Santa Clara County Supervisor announces plan to save Buena Vista Mobile Home Park

County will partner with The Caritas Corporation to negotiate sale of land


Thomas Rauner-Swan

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian speaks at a conference discussing the county’s plans to partner with nonprofit organization, The Caritas Corporation, in order to prevent Buena Vista residents from losing their homes.

A new plan to save the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park was announced Wed. May 6, in a press release from Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

Led by Simitian, the county has partnered with The Caritas Corporation, a nonprofit organization invested in maintaining affordable housing, to buy the 4.5 acre lot.

According to Simitian, just as the eviction of Buena Vista residents seemed inevitable,  the Santa Clara County said it was willing to work with an outside organization to help stop mobile home resident evictions.

On April 28, Santa Clara County officially agreed via contract to work together with Caritas in order to prevent 400 Buena Vista residents from losing their homes in Palo Alto.

“[Caritas] is a nonprofit with experience and expertise and a track record going back 20 years of leading just this kind of rescue effort,” Simitian said.

According to Simitian, the Santa Clara County and Caritas are up against a strict deadline of May 26, when the City Council are predicted to allow the closure of the park leading to the eviction of the residents.

Over the last two decades, Caritas has purchased 20 mobile home parks across America and has earned a reputation for successfully executing last minute efforts to preserve affordable housing.

“We believe our unique experience and skill set position us well to turn Buena Vista into a spirited and caring mobile-home community,” Caritas Chief Operating Officer John Woolley said.

The contract agreement between the county and Caritas is valid through 2015, and Woolley said that Caritas plans to work directly with the Jisser family in order to outline a sales agreement involving all parties’ support.

As of now nearly $19 million in funds has been allocated towards saving the mobile home lot, money which will be used in an effort to purchase Buena Vista from its current owners, the Jisser family.

Recently, Simitian has been pushing for increased aid towards Buena Vista and feels that the community has answered his requests.

“In just three and a half months the county has stepped up with financial commitment, the city has stepped up with financial commitment and the area’s legislation delegation has stepped in to offer what help they can,” Simitian said. “We have wide ranging support from the entire community and we have a host of community groups that say they want to be part of the solution.”

For now, residents of Buena Vista can breathe a sigh of relief as Caritas and Santa Clara County begin working on a long-awaited resolution for the future of the mobile home park.