The long-awaited sale of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park is final. The Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) announced today that it has finalized the purchase of the Palo Alto park, paving the way for the Housing Authority and the park's new operator, Caritas Corporation, to begin making needed improvements at 3980 El Camino Real.
The sale brings to completion the more than four-year effort to preserve the park as affordable housing, enabling 400 low-income residents to remain in their homes.
"We are pleased to have this acquisition completed," said Katherine Harasz, executive director for the housing authority, which helped negotiate the $40.4 million deal to purchase the park from longtime owners, the Jisser family.
"All of this happened because so many good folks had the grit, the determination, and the decency to make it happen," said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who has championed the county's efforts to preserve the mobile home park since January 2015. "At one level this was a test of whether or not our region remains a place of inclusivity and opportunity. In this instance, at least, I'm gratified to say we passed the test."
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, 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.
"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," Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff said.