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Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013

North Bay

The #1 Source of Information for Mobilehome Owners in California Promoting Good Relations Between Managers and Residents www.mobilehomemagazine.org


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Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013


T a b l e

o f

Contents From The Desk of the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4 What is Mobilehome Magazine & Why is it Important to you?. . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5 North Bay Participating Parks - Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 7 This Months Featured Park - Blue Spruce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8 TEAMWORK - You Are A Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 9 Amazing News From Donna. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 11 Our Bill of Rights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 12 News From SRMOA President Roger McConnell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 13

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Serving the Mobile/Manufactured Home Community in California

P.O. Box 3774 Chatsworth, CA 91313 (800) 929-6061 (818) 886-6479 fawodley@yahoo.com www.mobilehomemagazine.org

Welcome to Mobilehome Magazine (MHMag) - North Bay. You and 4,999 other residents are receiving it for the first time. In fact, beginning this month, we are distributing 5,000 copies of MHMag into each of three distinct areas of California: 1) North Bay area (Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Windsor, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Napa, Calistoga), 2) San Diego North County (Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, Carlsbad and Vista), and 3) San Diego South (Chula Vista, San Diego, Santee, Lakeside and El Cajon). We hope to expand into Hemet, the Inland Empire, Orange County, South L.A., San Jose and Sacramento very soon.

Mobilehome Magazine is published every month exclusively for owners of mobile/manufactured homes in California.

Remarkedly, overnight, Mobilehome Magazine has evolved from one magazine to four distinct magazines: three local editions are completely free, delivered to your door, and a new Complimentary Edition introducing Mobilehome Magazine to residents, who have not yet heard about MHMag, is going to park clubhouses all over California.

MHMag is not responsible for content contained in advertising

Mobilehome Magazine - North Bay This is the local magazine you are reading now. It will be distributed to you every month. It’s focus is on local issues with content supplied primarily by local advocates, experts and residents. And you are encouraged to submit content to the magazine! It is YOUR Magazine. Please use it to communicate, network, inform and educate residents in your local area. Although it is 16 pages this month, we hope it will rapidly grow into 20 or even 24 pages. You can help by supporting the magazine. We appreciate any donations and please know they will be used to improve and expand your local issue.

To Our Advertisers. We thank all our advertisers who have had the vision to

participate in the first magazine for this area. We hope all residents will support you because it is you that makes this magazine possible. We talk about the magazine bringing together mobilehome owners to form a COMMUNITY. You are also part of that community.

To Our Readers. We at Mobilehome Magazine hope you enjoy the magazine and

use it to help protect and better your life as an owner/resident. Thank you for reading and kindlly stay in touch. We always appreciate hearing from you - send us a note or an email anytime.

Frank A. Wodley,

Editor & Publisher, Mobilehome Magazine 4

PUBLISHER & EDITOR Frank A. Wodley

ADVERTISING SALES Rose Rosales

DESIGN

Greg Frazier

CONTRIBUTORS Donna Matthews

PROOFREADER Rose Rosales Evelyn Rosales

Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013


What is & Why is it Important to You? Mobilehome Magazine is a one-of-a-kind magazine published every month exclusively for owners of mobile/ manufactured homes in California. First published in September 2011, approximately 80,000 copies have been distributed. Now we are publishing Mobilehome Magazine for local areas like yours. This is possible only because residents have stepped up and volunteered to distribute the magazine in their individual parks. We thank them all!

