BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 682


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          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


               ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


                                   Ed Chau, Chair


          AB 682  
          (Williams) - As Amended March 26, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Mobilehome park:  electric and gas service:   
          master-meter customers


          SUMMARY:  Authorizes a person to have specified alterations,  
          conversions, and repairs made to a mobilehome without filing an  
          application with the Department of Housing and Community  
          Development (HCD).  Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Authorizes a person to, without filing an application for an  
            alteration or conversion with HCD,  alter or convert, or cause  
            to be altered or converted, the structural, fire safety,  
            plumbing, heat-producing, or electrical systems and  
            installations or equipment of a mobilehome in order to extend  
            a gas line and/or electrical feeder line from a utility-owned  
            service line to the electrical subpanel or gas inlet of a  
            mobilehome only for the purpose of a natural gas and/or  
            electric service utility upgrade within a mobilehome park that  
            is subject to or consistent with the requirements of a  
            specified Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Decision.


          2)Authorizes a defect in the mobilehome relating to the  
            heat-producing or electrical systems or installations or  
            equipment to be repaired or replaced without filing an  








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            application for an alteration or conversion with HCD if the  
            following conditions are met:


               a)     The repair or replacement is necessary to correct  
                 the defect;


               b)     The repair or replacement is made promptly; and


               c)     HCD approves the repair or replacement.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Requires HCD to enforce various laws pertaining to  
            manufactured housing, mobilehomes, park trailers, commercial  
            coaches (Health and Safety Code Section 18000 et seq.).


          2)Requires construction permits, issued by HCD, for alterations  
            or conversions to the structural, fire safety, plumbing,  
            heat-producing, or electrical systems and installations or  
            equipment of a mobilehome (Health and Safety Code Section  
            18029).  


          3)Requires a mobilehome owner to have documentation certifying  
            they own their unit in order to apply for a construction or  
            alteration permit with HCD (Health and Safety Code Section  
            18029).  


          4)Provides that HCD may establish a schedule of fees to pay the  
            costs of work related to administration and enforcement of  
            mobilehome and manufactured home standards, including  
            applications for alterations or conversions, and the fees  








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            collected must be deposited in the Mobilehome-Manufactured  
            Home Revolving Fund (Health and Safety Code Section 18031).


          5)Prohibits HCD from issuing a duplicate or new certificate of  
            title or registration card or amending the permanent title  
            record of the mobilehome when specified fees and penalties  
            have not been paid (Health and Safety Code Sections 18116.1,  
            18092.7). 


          6)Provides that residents of mobilehome parks constructed after  
            January 1, 1997, must be individually metered and served by  
            gas and electric distribution facilities owned, operated, and  
            maintained by the gas or electric corporation providing the  
            service in the area where the park is located (Public  
            Utilities Code Sections 2791).


          7)Provides a statutory framework for transferring master-metered  
            mobilehome parks to utilities that provide direct service in  
            the area where the park is located (Public Utilities Code  
            Sections 2791-2799).


          8)Establishes a three-year Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade  
            Program (MHP Pilot Program) authorizing each California  
            investor-owned utility to convert 10%, approximately 40,000,  
            of master-metered gas and/or electric mobilehome park spaces  
            within its operating territory to direct utility service (CPUC  
            Decision 14-03-021).


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.


          COMMENTS:  










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           MHP Pilot Program:   Existing law establishes the procedure for  
          transferring master-metered mobilehome parks to utilities that  
          provide direct service.  However, due to a variety of reasons,  
          few transfers have actually occurred since the law took effect  
          in 1997.  In 2014, the CPUC initiated a voluntary three-year  
          pilot program to encourage park owners to transfer master-meter  
          and submeter service to direct utility service.  
          The MHP Pilot Program is a voluntary three year program which  
          authorizes each California investor-owned utility to convert  
          10%, approximately 40,000, of master-metered gas and/or electric  
          mobilehome park spaces within its operating territory to direct  
          utility service. Each participating utility is authorized to  
          fully recover in distribution rates the costs of the pilot  
          program, subject to reasonableness review.  There are numerous  
          benefits to converting to direct utility service, including  
          safety inspections by the utilities and local agencies, as well  
          as infrastructure upgrades.  The pilot program involves the  
          replacement of utility lines and installation of new meters for  
          new locations, and existing service inlets. It also requires new  
          service lines from the new meters to the existing service inlets  
          for the mobilehomes which will be accompanied by installing new  
          gas and/or electric lines to the underside of mobilehomes in the  
          park. It requires extensive plan reviews and inspections of  
          contractor work.  


