Assembly Bill (AB) 319 closes conflict of interest loopholes identified by the California State Auditor
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) applauded Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to officially sign Assembly Bill (AB) 319 into law. This bill resolves inadequacies within the conflict of interest code that regulates the inspectors of mobile home parks. These loopholes were identified in a report published by the California State Auditor, which found that the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) did not require inspectors to report certain investments in mobile home park properties and failed to address these potential conflicts of interest when reviewing inspectors’ disclosure forms.
“Californians living in mobile home parks should feel confident that the inspectors supervising their properties are making decisions based on what’s best for residents, not what’s best for the inspectors’ personal financial interests,” said Assemblymember Connolly. “AB 319 creates greater transparency and eliminates the potential for conflicts of interest that could put housing inspectors in ethically compromising situations. I commend Governor Newsom’s decision to sign this bill into law.”
In 2019, there were 3,640 active mobile home parks within HCD’s jurisdiction. Through its two field offices, HCD conducts various types of inspections to ensure that parks comply with health and safety requirements, including inspections of entire mobile home parks and inspections in response to complaints about specific issues stemming from sources such as park owners or residents. During the State Auditor’s investigation, it was discovered that some mobile home park inspectors owned properties adjacent to mobile home parks that they were tasked with supervising and two inspectors had ties to construction businesses in areas they were assigned to oversee. AB 319 addresses inadequacies within the conflict of interest code that regulates mobile home inspectors by codifying the State Auditor’s recommendations for greater transparency and strengthened ethics. The bill requires all inspectors to disclose their interests/investments in real property and directs HCD to review the inspectors’ annual statement of economic interests to identify any potential conflicts of interest. The bill would also require the department to establish better policies to document complaints against inspectors and the steps taken to address those complaints.
Assemblymember Connolly represents the entirety of Marin County and Southern Sonoma County