Placeholder Image photo credit: Muffingg/Wikimedia
A mobile or "manufactured" home.

Last week Petaluma passed a suite of protections for mobile home owners - bringing the city's rules largely in line with other localities like Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park.

But residents in one mobile home park now find themselves facing down homelessness.

This isn’t the first time residents at Littlewoods Mobile Home Villa in Petaluma have found themselves at odds with park ownership. In 2017 Littlewoods' owners sought to raise rents on the park’s 78 lots by more than 40% on average, citing their right to a fair return on investment - but ultimately backed off when faced with a court battle.

Now the ownership is looking to shutter the park altogether, said Nick Ubaldi.

"We have hired a consultant to assess the feasibility of closing our mobile home park," Ubaldi said. "We believe this to be our only viable course of action."

Little Woods' stated owner Nick Ubaldi, addressed the Petaluma City Council, during discussions on an update to the city’s mobile home rental protections.

The council recently limited mobile home rent increases to 4% of current rent or 70% of the consumer price index - whichever is less.

In a July 6th letter to park residents, Littlewoods ownership cited city policy, saying it affected their ability to maintain a profit while conducting needed repairs, as a reason to potentially close the park.

But longtime resident Katherine Bobrowski said the explanation doesn’t add up.

"They’re taking our rent money, putting it in their pockets, and making a profit," Bobrowski said. "They don’t do it for maintenance or repairs."

KRCB News made multiple requests for comment from Nick Ubaldi with no response.

Opaque ownership has further complicated the situation. In state business listings the mailing address for Littlewoods LLC is the same as Stockton-based Harmony Communities - a controversial mobile home real estate company which has apparently taken over management of Littlewoods.

But resident Bobrowski said the task for residents, despite the distractions, is simple.

"This is their home, they should fight for their home," Bobrowski said.

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