The Dream Project of COMO-CAL MHMag is the dream project of the Coalition of Mobilehome Owners - California (COMO-CAL) - a statewide advocacy organization focused on providing the tools to protect mobile/manufactured homeowners’ lifestyle. First established in late 2004, COMO-CAL provided information and legal services to mobilehome residents for seven years. Near the end of 2011 COMO-CAL leaders decided to take a different direction, i.e. provide residents a low cost source of information, namely Mobilehome Magazine. As a consequence, we are now able to reach many more mobilehome owners. Today we distribute 30,000 magazines, tomorrow the skies the limit! There are other “magazines” in California; however they are often the voice of park owners and managers. Because you live in rental park, you are often vulnerable to unscrupulous park owners. You need honest, accurate information. You need to know you are not alone, and you need to know someone cares about you. MHMag is a source of important information to assist you in protecting your life- style and investment. We are not in competition with any other group. Our main priority is getting information to you, to network

Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013

5

mobilehome owners across California and to show you are not alone. We are there for you. Mobilehome Magazine continues the tradition of COMO-CAL’s “THE VOICE”, rated as the best, most informative newsletter in California. In our latest website poll (www. mobilehomemagazine.org), 83% rated MHMag as terrific.

Shoestring Budget We operate on a shoestring budget. We do not have grants, or companies who subsidise our operation. And if you guessed it costs a lot to print and distribute a full color magazine you’d be spot on. It costs thousands of dollars every month. Up to now we have survived on subscriptions, donations and advertising revenue; however today we have made the magazine completely free. So money is even tighter, and we are sure you know about that!!

Please Donate - It Directly Helps You Please donate to keep Mobilehome Magazine alive. Every donation will be used in your local area. That means if you donate, the money will help us expand. We will be able to reach many more residents in your area and we will be able to grow the size of the magazine. Both will directly benefit YOU! And we will be transparent. We will give an accounting of donations for your area! Please go to page 15 to donate.


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Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013


Participating Parks in North Bay The following parks are receiving this first edition of Mobilehome Magazine - North Bay. Why? Because a resident(s) volunteered to step up and deliver the magazine door to door in each park.

list grow in upcoming months. And remember, this is your magazine. Our hope is you will see the value of the magazine and realize that it can bring area mobilehome owners together. Your local advocates should use it, as well as active residents.

Mobilehome Magazine is grateful to everyone who has helped to make this first North Bay edition a reality. It has taken some hard work, but now that it is off the ground, we believe it will be a real asset to the mobile/manufactured home community of North Bay.

Contributing content is easy. Just send Frank Wodley (fawodley@yahoo.com) an email and attach text using Microsoft Word and photos (jpeg or pdf ). Also if you have a favorite business, they may want to advertise. You can receive a finders fee or a commission if you send them our way.

Today it is a list of about 4,000 spaces. Actually 5,000 magazines are being printed, so another 1,000 magazines can probably be found in clubhouses of neighboring parks. Those parks can be included in this list. Just contact Frank Wodley, Mobilehome Magazine Editor/Publisher at 800-929-6061 or by email at fawodley@yahoo.com. We would love to see this

Finally, today MHMag - North Bay is 16 pages. Let’s grow it to 20, 24 or even more pages. This is your opportunity. Please take advantage of it. Thank you for reading.

1

PARK NAME NAPA OLYMPIA MOBILODGE

CITY AM CNYN

ADDRESS 244 AM CANYON RD

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALISTOGA SPRINGS MHP CHATEAU CALISTOGA RANCHO DE CALISTOGA LA SIESTA FAIRGROUNDS VILLAGE LOS ROBLES MHP MARIN VALLEY MOBILE CC LEISURE LAKE VILLAGE PETALUMA ESTATES

CALISTOGA CALISTOGA CALISTOGA NAPA LAKEPORT NOVATO NOVATO PETALUMA PETALUMA

45 MAGNOLIA DR 223 CHAMPAGNE WEST 2412 FOOTHILL BLVD 128 CABNA DRIVE 1025 MARTIN STREET 100 ROBLAR DR 100 MARIN VALLEY DR 300 STONY POINT RD 901 N MCDOWELL BLVD

