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State program waives fees, taxes for mobile homes

State program waives fees, taxes for mobile homes

By Ron Trujillo / ron@calhomenews.com

Mobile homes have been a low-priced housing option for Californians for almost a century,

The state has about 500,000 mobile homes — the equivalent of everyone in Sacramento, the sixth-largest city — from Calexico to Crescent City. But about one of every three mobile home owners, as much as 160,000, have incorrect title.

Perhaps they bought the mobile home with cash, or were given the property from a family member or friend who failed to record the transaction with the state. Many of the new owners were not aware they needed proper title and registration.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has established a new Fee and Tax Waiver Program, allowing owners to register their mobile home and avoid paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in state and local taxes, fees and penalties.

The Fee and Tax Waiver Program passed as Assembly Bill 587 and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016. The program went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

“This program gives people who acquired a home but didn’t get the proper documentation a one-time opportunity to correct their situation and not have to pay many back taxes, fees and penalties often incurred by prior owners,” says Ben Metcalf, director of the state HCD. “With the proper title and registration, homeowners can have the security and peace of  mind that comes from having a stable and secure home.”

Without proper title and registration, homeowners can face liens on them homes for unpaid taxes and fees, which prevents them from legally selling or transferring the mobile home. Property owners may also be unable to get fire insurance or building permits for major improvements. They may also not be eligible for financial assistance and rebates from utilities.

For more information, visit www.RegisterYourMobilehomeCA.org or call 800-952-8356. Assistance is available in all languages.

Feature photo of mobile home by Leifr/Shutterstock.

Mobile home facts

  • California has 4,335 mobile home parks, with almost 10% in San Diego County
  • Average age of mobile home owners: 42.6 years old
  • Average household income of mobile home owners: $59,733

CalHFA builds foundation for mobile home loans

Fast-rising home prices are making some home shoppers to consider lower-cost options, from condominiums to even tiny houses. And even manufactured and mobile homes.

The California Housing Finance Agency, a state agency  that offers down payment and funding programs for low- and moderate-income buyers, has responded. CalHFA has announced new guidelines that allow first mortgages for a mobile home on a permanent foundation just like a so-called stick-built house.

The move opens the door for families looking at mobile homes who want to use a CalHFA mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

“Manufactured homes play an important role in affordable housing in California,” says CalHFA Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson. “The more of these incremental steps we can take, the faster we’ll be on our way to addressing the housing shortage in our state. We think it’s important that Californians have the opportunity to live in the home that best fits their lifestyle.”

County-by-county income limits for a two-person household range from $57,500 in rural counties to $129,100 in Marina, San Francisco and San Mateo.

You can find more information about the program on the CalHFA website or call toll-free at 877-922-5432.

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