Hayward Senior-Only Mobile Homes Given Protected Status

On Tuesday the city of Hayward officially passed an amendment that will prohibit the conversion of the five remaining senior-only mobile homes to all-ages parks.

Eden Gardens Estates, Georgian Manor, Hayward Mobile Home Country Club, New England Village, and Spanish Ranch II will remain senior-only for the foreseeable future, Mayor Michael Sweeney said.

The Mayor said the measure was “a long time coming,” much to the joy of the audience of close to 100 seniors who assembled at city hall that evening. He stated that he wanted to pass the amendment since 2010, but could not because a similar injunction in American Canyon was ruled in violation of the Fair Housing Act that same year. The city was unable to implement the legislation.

A similar injunction in Yucaipa was ruled legal by the 9th District Court of Appeals last year, prompting Hayward to move forward with the amendment.

To be in compliance with the Fair Housing Act, at least 80 percent of the residents have to be over the age of 55, Assistant City Attorney Maureen Conneely said.

When the city’s nine mobile home parks were created in the 1960s and 70s, they were designated senior-only parks, Conneely said. Over the past few decades, four parks were converted to all-ages parks.

Residents of the senior-only parks reiterated their concern that the parks are not safe for children. Janice Leone of New England Village said that the parks have narrow lanes, and many seniors have trouble seeing the children playing in the street when they back out of their parking spaces.

Carol Hayes and Rose Bettis of Eden Gardens Estates said that they choose to live in a senior-only mobile home park because of the strong feeling of camaraderie and the stronger sense of community. Hayes added that due to rent control in Hayward, it is more cost effective to live here.

“We have more in common with each other. Some of us have health problems. There’s that sense of appreciation where somebody else is, that you can share your experiences, and your solutions,” Bettis said.