Palo Alto, CA — The Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) has finalized the purchase of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto, Calif., paving the way for the Housing Authority and the park’s new operator, Caritas Corporation, to begin the design and permitting of infrastructure and other needed improvements to the site. The sale brings to completion the more than two-year effort to preserve the park as affordable housing, while enabling 400 low-income residents to remain in their homes.
“We are pleased to have this acquisition completed,” said SCCHA Executive Director Katherine Harasz. “We look forward to the continued partnership to improve the lives of these 400 county residents.”
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who has championed the county’s efforts to preserve the mobile home park since January 2015, said, “From the beginning of this effort we've had three goals: to preserve over 100 units of desperately needed affordable housing; to prevent the eviction of 400 low-income residents, folks who truly have nowhere else to go; and, to ensure that the current property owner receives full and fair market value for the property. We can be proud today that we accomplished all three goals. All of this happened because so many good folks had the grit, the determination, and the decency to make it happen.”
“At one level this was a test––a test of whether or not our region remains a place of inclusivity and opportunity,” said Simitian. “In this instance, at least, I'm gratified to say we passed the test.”
Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff said, “Saving and renovating the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park was an important effort to reinforce our commitment to affordable housing and to preserve a part of our history. This agreement helps Palo Alto continue its tradition of being a great place to live and raise a family.”
Funding for the park’s purchase and redevelopment comes from a three-way partnership between Santa Clara County, City of Palo Alto and the Housing Authority. The city and county each committed $14.5 million in dedicated affordable housing funds for acquisition and rehabilitation, and the Housing Authority contributed an additional $26 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A tri-party regulatory agreement restricts the use of the property for affordable housing for 75 years.
The day-to-day park operations will be managed by Caritas Corporation, a nonprofit that specializes in preserving affordable mobile home communities.