143 196 184 201 56 213 313 134 215

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

CONTEMPO MARIN JOURNEYS END COLONIAL PARK COUNTRY MOBILE ESTATES LAMPLIGHTER MHP RANCHO SAN MIGUEL MHP SANTA ROSA VILLAGE SEQUOIA GARDENS WOODCREST MH ESTATES BLUE SPRUCE MH LODGE FIRCREST MHP

SAN RAFAEL SANTA ROSA SANTA ROSA SANTA ROSA SANTA ROSA SANTA ROSA SANTA ROSA SANTA ROSA SANTA ROSA SEBASTOPOL SEBASTOPOL

400 YOSEMITE RD 3575 MENDOCINO AVE 5645 REDWOOD HWY N 1180 FULTON RD 2800 SANTA ROSA AVE 2665 HARDIES LN 4001 SONOMA HWY 433 FULTON RD 1170 HEALEY COURT 8800 GREEN VALLEY RD 965 GRAVENSTEIN HWY S

397 160 190 178 109 141 170 191 84 54 87

22 23

SEVEN FLAGS OF SONOMA WINDSOR MOBILE CC

SONOMA WINDSOR

1600 WATMAUGH RD 8109 CONDE LN Total Spaces Delivered

292 334 4243

Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013

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Spaces 201


This Months Featured Park Blue Spruce Lodge

sponsored grant to refurbish the garden with raised beds and an irrigation system separate from the residences (we have well water).

Blue Spruce Lodge, a 54 space senior mobile home park, is located in west Sonoma County at the intersection of Hwy 116 and Green Valley Road between Sebastopol and Forestville, CA. We are about 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 60 miles north of San Francisco. We are a rural community set in the midst of Christmas tree farms, vineyards with views of the coastal mountains and populated with Redwoods and spruce. This is an older park, yet the residents are proud of our area and two special projects.

Second, we began a caring program in the fall of 2011 called Neighbor Helping Neighbor (NHN) designed to enable residents to receive small grants for home maintenance. Through the efforts of another committee and its enthusiastic chairperson, funds are raised (Bingo, huge yard sale, and the Human Race of Santa Rosa) to support this effort. To date, more than 20 disbursements have been possible for projects from house painting to fixing driveways to building handrails.

First, with the hard work of a committee, we have a community garden, which provides produce for our residents throughout the summer and fall. Sweet peas and lettuces are on our tables right now with the corn, strawberries, tomatoes and cucumbers to come. Last year we obtained a county

Blue Spruce is a fine, quiet, caring place to live. Article by MaryJean Steenberg, resident of Blue Spruce Lodge.

Photography by Joan Saxe

8

Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013


Any undertaking requires TEAM WORK, i.e. everyone contributing their best to accomplish a common goal. Whether the goal is to win a sports championship, or to be a successful organization, TEAM WORK is critical.

magazine. Here are some ideas: a. Use the magazine to alert your local community of an upcoming event in your park. b. Now advocacy groups in your area can share their work with your Community. After all, we are all in the same boat, we can always learn from others, from their mistakes and successes.

The success of Mobilehome Magazine in your area is no exception to this rule. You, as a mobilehome owner, now have a vehicle you can use to better your life. This is your opportunity to make it work. For it is to be successful, everyone will have to do their share. But you know, it doesn’t have to be work. It can be FUN.

c. The magazine can be used to put pressure on a manager or an owner to do a better job. GSMOL does this with Equity Lifestyle and it’s owner Sam Zell. No one likes to hear something negative about themselves, so perhaps they will “shape up” if they know they may be exposed.

This is your magazine, it is meant to be used by local advocates, by local experts, and by local residents like yourself. You can contribute content. You can write what’s happening in your park, what issues you have faced in the past, what issues you face today, whether or not you are organized, or have a newsletter, or a recreational group. Now you have someone to ask questions and get answers. Now you have a way to express your concerns. Now you are part of a COMMUNITY of mobile/manufactured home owners! Remember the saying: there is Strength in Numbers. Now you have some power. All you have to do is read MHMag, be active and contribute.

d. Events that are FUN and recreational can be shared. For instance when a group is planning a bus tour. Now the COMMUNITY can be involved, not just one park. e. Use the magazine to advertise your home for sale by owner. We give residents discounts. We provide tips and suggestions on selling your home yourself. You can save lots of $$ and support the magazine! A win-win.

