SEATTLE – A revamped state government program is helping resolve disputes between manufactured homeowners and landlords.
Attorney General Rob McKenna and Sen. Jim Kastama, D- Puyallup, will explain why this new program is so important during a press conference this afternoon in Seattle.
Kastama and Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup, will then join staff from the Attorney General’s Office during an evening public forum in Puyallup to kick off the statewide “Don’t Move It; Solve It” tour—designed to educate manufactured home owners and landlords about this new resource within the Attorney General’s Office.
WHAT: Press conference announcing the Attorney General’s new Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program and kicking off statewide educational campaign
WHO: Attorney General Rob McKenna
Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup
Rep. Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup
Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program staff
WHEN and WHERE: 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Attorney General’s Office
Bank of America Fifth Ave. Plaza Building
800 5th Ave. Suite 2000, Seattle
Silver building at the corner of 5th and Marion, across from the church. Take elevator to the 20th floor and check in at reception desk. Press conference is in the Palouse Conference room.
NEW! CONFERENCE CALL:
(Out of courtesy for others on the call, please remember to put your phone on mute unless you have a question.)
Background: In 2007, Morrell sponsored HB 1461 creating the Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution program within the State Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division.
The program provides an opportunity for the state’s more than 60,000 homeowners and nearly 1,400 park owners to seek resolution of their complaints with the Attorney General’s Office. Staff in Seattle investigate complaints, provide informal dispute resolution and, when appropriate, issue fines for noncompliance with the state Mobile/Manufactured Home Landlord-Tenant Act.
Morrell and Kastama recognized that although the state’s Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act has been on the books since 1977, the state’s Office of Mobile Home Affairs (located within the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development) lacked power to issue fines or otherwise enforce the act.
Since the program began in July 2007, staff have handled more than 700 phone calls from manufactured homeowners and park owners. They’ve also received 205 requests for dispute resolution; about two-thirds of those have been resolved so far. The Attorney General’s Office has 15 cases in the investigation phase to determine whether a violation of the law may have occurred but so far has not had to issue any fines.
Funding for the program comes from fees paid to the Department of Licensing by landlords who register manufactured/mobile home communities. Landlords may charge each homeowner a maximum of $5 per year for this assessment.
Homeowners, landlords and property managers can learn more by attending one of the free “Don’t Move It; Solve It” public forums.
• PUYALLUP: Wednesday, March 26, Puyallup Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian.
• VANCOUVER: Thursday, April 3, Washington School for the Blind – Frye Auditorium, 3314 E. 13th St.
• EVERETT: Monday, April 7, Snohomish County PUD – Commission Room, 2320 California St.
• KENT: Tuesday, April 15, Department of Social and Health Services – Children Services (directly behind the office front), 1313 W. Meeker Suite 102.
• OLYMPIA: Thursday, April 24, Olympia Center – Multipurpose Room A, 222 Columbia St. N.W.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. No registration is required. Call 1-866-924-5458 or 206-464-6049 for more information.
Sen. Kastama and Rep. Morrell will attend the first forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Puyallup Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian.
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Janelle Guthrie, APR
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