          


          According to the CPUC, "in February 2011, following a petition  
          filed by the Western Manufactured Housing Communities  
          Association (WMA), the CPUC opened a rulemaking proceeding  
          (R.11-02-018) to examine what could be done to encourage owners  
          of mobilehome parks and manufactured housing communities (both  
          referred herein as MHPs) to upgrade aging gas and electric  
          distribution systems in an effort to enhance both public safety  
          and service reliability for MHP residents.









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          "On March 13, 2014, the CPUC issued Decision 14-03-021,  
          establishing a three-year pilot program authorizing each  
          California investor-owned utility to convert 10% of  
          master-metered gas and/or electric MHP spaces within its  
          operating territory to direct utility service." 

          The MHP Pilot Program will run for three years, beginning  
          January 1, 2015 and continuing through December 31, 2017. There  
          was a 90-day open enrollment period, between January 1 - March  
          31, 2015, in which the CPUC's Safety and Enforcement Division  
          (SED) accepted initial applications from park owners interested  
          in participating in the program. The SED is responsible for  
          prioritizing and selecting parks for the upgrade program.   
          Selected parks will be notified by May 2015, and would then need  
          to meet additional requirements to go through with the pilot  
          program. 
          


          Once the park is converted to direct utility services, current  
          residents will become new customers of the local serving CPUC  
          regulated utility, and will be "grandfathered" into the program  
          so as to avoid the normal credit check and service deposit  
          requirements.   Generally, residents should not see a  
          significant change in their rates.



           Need for this bill:   According to the author, "the law requires  
          construction permits for alterations made to a mobilehome, and a  
          permit can only be issued if a homeowner has the title or proper  
          paperwork certifying they own their unit.  However, it's not  
          uncommon for a mobilehome owner to lack the title or appropriate  
          paperwork for their mobilehome, due to multiple title transfers.  
           
          "AB 682 provides a narrow exemption to the permit requirements  
          for alterations to mobilehomes thereby ensuring the smooth  
          implementation of the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program.  
          The narrow exemption would allow a utility to upgrade the  








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          electric and gas system to mobilehome park tenants who may or  
          may not have up-to-date paperwork.  Mobilehome tenants would be  
          able to participate in the pilot program without a current title  
          or appropriate paperwork. The pilot program's successful  
          implementation means upgrading aging gas and electric  
          distribution systems in an effort to enhance both public safety  
          and service reliability for the state's mobilehome residents.


          "AB 682 will address the issue of the utility transfer pilot  
          program not being implemented due to lack of current and proper  
          documentation, while expediting the utility upgrades." 


           Related legislation:  



          AB 999 (Daly): Establishes due process requirements for  
          mobilehome park owners (park management) seeking to dispose of  
          an abandoned mobilehome without first being required to pay any  
          unpaid property taxes on the mobilehome.  AB 999 is currently  
          pending hearing in the Assembly Committee on Housing and  
          Community Development.



          AB 587 (Chau):  Creates a tax abatement program for mobilehome  
          owners who cannot transfer title into their names due to  
          delinquent taxes and fees that may have been incurred by prior  
          owners.  AB 587 is currently pending hearing in the Assembly  
          Judiciary Committee.



          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:











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          Support


          Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (sponsor)




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Rebecca Rabovsky / H. & C.D. / (916)  
          319-2085