You Are Now A Community

How to Contribute Content

Ultimately the magazine is creating a COMMUNITY in your local area. And because we post YOUR magazine on www.mobilehomemagazine.org for others to see, we are creating an even larger COMMUNITY - The California Community of Mobilehome Owners! Get on board, contribute, be active and rejoice at the strength and power you have.

It is easy, but you should have a computer or find a friend that does. Put your thoughts down using Microsoft Word and send them attached in an email to fawodley@yahoo. com. It is that simple. We will acknowledge receipt and you may see your contribution in the next magazine.

GO TEAM!

Thinking Outside The Box Some leaders are already brainstorming how best to use the Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013

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Amazing News from Donna! The Law States Rental Park Owners Must Protect Our Investment Foreword: Donna Matthew is my hero! And she should be yours too. Donna writes about the laws that are already on-the-books and points out this fact: if these laws had been enforced over the years, we wouldn’t have a lot of the problems we see today. Recently, we received several calls from Rancho Huntington about a representative from Sierra Management going around threatening residents if they didn’t sign long term lease agreements. That got me to thinking and now it is becoming clear what Donna is writing about! Donna is really on to something! Let us know what you think.

The Key The KEY to much of what happens in a rental park are sections 18250, 18251, and 18252 of the Health and Safety code commonly known as Title 25 as described below. TITLE 25 “MOBILEHOME PARKS ACT” CA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE DIVISION 13, PART 2.1 Sections 18200-18700 18250. The Legislature finds and declares that increasing numbers of Californians live in manufactured homes and mobilehomes and that most of those living in such manufactured homes and mobilehomes reside in mobilehome parks. Because of the high cost of moving manufactured homes and mobilehomes, most owners of manufactured homes and mobilehomes reside within mobilehome parks for substantial periods of time. Because of the relatively permanent nature of residence in such parks and the substantial investment which a manufactured home or mobilehome represents, residents of mobilehome parks are entitled to live in conditions which assure their health, safety, general welfare, and a decent living environment, and which protect the investment of their manufactured homes and mobilehomes. 11 Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013

18251. The Legislature finds and declares that the standards and requirements established for construction, maintenance, occupancy, use, and design of mobilehome parks should guarantee park residents maximum protection of their investment and a decent living environment. At the same time, the standards and requirements should be flexible enough to accommodate new technologies and to allow designs that reduce costs and enhance the living environment of park residents. 18252. The Legislature finds and declares that the inclusion of specific standards within a statute often precludes the rapid and flexible action needed to correct substandard conditions, and that it is desirable to delete outdated requirements, and to add new and useful requirements designed to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of park residents or to encourage use of new technologies in the development of mobilehome parks.

What Does This Mean? Mobilehome Parks ALL operate under USE PERMITS provided by cities where they operate. All use permits require that certain laws be followed, one of them is Title 25, i.e. in order to operate, your park owner MUST obey Title 25. Ultimately what does this mean? Seems simple to me: Owners of rental parks MUST GUARANTEE BY LAW the maximum protection of our investments! That’s our mobile or manufactured home! To me that means park owners can’t do anything that would cause a decrease in value of our home. Who enforces Title 25? In most cases Housing and Community Development (HCD). We all need to write HCD and tell them to enforce Title 25! It’s their job!


