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Posts Tagged ‘buena vista mobile home park’

UPDATE: Manufactured Home Community Saved

May 19th, 2017 Comments off
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Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. Credit: NBC Bay Area.

In a hotly contested property rights versus residents rights case, originally covered by the Daily Business News in September, and then again in December, the five-year journey for residents of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto, California has come to a favorable end for all parties.

In a case that received national attention, the community, which was the last manufactured home community, and one of the last affordable housing options in the Silicon Valley city, was moving towards closure, as owner Tim Jisser had filed documents with the city to do so.

On Thursday, Buena Vista residents received word that a deal had been reached to keep the community, and its residents, in place

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the deal will place the 4.5-acre community’s property in the hands of the Housing Authority of Santa Clara County, which partnered with Santa Clara County and the city of Palo Alto to make a $40 million offer to the Jisser family.

Residents, who were concerned about having to relocate in an area where rents can reach $4000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, were concerned that they would end up having to move far away from the city because they could not afford the cost of living.

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Residents protesting the closure. Photo credit, Palo Alto Online.

I didn’t know how or where I would have moved his family, including my 7-month-old son,” said resident Henry Ayala.

It’s good to hear that we can stay. Anywhere that’s affordable is going to be in the valley, Modesto, Tracy [40 to 50 miles] — too far away.”

Previously, the Jisser family had turned down a $36 million offer for the property.

We are pleased we reached this settlement,” the family said in a statement.

(The settlement) will enable the families to stay here and also allow the housing authority to pursue the park’s renovation and upgrade.”

Joe Simitian, a Santa Clara County Supervisor, had long worked to save the community and was very pleased with the outcome.

Residents celebrate the decision. Credit: San Jose Mercury News.

This is a great, great day. The agreement preserves more than 100 units of desperately needed affordable housing, prevents evictions of low-income residents and gives the property owner a fair shake,” said Simitian.

At one level, this was a test… 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.”

Simitian said that negotiations over the value of the property took about four months, and the settlement avoided a much more difficult course of action.

It is important to note that the $40 million obviated the need for eminent domain,” said Simitian. “And now we have results sooner rather than later.”

Resident Rose Rocha, who says she plans to retire in the community, feels that the settlement is a blessing for many.

It’s been a long struggle for everybody,” said Rocha.

A lot of people who live here, work here: Stanford, the schools. And many are barely making it, struggling to make payments. I know I’ve donated to families to help out now and then.”

 

MH Industry Professional Speak

 

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments,” Jay Hamilton, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associations’ executive director told MHProNews, “property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.”

The struggle over community owner’s property rights vs. land-lease community resident rights continues. Equity LifeStyle Communities Chairman Sam Zell’s view, published exclusively on MHProNews on that topic, are linked here.

In commenting on such cases, ROC USA President Paul Bradley told MHProNews, “How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities? It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!’

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Paul Bradley. photo credit: Fosters.

Bradley believes that the community sector should identify those communities that may be subject to closure and redevelopment, and differentiate them between those land-lease locations that have no plans to be anything but a manufactured home community; see his statement, linked here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

(Copyright Notice: This and all content on MHProNews and MHLivingNews always have been and are Copyrighted, © 2017 by MHProNews.com a dba of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – All Rights Reserved. No duplication is permitted without specific written permission. Headlines with link-backs are of course ok. A short-quoted clip, with proper attribution and link back to the specific article are also ok – but you must send a notice to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com of the exact page you’ve placed/posted such a use, once posted.)

Judge Reverses Controversial Decision to Close Manufactured Home Community

December 27th, 2016 Comments off
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Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. Credit: NBC Bay Area.

In a hotly contested property rights versus residents rights case, originally covered by the Daily Business News in September, a Santa Clara County, California Superior Court judge has reversed an order to close Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, Palo Alto’s last manufactured home community, based on a court filing from its residents.

Because the City Council based its final decision on evidence that does not yet exist and the City Council lacked evidence regarding the actual amount of relocation assistance that will eventually be provided to the residents,” said Judge Brian Walsh in his 19-page ruling on December 21st, “the Court finds that the Final Decision was not supported by the evidence.

The case drew national attention, as this Fox News video report reflects.

According to the Palo Alto Patch, Buena Vista owner Tim Jisser filed an application with the city in 2012 seeking closure of the community that’s home to about 400 residents who are mostly Hispanic and living on low incomes.

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Residents Protesting. Photo credit, Palo Alto Online.

In 2014, the City of Palo Alto held hearings on Jisser’s application and a hearing officer decided he could continue with the community closure.

Residents appealed the decision.

The Palo Alto City Council held hearings in May 2015 on the appeal, and concluded that Jisser could move forward with conditions, which included updated appraisals of each home. This action led the residents association to file a petition four months later.

Credit: NBC Bay Area.

Walsh’s decision gives the residents security in knowing they won’t receive eviction notices,” said attorney Madeline Howard, who represented the residents association.

