In response to Bob Franco’s letter, “Committee bands together,” (CVN, Vol. 26, No. 1), I think it is way too early to tell if Carpinteria Rent Stabilization Ordinance Action Committee (COAC) has been successful or if it has merely been used by park management to circumvent the current rent stabilization ordinance (RSO) in Sandpiper and potentially other parks in Carpinteria.
I attended a meeting as Mr. Franco suggested. Interestingly, people on rent control were not invited to these meetings and were asked by letter to not call the office to ask questions. Many residents on rent stabilization are seniors, often single women, on fixed incomes who are frightened about how this will impact them.
I learned management agreed to a reduction/package for residents not under rent stabilization, however, there is no agreement for those residents on rent stabilization. Apparently, they want a vote for those under RSO to agree to an increase, otherwise management will appeal to Carpinteria’s Rent Stabilization Board for increases. When a resident on RSO sells their home, management wants rent increases for the new owners. Mr. Franco states, “park owners will pursue changing those under the RSO,” and management also states they will “be pursuing an increase on turnover (when the home sells).” That means fewer and fewer homes will have the protections of the RSO.
It is hard to tell at this point if park management is pitting neighbors—those on RSO and those not—against each other. Why was management willing to offer this discount? Is signing away rights to file a lawsuit all management wants? I doubt it.
The struggle is not over; tough work needs to be done. There are good reasons the city of Carpinteria has a Rent Stabilization Ordinance and it is important to preserve and protect it. I applaud COAC’s efforts but the job is not finished.