Our Bill of

Rights The following Homeowner Bill of Rights is listed under Article 2 (Rental Agreement) 798.15i, in the 2013 Mobilehome Residency Law (MRL). Although these laws are not new, the legislature has decided to combine them into this new section. This Bill of Rights MUST be given to each homeowner on or before February 1st of each year.

for social or educational purposes. Homeowners have a right to meet in the park, at reasonable hours and in a reasonable manner, for any lawful purpose. Homeowners may not be charged a cleaning deposit in order to use the park clubhouse for meetings of resident organizations or for other lawful purposes, such as to hear from political candidates, so long as a homeowner of the park is hosting the meeting and all park residents are allowed to attend. Homeowners may not be required to obtain liability insurance in order to use common facilities unless alcohol is served. (Civil Code Sections 798.50, 798.51)

Remember, parks DO NOT have to distribute the new MRL each year (as of 2011); however they must give you notice that you can request a copy Homeowners and park management have certain rights and responsibilities under the MRL. These include, but are not limited to:

8. If a home complies with certain standards, the homeowner is entitled to sell it in place in the park. Management may require certain upgrades. Management may not require a homeowner to sell his or her home to the park, may not charge a transfer or selling fee, and may not require a homeowner to use a broker or dealer approved by the park. A homeowner has a right to advertise his or her home for sale. Management may deny approval of a buyer, but only for certain reasons listed in the law. (Civil Code Sections 798.70-798.74)

1. Management must give a homeowner written notice of any increase in his or her rent at least 90 days before the date of the increase. (Civil Code Section 798.30) 2. No rental or sales agreement may contain a provision by which a purchaser or a homeowner waives any of his or her rights under the MRL. (Civil Code Sections 798.19, 798.77) 3. Management may not terminate or refuse to renew a homeowner’s tenancy except for one or more of the authorized reasons set forth in the MRL. (Civil Code Sections 798.55, 798.56)

9. Management has the right to enter the space upon which a mobilehome is situated for maintenance of utilities, trees, and driveways; for inspection and maintenance of the space in accordance with the rules and regulations of the park when the homeowner or resident fails to maintain the space; and for protection and maintenance of the mobilehome park at any reasonable time, but not in a manner or at a time that would interfere with the resident’s quiet enjoyment of his or her home. (Civil Code Section 798.26)

4. A homeowner must give written notice to the management of not less than 60 days before vacating his or her tenancy. (Civil Code Section 798.59) 5. Homeowners, residents, and their guests must comply with the rental agreement or lease, including the reasonable rules and regulations of the park and all applicable local ordinances and state laws and regulations relating to mobilehomes. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)

10. A homeowner may not make any improvements or alterations to his or her space or home without following the rules and regulations of the park and all applicable local ordinances and state laws and regulations, which may include obtaining a permit to construct, and, if required by park rules or the rental agreement, without prior written approval of management. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56)

6. Homeowners must pay rent, utility charges, and reasonable incidental service charges in a timely manner. Failure to comply could be grounds for eviction from the park. (Civil Code Section 798.56) 7. Homeowners have a right to peacefully assemble and freely communicate with respect to mobilehome living and 12

Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013


News From SRMOA President Roger McConnell Santa Rosa Manufactured-home Owners Association (SRMOA) is a non-profit unincorporated organization for MHP resident homeowners. SRMOA has fought for and won residents’ rights over the past twenty years. Here is some recent news from SRMOA President Roger McConnell:

one time, this program made loans at very low interest rates. Those that live in older MHs could use a little help sometimes. I am not sure how long this might take, but wouldn’t it be great if we could use $200,000 or $250,000 from this fund to restart the program to re-habilitate older homes?

We had a meeting with one new City Council member about improving the park conditions and our way of life. The results are encouraging, and future meetings have been scheduled, so stay tuned.

There has been no money for that program since it dried up in 2008. Yes, the park owners have also contributed to the rent control fund, which could possibly be used for the housing rehab program. But wouldn’t it make their parks look better if some of our older homes had a make-over, with new roofs and other good things to improve them?

