At its last meeting before the summer break, the City Council voted to approve $14.5 million in funding to be used toward the preservation of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. The Council agreed to match the $6.5 million earmarked by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors earlier this month, and City Manager Jim Keene had already set aside $8 million last February, pending direction from Council. The money to be used comes from developer impact fees not the general fund, and can only be used for affordable housing. The Council’s actions brings the total amount jointly raised by Palo Alto and the County to $29 million, and would be combined with an estimated $10 million from a tax-revenue bond to purchase Buena Vista. The county has entered into an agreement with Caritas Management Corporation that provides property management services to nonprofit, community-based owners and developers.
The Council had been constrained in their actions until the completion of their quasi-judicial role in the approval of the park closure application and associated relocation packages for residents. With that role completed, each Council member expressed their support (with Councilmember Tom Dubois absent, but had previously sent a letter in support) for using the affordable housing funds toward the purchase of Buena Vista.
“We have not been able to participate,” said Mayor Karen Holman. “I hope to see all of my colleagues out there doing all that we can. My personal goal, my personal hope is that this December there will be the Posada to end all Posadas at Buena Vista.”