The City Council approved Jisser’s application last year without knowing how much the residents would receive in a comparable community to Palo Alto that offers similar amenities including high-quality schools, jobs and medical care.

The judge’s decision provides for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara to begin acquiring the Buena Vista property under eminent domain,” said Nadia Aziz, a senior attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. The foundation also represented the residents association.

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Credit: Inside San Jose.

According to the office of Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, the Board of Commissioners for the housing authority unanimously approved a plan allowing its executive director, Katherine Harasz, to begin negotiating with Jisser for the property during a special closed session meeting on December 20th.

With everyone pulling together we’re well positioned to preserve 117 units of affordable housing, prevent the eviction of 400 low income residents, and ensure that the current property owner receives full and fair market value for the property,” said Simitian.

We are still reviewing the judge’s decision that seeks specific dollar amounts for relocation,” said Palo Alto spokeswoman Claudia Keith.

MH Industry Professional Viewpoints

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Jay Hamilton, credit, MHProNews.

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments,” Jay Hamilton, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associations’ executive director told MHProNews, “property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.”

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Sam Zell, credit, MHProNews.

The struggle over community owner’s property rights vs. land-lease community resident rights continues. Equity LifeStyle Communities Chairman Sam Zell’s view, published exclusively on MHProNews on that topic, are linked here.

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Paul Bradley. Credit: Fosters.

In commenting on such cases, ROC USA President Paul Bradley told MHProNews,  “How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities? It’s like selling tickets to a zoo where ‘only 1 in a 100 are eaten by the lions!

Bradley believes that the community sector should identify those communities that may be subject to closure and redevelopment, and differentiate them between those land-lease locations that have no plans to be anything but a manufactured home community; see his statement, linked here.

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Sheila Dey, Executive Director, Western Manufactured Home Association (WMA), photo credit PublicCEO.

Attorney and WMA executive director, Shiela Dey told MHProNews that,  “California has created a regulatory environment where existing parks are threatened by rent control ordinances that undermine a park’s economic sustainability, and cost prohibitive building regulations and fees that have stifled the construction of new parks. As a consequence, it’s been decades since a new mobilehome park has been built in California…”

Building more manufactured home communities could ease California’s housing crisis,” said Dey. “But first, politicians are going to have to address rent control’s failure and reduce building fees, and at the very least, require means-testing so that rent control truly benefits the needy.

The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story as it develops. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Property Rights vs. Resident Rights – FoxNews Video, Manufactured Home Industry Voices sound off

September 23rd, 2016 Comments off
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Photo credit, Palo Alto Online.

No one should be forced to carry on a business that they want to close, said Pacific Legal Foundation Attorney Larry Salzman. “The city is treating the Jissers as an ATM to solve a problem they didn’t cause — the lack of affordable housing in Palo Alto. That’s not just wrong, it’s unconstitutional,” a Daily Business News post by Matthew Silver reported last year.

Fast forward, as Fox News’ Claudia Cowan quotes resident Melody Cheeny, “We have nowhere else to go,” said Cheeny, secretary for the community’s homeowner’s association.  “There’s no way, for 95 percent of us, to be able to live in this county, let alone Silicon Valley.”

Cowan writes, “In the heart of Silicon Valley, a new twist in an ongoing turf war is raising alarm among property rights groups – government officials in Palo Alto are threatening to use “eminent domain” to prevent the longtime owners of a mobile home park from turning the property into condos.”

How can we promote homeownership and sell new homes on leased land and at the same time close communities?” – asks Paul Bradley, ROC USA in a new column to Industry Voices on MHProNews.

Eminent domain is an elegant solution,” said Katherine Harasz, executive director of the Santa Clara County Housing Authority told Fox News. “It acknowledges the owners’ just right to just compensation, if the public purpose is established to use his property for this public purpose.”

The city and the county’s actions have postponed the closure of the park for four years now and still, there’s really no end in sight,” Joe Jisser told Fox News.  Joe’s family reportedly bought the property in 1986.

As communities become surrounded and engulfed by restaurants, Hilton Hotels, stadiums, big box stores, airports, residential and commercial developments,” Jay Hamilton, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associations’ executive director told MHProNews, “property taxes begin exceeding the total revenue from renting spaces.”

The struggle over community owner’s property rights vs. land-lease community resident rights continues. Equity LifeStyle Communities Chairman Sam Zell’s view, published exclusively on MHProNews on this subject, are linked here.

Scheduling/Programing note: MHProNews plans to publish a related, detailed report on another hotly contested location in the American heartland, right here on the manufactured housing industry’s Daily Business News. ##

(Photo credits are as shown above.  The video on Fox News was set to autoplay, and was copied and provided here under Fair Use guidelines.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com, MHLivingNews.com and MH Consultant.

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach.

