- What is a home rule community or state licensed community?
- How can I tell which one my community is in?
All of Cook County and municipalities with a population of more than 25,000 are home rule units unless a specific referendum was passed. Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, and Decatur are also examples of home rule. Municipalities with populations of less then 25,000 are state licensed. State licensing applies to mobile/manufactured communities that have 5 or more independent sites. This is where the revenue for SB 70 would come from.
If you are home rule, your city can pass local ordinances that can protect you. Bloomington has great ordinances, but as many home owners have found, they are not enforced. Local government is where people need to start and use existing avenues whether home rule or state-licensed. However, as many know, you are frequently told local officials are unable to help you.
If your community is state licensed, you have a few more avenues through the State of Illinois. But, as many have found, the State lacks the manpower to enforce existing laws and many of the laws are written with language that makes it difficult for enforcement.
MHOAI would like to update many of the laws obtained in the 1980’s and earlier, including the Landlord and Tenants Rights Act. (Wouldn’t the landlords like that?) Many of these laws are no longer effective. We must seek protection under laws that reflect the present and future of our communities. The growing population of our communities will demand this protection.
We are building a database of mobile home community ownership and number of units in each community for each county in the state. To our surprise we found that the only updated records we could obtain from the state were the state-licensed communities. The landlord is supposed to let the state know if new units are added to these communities.
Our directors have visited many home rule communities and witnessed first-hand the lack of current information. Information regarding home rule communities has not been updated in 8 to 10 years. MHOAI also found a landlord that owned three communities for years but the state did not know they even existed. We discovered:
- wrong owner names;
- communities that no longer existed;
- a 500 unit community that actually had 1,200 units.
Another local factor affecting your community is if it’s zoned county or city. If you are within the corporate limits of a city, you have a Mayor and city council you can go to about issues and violations in your community. The city may not have the legal power to correct all of the violations, but if they care, they can become an important avenue.
If your community is county zoned, you will find that it is not uncommon to be turned away. This is why MHOAI wants any new laws to be worded in a way that will help all home owners no matter how they are zoned. Home rule is important and can benefit the district. We need laws that protect all mobile/manufactued home owners.