots zoned for conventional single story residential dwellings, but fails to require programs that facilitate home ownership to include manufactured housing. Five percent of California’s population currently lives in a manufactured home. Exclusion of these individuals from programs that facilitate home ownership is contrary to California’s policy to promote affordable housing.

(c)  Prospective homeowners should have an opportunity to apply for programs that facilitate home ownership regardless of the type of home which will be purchased.

(d)  It is the intent of this legislature to enact legislation that would make these housing assistance programs available for the lease or purchase of manufactured homes.

(e)  This legislation is necessary to ensure that prospective homeowners that seek to apply for state and local programs are not subject to discrimination based upon the type of home they seek to purchase.

SEC.2  Section 65852 is added to the Government Code, to read:

(a)  Notwithstanding any other law, all state and local programs designed to facilitate home ownership or residence, including loan origination and repayment programs, down payment assistance, and tax credits, shall include manufactured housing, to the extent feasible.

(b)  A California Housing Finance Agency loan program is deemed to comply with subdivision (a) if it includes manufactured housing in conformance with a government sponsored enterprise’s guidelines and California Housing Finance Agency’s lending partner’s guidelines.

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