A disturbing new scheme: I had some calls lately from folks that inherited a home from a family member, but when they went to make the space rent payments until they could get the home sold, they were told they had to put the home in a type of “storage agreement” with the park landowner, and therefore could not keep it on rent control. Please do not get caught in this trap - this is the park landowner’s way to get around rent control and it is illegal. According to this scheme, the space rent, including the so-called storage agreement, will be $50-$75 more than it was under rent control. Then, when you get the home sold, if the landowners cannot get the buyer to sign a long-term lease (which is exempt from rent control), the new space rent will be set at the higher amount that included the “storage fee”. With great sadness I must report that Sondra Chaffee passed away. As many of you know, Sondra was past President of SRMOA. Back in 2006, she was President-Elect when three parks on the west side of Santa Rosa came under attack from park owners for condo conversion. She led over 100 residents with signs to picket outside City Hall. Sondra passed away March 8th from complications from pneumonia. She will be greatly missed. It has come to our attention that the City of Santa Rosa has about $364,000 in the fund that administers the City’s rent control ordinance. This fund is collected each month, or every three months in some parks, with your rent statement. The land owner also contributes the same amount into the fund. These moneys are to be used for meet-and-confer, mediation or arbitration when a dispute arises between a landowner and the residents over increases in rent or pass-throughs. This fund has only been used three times in the last seven or eight years, with only about $11,000 to $12,000 used total for those meetings! For some reason, they never put a cap on this fund when they started collections back in 1993. I believe this is a total waste of our money. I have asked the Santa Rosa City Council to include this as a discussion item for an upcoming meeting. I asked if the City could restart the program to re-habilitate older MHs using grant money from the Federal FEMA program. At Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013

For more information about SRMOA, please contact Roger McConnell at (707) 526-1936.

A Victory for North Bay MHP Rent Control Appellate Court Ruling to Have Statewide Impact From the Marin Independent Journal, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 A federal appeals court Wednesday delivered a legal victory to the city of San Rafael, overturning a lower court decision and ruling that the city’s Contempo Marin mobilehome park rent control ordinance is constitutional. “This is a tremendous victory for the city, the residents of Contempo Marin and the City Council,” City Attorney Rob Epstein said. “We knew the law was on our side.” In an opinion written by circuit Judge Sidney Thomas, the court ruled San Rafael’s ordinance doesn’t constitute a government “taking” of private property as alleged by Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc., which owns the 396-unit Contempo Marin mobile home park in north San Rafael, off Smith Ranch Road. The decision overturns a 2009 ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who concluded the city’s ordinance violated the Fifth Amendment clause against such takings. San Francisco attorney Michael von Loewenfeldt, who represented the city in the case, said it has been more than 12 years since the initial lawsuit against the city was filed. He said it’s nice to finally get validation for the city and its residents. “I think this court really understood that you can’t buy rentcontrolled property and then complain about rent control,” von Loewenfeldt said. Equity LifeStyle Properties representatives could not be reached for comment on the decision Wednesday. Full article available from MHMag (fawodley@yahoo.com) 13


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e. Email or write us. Tell It is a big help when us how we can improve you volunteer to distribMHMag. What kind of ute MHMag in your park. articles would you like to Remember the law allows see? And we appreciate your the distribution of the feedback. A Must-Have Handbook for All California Mobile/Manufactured Home Owners magazine in your park, but Published & Distributed by the Coalition of Mobilehome Owners - California f. Above all, please read only by a park resident. We Mobilehome Magazine and will pay anyone volunteereducate yourself. You need to know the basics and where ing to distribute in their park 5 cents per copy. to go to get assistance. We will continue providing you b. Write an article. up to date, accurate information. Remember, this is your magazine. Please step up and write an article of interest to other mobilehome owners THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! - what’s happening in your park, successes you may have (8/2010)

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Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013


Vol. 1 No. 1 July 2013

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Mobilehome Magazine Local North Bay July 2013  

Published for owners of mobile/manufactured homes in California, we advocate to protect their rights, their lifestyle, and their investment