High Dollar Community Closure Looms for Buena Vista Mobile Home Park

June 26th, 2015 Comments off
Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo

Photo by Kirstina Sangsahachart.

San Jose, California – The closure of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park draws closer. Given the impact on 400 low income residents, Santa Clara County supervisors voted Tuesday to offer $6.5 million tied to a similar commitment from the city of Palo Alto, CA.

“Time is of the essence,” said Supervisor Joe Simitian was quoted in a report in the Mercury News by Eric Kurhi. “On any given day the owner is within legal rights to accept an offer and send notice to residents.”

Santa Clara County’s offer comes from a development fund at Stanford University. Officials said it is a match to save the 120-home park as affordable housing. The Buena Vista MH community takes up 4.5 acres of valuable real estate at El Camino Real and Los Robles Avenue.

Melissa Morris, An attorney with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Mellisa Morris represents residents, said “If the park closes, they will be exiled from the community.”

The missing item is approval of matching funds by the Palo Alto City Council. That might be boosted by Caritas Corporation, a manufactured home community operator which is working with the county.

Supervisor Simitian explained that Caritas might secure bonds adding $10 million to the total effort, “the hope and expectation is that if a funding gap remains we will look to philanthropic and/or corporate sources for assistance.”

“Whether or not they’d (the sellers) choose to accept the offer, I can’t really say,” Attorney Margaret Nanda stated. “Let’s see what Palo Alto does and stay tuned.” For an previous MHProNews Daily Business News story on this drama, click here. ##
(Photo credit: Mercury News)

City Leaders, Non-Profits, Interested Parties Debate Fate of Palo Alto’s Last MH Community

February 25th, 2015 Comments off

palo-alto's-last-MH-park-buena-vistaFor the past few years, the only manufactured home community in Palo Alto, California, has been the subject of discussions, controversy and publicity.  Palo Alto is awash in multimillion-dollar homes, luxury Tesla electric cars and other financial fruits from a digital revolution the city helped spark. The Silicon Valley city is home to Stanford University, at least eight billionaires, and one manufactured home community.

Now, the 50-year-old Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, one of the largest and one of the few remaining affordable housing options in Palo Alto, has been threatened with closure. The owners wanted to sell the land to a developer who planned to build luxury apartments, but now the developer has lost interest due to all the controversy. The community’s low-income, mostly Latino residents are fighting to stay in their present homes and to keep their children in one of California’s best school districts.

The San Jose Mercury News tells MHProNews that Palo Alto City Manager James Keene is setting aside $8 million in affordable housing funds to possibly help preserve Buena Vista Mobile Home Park as a source of affordable housing. In a February 19 memo to Mayor Karen Holman and the City Council, Keene said the move was spurred by community members’ concerns about the impacts of the facility’s pending closure on 400 mostly low-income Latino residents.

The council is slated in April to take up an appeal of a hearing officer’s recent ruling that the park owners put together an adequate relocation assistance package. Keene said any decision regarding the $8 million would have to be made after the council hears the appeal.

“As you are aware, the council has a responsibility to impartially evaluate all of the issues and refrain from advocating, or appearing to advocate, on any side of this matter,” Keene wrote in the memo released Friday.

“In light of these constraints on the council,” he continued, “I am directing staff to set aside $8 million in affordable housing funds specifically for use in conjunction with the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park if the council should so direct after the pending appeal has been resolved.”

The sum could be added to $8 million that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors set aside last month for the possible purchase of the manufactured home community. The county drew on an affordable housing fund established by Stanford University in exchange for permission to expand.

“It is my hope that this action — following on the county’s recent pledge of an equal amount — will inspire those who are concerned about the future of affordable housing in Silicon Valley and Palo Alto specifically, to come together and find a solution that will work for all,” Keene said. ##

(Photo Credit: San Jose Mercury News)

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Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews.

 

California Land Lease Community on Track to Convert

October 18th, 2013 Comments off

The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto, California, currently home to 104 factory-built homes, and recognized in the city’s comprehensive plan as one of the largest sources of low-income housing, may be sold for over $30 million if owners Toufic and Eva Jisser’s plan is approved by the city. The Buena Vista Residents Association, with the help of state and local programs, offered to pay $14.5 million for the community but the Jissers denied the offer, preferring to pay homeowners $11,000 each in relocation expenses, $21,000 if their home could not be moved. The community is largely low-income Latino, and the main reason for not wanting to move is that Palo Alto Schools rank sixth out of 1,000 California school districts. According to its Regional Housing Needs Assessment, Palo Alto is obligated for 1,200 affordable housing units by 2014, and currently only has 200, and would lose more if Buena Vista is converted. Housing costs in Palo Alto equate to roughly four times that of living in Buena Vista. As psmag.com informs MHProNews, the Jisser’s lawyer says her clients have a constitutional right to sell their property. The city has 30 days to make a decision.

(Photo credit: nbcsandiego–manufactured housing community)