Rent control petition by West Stockbridge mobile home park residents clears hurdle
WEST STOCKBRIDGE -- Residents of the town’s lone mobile home park are a step closer to having rent control.
On Tuesday, the state Senate joined the House of Representatives in initially endorsing West Stockbridge’s petition that would allow the town to establish a local rent control board.
Residents of Mill Pond Trailer Park won local approval to petition the Legislature for the rent control board during the June 25 special town meeting.
Under state law, only mobile home housing is subject to rent control.
Once the Legislature gives final approval, the measure will be forwarded to Gov. Deval Patrick for his approval by the end of the year, according to state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield.
"[The Senate] thought the town made a strong case for the board," Downing said. "This is a way to protect the mobile home residents from the rapid rise in rents during these tough economic times."
If approved, the board would regulate the rent, establish minimum standards for occupancy, and have control over evictions of the approximately 30 homes at the Mill Pond Trailer Park, according to town officials.
"It would be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, with likely three to five people," said Town Administrator Mark Webber.
Webber noted one of the first duties of the rent control board is to set a base rent for the trailer park, and it likely will be the one already in place at the time the panel first convenes.
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.