Guest speaker for this meeting will be Stephanie Montero from the Yucaipa Outreach Project (YOP). YOP, in partnership with the City of Yucaipa, provides financial relief for high crisis situations. Assistance can include food, employment support, emergency rental assistance, and mortgage assistance. YOP is a program of Family Service Association of Redlands and has been in operation as a satellite office since 2016. Their office at 11985 4thStreet, Suite 216, Yucaipa, is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 2 pm and acts as a safety net program for low-income residents of the City of Yucaipa. For more information on how to register for programming, call (909) 570-9132 or visit website at yucaipaoutreachproject.org.
Two Yucaipa City Council seats are up for election on the November ballot. Two of our current Council members are not running for re-election, David Avila, District 1, and Greg Bogh, District 2. Candidates for those seats are: District 1, Matt Garner, Sherilyn Long, Erik V. Sahakian, and Mark L. Taylor. District 2, Nena R. Dragoo and Chris Venable.
Speakers for our September 10 Open Meeting will be Sherilyn Long and Erik Sahakian, candidates for District 1 Council Seat. Since District 1 includes about 25% of the mobilehome park spaces in the City, this will be an important election decision for park residents.
In response to many questions and previous discussions at our meetings, YMRA will be offering a workshop on how to deal with problems in your mobilehome park community. Frequent questions include, how do we know if park rules, etc., are legal? What can be done about management not following the law or its own rules? How can disputes be settled? If legal counsel is needed, who do we contact? Who is responsible for dealing with issues in a park, City of Yucaipa, County of San Bernardino, or State of California?
We welcome your participation. Informational packets including form letters, petitions, etc., will be provided.
The YMRA meeting on Saturday, June 11, was well attended. Unfortunately, several board members were absent due to illness, etc., so some business items were postponed.
There were some lively discussions regarding problems arising in a mobilehome park community. Some residents expressed concerns about the legality of some park rules or the actions of management. Negotiations with management or possible use of a petition were suggested. Seeking legal counsel can be costly and, while YMRA has a fund to assist in disputes, it is limited.
Our guest speaker for the meeting was Trevor Benson, new Emergency Manager for the City of Yucapia, taking over for recently retired Sherrie O'Connell. Benson spoke on several safety issues especially significant to mobilehome residents. He outlined methods for reducing risk of fire, such as clearance of combustibles around home and in common areas. He emphasized the importance of access into and out of the home and park and the life saving value of smoke detectors.
Benson also discussed the C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team) and what it does. C.E.R.T. can coordinate with park management to provide and install smoke detectors, free of charge to residents who need them. It also provides training classes for emergency preparedness. Benson took several questions and comments from the audience and assured us that we could contact him any time for assistance with safety issues.
Our meeting on May 14 was stimulating. Guest speaker was Service Specialist (SS) Jenny Smith from the Yucaipa Police Department. She gave a very interesting presentation on legal safety issues within mobilehome parks. One issue brought up by a member was the perennial problem of drug sales in parks. SS Smith emphasized that nothing can be done if the police don't know there is a problem. She encouraged residents to make use of the WeTip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME to report an issue in your park. Smith also suggested residents find out if their park participates in the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. This is a partnership program between law enforcement and property managers, owners, landlords, and residents. San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is responsible for managing the countywide program and providing training to property managers. Neighborhood Watchis another option allowing residents to take an active role in protecting their community. Yucaipa City website has information on joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch program in your park. Another question that came up pertains to the problem of hoarding by park residents. The Police Department is limited in dealing with that issue. If the resident is hoarding items, trash, etc., that spills out into the open, a call to Code Enforcement is an option. If the hoarded items remain within the mobilehome, neither the Police nor Code Enforcement is legally able to enter the home or take any action.
On Saturday, April 9th, YMRA, Yucaipa Mobilehome Residents Association, held its regular monthly meeting at the Yucaipa Woman’s club.
Tom Wall, from Synergy Companies, will be our guest speaker. Synergy Companies represents Southern California Edison in the implementation of its Comprehensive Manufactured Homes Program. This Program is funded by California utility ratepayers. Synergy Companies works with SCE in our area to offer NO-COST products and services to increase the comfort levels of your home, make your home more energy efficient and lower your energy costs.
With the prospect of another scorching summer lurking just around the corner, energy affordability is one hot topic among mobilehome residents. The featured speakers at the April meeting of YMRA, Tom Wall and David Acosta representing Synergy Companies, gave a timely overview of their role in implementing weatherization and energy efficiency programs offered by Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas. The primary goal of the utility companies is reducing energy use by increasing energy efficiency. Customers would also benefit from the resulting lowered utility bills. All energy consumers pay a small fee listed on their bill as a Public Purpose Programs Charge that is used to fund low income assistance and energy efficiency programs. Wall and Acosta outlined the various programs available and how to access them. Some apply only to manufactured homes while others are available to owners of traditional dwellings as well. Benefits vary but can include repairs to, or replacement of, inefficient appliances such as outdated stoves, refrigerators, water heaters and swamp coolers, etc. Wall encouraged the audience to spread the word and to inform friends and neighbors how to find out if they qualify for any of these programs and services. They can call Tom Wall at (951) 443-7836 to schedule an appointment for a representative to come to their home to perform a comprehensive assessment. YMRA chairperson, Shirley Dalton advised, “everyone should have their personal situation evaluated to see if any of these programs might be of some benefit to them.” -- Jo Sutt